Illinois Historic Places

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Illinois Historic Places

There are many historic places in Illinois that are a short drive from Downtown St. Louis. Many are from the time when the French governed what was then called the "Illinois Country". The Historic Cahokia Courthouse is an example of French Creole architecture and was built in 1740. Another historic place with French ties is Fort de Chartres, a fort built in 1760 by the French to govern the Illinois Country. The reconstructed fort is located near the French founded community of Prairie du Rocher Illinois. Another historic location would be the Village of Leclaire. The entire village is on the National Register of Historic Places and was founded in 1890 by the entrepreneur N.O. Nelson who had a utopian vision to create a factory town with the workers' best interests in mind. Historic homes, cemeteries, museums, Native American sites, even the world's largest Catsup Bottle can all be found in the Metro East!

But what makes a building, structure or location "historic"? For the purpose of our list, we had several questions we asked. Did the location, structure or building have "history" happen there? Was the owner or a resident of the location, structure or building important to St. Louis history? Or was the location, structure or building itself important to St. Louis history? Has it been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and/or recognized as a St. Louis area "landmark"? Is it a museum highlighting some time period, person or place in St. Louis history?

Below is a list of almost fifty historic places that can be visited in Illinois. Some are free, others charge an admission fee and still others are private and can only be viewed from the street or by the owner's permission (please be courteous!). Spend a day visiting one or plot out an entire of day of historic places to visit! Enjoy! We did!

Alton Museum of History and Art

Alton Museum of History and Art - The Alton Museum of History and Art showcases the art and history of the citizens of the Alton area. It is located on the SIU Dental School campus in Alton Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62002, about, alton, attractions, civil-war, featured, historic, history, illinois, kids, madison, madison-county-info, museums, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois,Museums

Alton National Cemetery

Alton National Cemetery - The Alton National Cemetery is located adjacent to the Alton Cemetery and is where Union soldiers who died at the Alton Hospital are buried. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. - More Info - Tags: 62003, about, alton, attractions, cemetery, civil-war, featured, historic, illinois, locations, madison, national-register - Public Tags: 62003,Alton Illinois

Beall Manison

Beall Mansion - The Beall Mansion is a historic mansion located in Alton Illinois built in 1903 for Z.B. Job who was a railroad baron and entrepreneur. - More Info - Tags: 62002, alton, attractions, buildings, featured, historic, illinois, madison, madison-county-info, ziphome - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Brooks Catsup Bottle

Brooks Catsup Bottle - The Brooks Catsup Bottle, located in Collinsville Illinois, is the world's largest Catsup Bottle! It was also named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. An annual festival is held in July. - More Info - Tags: 62234, attractions, collinsville, featured, historic, illinois, july, landmark, madison, madison-county-info, st-louis-summer-things-to-do, structure, summer, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62234,Collinsville Illinois

Cahokia Mounds

Cahokia Mounds - Cahokia Mounds is an early Mississippian civilization archeological treasure! It is located in Collinsville Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62201, 62234, about, attractions, collinsville, featured, historic, history, illinois, kids, landmark, museums, native-american, st-clair-county-info, stclair, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62201,62234,Collinsville Illinois,Attractions,Museums

Camp River Dubois

Camp River Dubois - Information on Camp River Dubois, the winter camp for Lewis and Clark before the expedition began. Featured there is a museum with exhibitions including a 55-foot full scale replica of the keel boat and a replica of Fort. - More Info - Tags: 62048, attractions, buildings, featured, hartford, historic, history, illinois, kids, lewis-and-clark, madison, madison-county-info, museums, places, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62048,Hartford Illinois,Museums

