W.A. McCONNELL FOUNDATION
The Path to the Future Is Paved by Our Past
A wooden bridge. A bonafide historic Main Street. An original farmstead. A life-giving creek. Working farms and silos. An oak tree. Centuries-old resting places marking those who have gone before us.
When pioneer William McConnell set his gaze upon the North branch of the Nippersink Creek after travelling from Pennsyvania, he quickly knew this was the place he wanted to call home and start his family. McConnell slept under an oak tree that first night. A carpenter by trade, he soon built a small log cabin next to the shallow winding creek, laid claim to a plot of land, and shortly thereafter married Elizabeth Bodine. While raising three sons, McConnell acted as postmaster, commissioner, and judge, along with founding the Richmond Bank and several other businesses. William McConnell was a prominent and busy man, but he always found time to give back to his community.
William McConnell passed away in 1887, but his legacy lives on in our community and in the original mid-19th century relics sprinkled in and around the town. Our quaint, unique village is known throughout the region for its historic buildings, unique character, and quaint charm not found in most other suburban Illinois towns. Mention Richmond to a friend, and you’ll likely hear a story about a special purchase at an antique store, a sweet treat from Anderson’s Candy Shoppe, or the old-timey charm of historic buildings that line Main Street.
The W.A. McConnell Foundation strives to honor the legacy that Richmond was built upon long ago. We invite you to join us in preserving and celebrating Richmond’s unique heritage.
Because the path to the future is paved by our past.
Wooden Bridge Named as Top Endangered Site
On May 4, 2023, Richmond's Wooden Bridge was named as one of the 2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois by Landmarks Illinois! This designation is well-deserved and, we hope, will help to secure proper maintenance and preservation of this iconic community landmark.
Find the full info here: www.landmarks.org/preservation-programs/most-endangered-historic-places-in-illinois/
What are some ways you can help?
Talk to our local decision makers
Think of any connections you have to trades professionals
Keep your eyes out for available grants
Make a donation
Send us your favorite memories or historic photos
Educate others on the bridge's historical significance
Follow us on Facebook!
Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to save Richmond's oldest standing building, Old No. 90, built by Charles Cotting around 1844. Initial preservation plans include stabilization of the foundation, as water along the sidewalk has caused detioration and movement.
Our site is still under construction. We appreciate your patience!