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Blackhawk Trails Club Records (Rockford)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Addendum 1

Addendum 2

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Blackhawk Trails Club Records (Rockford), 1926-2015 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Blackhawk Trails Club Records (Rockford), 1926-2015

ID: RHC/RC/133

Extent: 5.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 04/02/1981. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Blackhawk Trails Club, Hiking, Recreation, Rockford (Ill.)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Constitutions and by-laws, minutes, newsletters, bulletins, and club rosters document the organization and development of the Blackhawk Trails Club.  The complete series of minutes and newsletters detail the club’s business and recreational activities.  Included in the newsletters, Talk O’ The Trails (1931+), are gossip items, poetry, philosophical themes, presidents’ messages, and news items.  The bulletins supplement these records with additional writings on club activities.  Anniversary booklets provide a brief synopsis of the club’s history (Box 1, Folder 1).  Photo albums and scrapbooks from 1926-2001, newspaper clippings, and travel and banquet plans complete the collection.

Collection Historical Note

On January 26, 1926 Earle Ainsworth approached the Rockford Athletic Commission for assistance in starting a hiking club.  With the commission’s approval, Ainsworth began advertising the first hike for February 6, 1926--six men participated.  After the fourth hike, Ainsworth organized the first business meeting and the club elected Oscar Anderson president over 22 charter members.  

In June 1926 the group named the organization the Blackhawk Trails Club and in 1938 they incorporated.  Two hikes from the first year remain a part of the annual program; the Cherry Valley hike in spring and the pilgrimage to the Blackhawk Statue in Oregon in fall.  

In 1931 the group augmented the monthly bulletin with a newsletter entitled “Trails and Tributaries”.  The idea took hold and in 1932 a newsletter started coming out each month- “Talk O’ The Trails.” The club also instituted joint hikes with groups from Freeport and Milwaukee, had tennis tournaments, gave three-act plays to raise money, played bridge and golf, and sponsored annual Round-Ups. Today, the B1ackhawk Trails Club provides recreational entertainment to over 200 members through a healthy and popular sport--hiking.

Subject/Index Terms

Blackhawk Trails Club
Rockford (Ill.)

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: An addendum was added on December 19, 1988 by Austin Stadel and another on April 4, 2017 by Naomi Madden

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Ms. Katheryn Thorne

Acquisition Method: Ms. Katheryn Thorne, President, donated the Blackhawk Trails Club Records to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on April 2, 1981.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Addendum 1],
[Addendum 2],

Addendum 2
Box 5
Folder 1-11: Talk O' The Trails, Newsletters, 1988-1998
Box 6
Folder 1-17: Talk O' The Trails, Newsletters, 1999-2001
Box 7: Photo Albums (3), 1937, 1974-2001
Box 8: Scrapbooks (4), 1926-1944, 1957, 1971-1980

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Addendum 1],
[Addendum 2],

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