Hometown favorites: 3 places that make Springfield special

Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen



Sometimes, the most fascinating things about your hometown are hiding in plain sight.

Here are three local landmarks you may want to visit so you can rediscover their magic all over again — or see them for the first time.

1. The Hartman Rock Garden

The restored Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield will be dedicated on June 26. Staff Photo by Barbara J. Perenic

Credit: Barbara J. Perenic

Credit: Barbara J. Perenic

Started in 1932 by Harry George “Ben” Hartman, the Hartman Rock Garden, located at 1905 Russell Ave., started as a single stone pond. Hartman, who had been laid off from his job as a molder, soon began building other things from rocks, bits of metal, concrete and anything else he came across, creating a stunningly detailed garden world unique in its own right.

Now, after 85 years, the garden still welcomes tourists from all over the world to see the intricate creations inside what Hartman’s wife, Mary, called a “garden of love.”

» READ MORE: Hartman Rock Garden gaining solid ground as tourist draw

2. George Rogers Clark Park

George Rogers Clark Park, Springfield (Courtesy of iWitness 7 Contributor Eric Wright)

The George Rogers Clark Park has a unique history, set on the site where the Battle of Peckuwe was fought and won by Clark in 178re0 near the end of the Revolutionary War.

Now the park, which can be found at 936 South Tecumseh Road, plays host to a quiet atmosphere with many natural trails, scenic waterways, and an open lake. The park is also the site of the Fair at New Boston every Labor Day weekend, which allows visitors to enjoy an 18th Century atmosphere and learn about the history of the time.

» READ MORE: Clark County has plenty of local recreation options

3. The Pennsylvania House

The Pennsylvania House at 1311 W. Main Street. The Springfield Historic Landmarks Commission passed a resolution of support for a special panel to identify a list of potential buildings and sites for designation as local landmarks. The Pennsylvannia House is already designated a local landmark. Bill Lackey/Staff

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The Pennsylvania House, originally constructed in 1839, was a vital part of the National Road before trains became a major option for settling the western frontier. Travelers used the site to rest on their journeys, and the inn there is said to have housed famous historical figures such as Charles Dickens and James K. Polk.

It is now part of the National Historic Register and operates as a museum located at 1311 W. Main Street and houses many artifacts of the past, from an extensive button collection to its own architecture. The museum is only open from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from March through December and is closed on all major holidays. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for students.

» LEARN MORE: Pennsylvania House Museum