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"The Sangamo" ...what is it? "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 665
"The Sangamo" ...what is it?

Illinois watch admirers may be interested in the accompanying picture of The Sangamo, Springfield, Illinois. Are there any comments, explanations, please?

John Scott

IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle


In speaking with several people around Springfield earlier today we were able to put some information together. The Sangamo Club of Springfield which has been around since the 1800s was apparently the original occupant of the "The Sangamo Building" depicted on your post card. Today it is occupied by the Illinois Municipal League of Springfield, and a wonderfully helpful woman from there graciously offered to take pictures for me and send them along. One of those images she sent to me earlier today is shown immediately below this message.

Springfield is located in Sangamon County, Illinois the name for which was derived from the river of the same name which runs through it. Some say the Native American word Sain-guee-mon (pronounced "sang gä mun") means "where there is plenty to eat." That leads to tales of Chief Sangamo who as legend has it was Chief of the Illini Tribe and all that eventually leads to our Sangamo Specials some related Illinois watches and other products. This article "Why Sangamon?" and some quotes from it may be of special interest.


The Sangamo Building at 500 East Capitol Avenue as it looks today...

IHC Member 665

You have been to quite some trouble to track down valuable information to extend our understanding of the background to the naming of the prestige Illinois railroad watch. Efficient work, as ever!

It is particularly pleasing to know that the building that housed the Sangamo Club is not only still standing but well preserved. The architects have been at work above the front door but they haven't done a bad job.

Evidently the grade name Sangamo given to the watch reflected local pride and prestige. It is intriguing that the quality of the product could have been so great that the aura was able to spread far and wide.

John Scott
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