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Race Riot Site Eligible for National Park System

The National Park Service (NPS) has determined that the archeological site associated with the 1908 Springfield Race Riot meets all criteria for inclusion in the National Park System. The site, located near Madison Street and the 10th Street Rail Corridor, holds historical significance.

During the construction of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project in 2014, archaeologists unearthed the remains of seven homes destroyed during the race riot. Five of these homes, preserved since 1908, qualify for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Their construction in the mid-1840s adds to their historical value.

“The City of Springfield is pleased to receive the news the National Park Service has delivered the 1908 Race Riot Special Resource Study to the U. S. Congress,” said Mayor Misty Buscher. “The results of the study further reiterates the historical significance the 1908 Race Riot had on not only on our community, but our country. The City of Springfield looks forward to working with all our partners to continue to move project forward to ultimately commemorate and preserve the memory of the events of August 14, 1908.”

The City of Springfield, along with the NPS, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), and the Springfield NAACP, has been involved in the study and project for multiple years. They explored not only the burned homes but also other riot-related sites and buildings.

Pending approval, an outdoor memorial honoring the 1908 Race Riot will be established on Madison Street between 9th and 11th streets. The foundations of the five preserved homes will serve as a poignant reminder of the tragic events. HSHS has generously donated land near their St. John's Women and Children's Clinic for project parking.


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