I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a local history geek, especially when it comes to looking through old newspapers. That’s why I was so excited when I learned that the Prairie State Library subscribes to the Chicago Tribune Historical Archive. Old newspapers are one of those resources that are still really hard, if not impossible, to find on Google.
Being relatively new to the area, first I looked up articles about the history of local organizations I’ve been to, including our own Prairie State College. As you can see, Prairie State was originally called Bloom College and opened across the street from Bloom Township High School. But as the college began to serve the 16 communities of Community College District 515 (and became known as Prairie State) instead of just Bloom Township and college enrollment numbers increased across the country, the college was forced to relocate to our current location where there was room for expansion. The deal, however, ended up being quite complicated when it was discovered that the 70 acres were split into 200 lots that had to be purchased individually. Then there was the fact that construction on the current main campus building didn’t begin until 1972 and didn’t open until 1975.
To learn more about the history of Prairie State College, you can go to the About PSC page on the Prairie State website or search the Chicago Tribune Historical Archive available through the Prairie State College Library and search for “prairie state college”.