In The News

Smithsonian exhibit in Cobden features ‘Hometown Teams’

This article originally appeared in The Southern

COBDEN — “Hometown Teams,” the newest Smithsonian traveling exhibit, is coming to The Union County Museum.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the debut of the exhibit will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 1.

Cobden is the first location site from the six that were chosen for Illinois.

“Hometown Teams” is part of a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Illinois Humanities Council.

The interactive exhibit is designed to capture the connection between towns and their sport’s teams. The display will feature artifacts and stories that will provide audiences with a chance to explore how historical championship runs, rivalries, traditions, individuals and teams can leave an indelible mark on a community.

While the exhibit is national in theme, the museum will present displays on local teams and sport’s.

Photos and artifacts on display feature the history of athletics in Union County and Southern Illinois from Gorham to Goreville, the 1984 Anna-Jonesboro football team, African-American basketball teams and girls 4-H teams.

All of the winning Cobden Appleknocker teams are represented as well. Many of the items have never been on display and some date back to the early 1900s

Museum volunteers researched a variety of sports-themed topics and the research presents new perspectives on the significance athletics played in the lives of Southern Illinoisans.

The exhibit will be featured at the museum through April 13.

Extended hours for the exhibit will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

In conjunction with the exhibit a series of programs will be offered including: March 2 — Sports in the Civilian Conservation Corps Camps; March 9 — Independent and Merchant Baseball Teams; March 16 — African-American Basketball Teams; March 23 — 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Appleknockers Basketball Team; March 30–Women in Southern Illinois Sports and April 6 — Building Community Through Sports. All the programs are at 2 p.m. Sunday in the St. Joseph Church Hall, 103 N. Centennial and West Ash streets.

“This is not only a great honor for the museum to be selected as a site but for Southern Illinois. I cannot stress the importance of this exhibit and what it means for the region,” said Historical Society president Patrick Brumleve.

The museum is operated by the Union County Historical and Genealogy Society and is located at 117 S. Appleknocker Drive in downtown Cobden.

Cobden is the only deep Southern Illinois location that will host the exhibit.

For more information contact the Union County Museum at 618-893-2865 or 618-893-2567.