McDonough County This Week

For all of this story and more news from November 26 2006, see the PDF version of McDonough County: This Week.

Gone but not forgotten, Website chronicles history of defunct Illinois high schools

By JONATHAN MOHR, Eagle Staff Writer

The trip down memory lane back to the “glory days” of the high school years begins at the nearest computer. WIU graduate Dave Nanninga and a staff of four associates, including Macomb radio personality Beau Spencer, have created a Web site,, that chronicles the history of more than 550 deactivated high schools in Illinois.

Each school has its own individual page with photos, names, dates, memories, athletic records and events, and in some cases, the school’s fight song, which automatically plays when the user clicks on the link.

“There’s no information too trivial,” Nanninga said. “If it was important to someone that went to their school and it was a great memory for them … we want to put any of those types of things on there.” The site includes pages for several McDonough County area institutions, including Western High, Bardolph High, Bushnell High, Colchester High, Tennessee High School, Good Hope High, SciotaNorthwestern, Roseville, Industry High, Ipava High, Table Grove High, Littleton and others.

And the site continues to grow as new schools are added. Nanninga maintains a “to do” list on the site that currently lists 66 schools – many in the Chicago area – that he and his team want information about.

“It’s forever evolving,” Nanninga said. “Once we add a school on, we’ll add onto that page forever. As long as people keep sending us information, we’ll keep adding on to it.”