J. C. Blair - Fort Massac - Metropolis, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 08.634 W 088° 42.720
16S E 347954 N 4112207
Quick Description: Horticultural Professor who worked for State Parks.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/14/2009 11:25:37 AM
Waymark Code: WM7NKQ
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Stunod
Views: 4

Long Description:

Marker Text:


In recognition of the efforts of Joseph Cullen Blair (1871-1960) to preserve and beautify the State of Illinois through the establishment of Fort Massac State Park and the Illinois State park System.

J. C. Blair is credited as the "Father of the Illinois State Park System" for his role in establishing Illinois's first state park at Fort Massac. After a trip on horseback through Southern Illinois in the summer of 1896, Blair returned to Urbana, Illinois to begin his first semester as a professor of horticulture at the University of Illinois. He had been struck by the beauty and historical importance of Fort Massac, and the photographs he took became part of lectures to students, civic and community groups about preserving the Fort Massac site as a state park. Members of the Bloomington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution were impressed by his ideas and took it upon themselves to help Blair create the first state park in Illinois. In 1903, DAR members Julia Scott and Letitia Green Stevenson promoted a bill drafted by Blair to members of the Illinois Legislature. It passed unanimously, and in 1908, Fort Massac State Park was dedicated.

Blair went on to become a proponent of parks and green spaces both statewide and in his own community. He was a driving force in establishing the Urbana Park District in 1907 and served as a commissioner for more than 40 years. He helped beautify Urbana and the University of Illinois by planting more than 6,000 trees. He was the first president of the Illinois Association of Park District in 1928, and he served as dean of the College of Agriculture in 1938-39.

County: Massac County

Historical Society: Illinois Association of Parks, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Location: sidewalk to Visitors Center, Fort Massac, Metropolis

Website: [Web Link]

Dedication Date: Not listed

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BONSAIRAD visited J. C.  Blair - Fort Massac - Metropolis, IL 12/5/2020 BONSAIRAD visited it
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