Chain of Rocks Bridge

Chain of Rocks Bridge-Route 66 Bikeway - The old Chain of Rocks Bridge, once the route of Historic Route 66, has been transformed into the Route 66 Bikeway that is a little over a 1 mile long paved trail on the bridge, crossing the Mississippi River and connecting the St. Louis Riverfront Trail with the MCT Confluence Trail (via Chain of Rocks Road) in Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62040, 63137, attractions, biking, family, featured, granite-city, historic, historic-route-66, illinois, kids, madison, madison-county-illinois-recreation, madison-county-info, missouri, national-register, northside, recreation, riverview-neighborhood, st-louis-city-info, stlcity, structure, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62040,63137,City of St Louis Missouri,Granite City Illinois,Recreation

Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House

Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House - Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House was the home of founders of Edwardsville Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62025, about, attractions, buildings, edwardsville, featured, historic, illinois, landmark, madison, madison-county-info, museums, ziphome - Public Tags: 62025,Edwardsville Illinois,Museums

Confederate Prison Alton Illinois

Confederate Prison/Alton Federal Military Prison - The ruins of the Alton Federal Military Prison, also known as the Confederate Prison, is located in Alton Illinois and was used during the Civil War to house Confederate Prisoners. - More Info - Tags: 62002, about, alton, attractions, buildings, civil-war, featured, historic, illinois, madison, madison-county-info - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Creole House

Creole House - The Creole House is located in Prairie du Rocher Illinois and was built in 1800 in the French Creole architectural style of Poteaux-en-terre (vertical post in the ground). It is on the National Register of Historical Places. - More Info - Tags: 62277, attractions, buildings, creole, featured, french, historic, illinois, landmark, prairie-du-rocher, randolph - Public Tags: 62277,Prairie du Rocher Illinois

Eads Bridge in early morning fog

Eads Bridge St. Louis - The Eads Bridge was opened to traffic in 1874 and is named after its designer, James Buchanan Eads, who was also the designer and builder of the "ironclad" gun boats during the Civil War. - More Info - Tags: 63102, downtown, historic, illinois, landmark, missouri, riverfront, st-louis-city-info, stlcity, structure, ziphome - Public Tags: 63102,City of St Louis Missouri,Downtown St Louis

Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument

Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument - The Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument is located at the Alton Cemetery and was placed to honor the outspoken and martyred abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy who is buried there. - More Info - Tags: 62002, about, african-american, alton, attractions, featured, historic, illinois, madison, structure - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Emma Kunz House

Emma Kunz House - Information on the Emma Kunz House is a restored 1830s home that is modeled after the German street homes that were built in Europe during the 19th-century is located in Belleville Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62220, about, attractions, belleville, buildings, featured, historic, illinois, museums, st-clair-county-info, stclair, ziphome - Public Tags: 62220,Belleville Illinois,Museums

Fort de Chartres

Fort de Chartres - Fort de Chartres is located in Prairie du Rocher Illinois. The stone fort was built by the French to govern the Illinois Country in 1760. Today a portion of the fort is reconstructed. - More Info - Tags: 62277, attractions, creole, day-trips, featured, french, historic, history, illinois, locations, prairie-du-rocher, randolph, st-louis-off-the-beaten-path, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62277,Prairie du Rocher Illinois

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site - Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is located near Ellis Grove Illinois. The earthworks are all that remains of the fort that was built by the French in 1703 to protect the town of Kaskaskia. - More Info - Tags: 62241, attractions, creole, ellis-grove, featured, french, historic, history, illinois, lewis-and-clark, locations, randolph, st-louis-off-the-beaten-path, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62241,Ellis Grove Illinois

Glen Carbon Heritage Museum

Glen Carbon Heritage Museum - Information on the Glen Carbon Heritage Museum featuring the history of Glen Carbon Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62034, about, attractions, featured, glen-carbon, historic, illinois, madison, museums, ziphome - Public Tags: 62034,Glen Carbon Illinois,Museums

Greater St Louis Air and Space Museum

Greater St Louis Air and Space Museum - The Greater St Louis Air and Space Museum is located in Cahokia Illinois at the St Louis Downtown Airport in the one of the two historic Curtiss-Wright Hangers. - More Info - Tags: 62206, about, attractions, cahokia, featured, historic, illinois, museums, st-clair-county-info, stclair, ziphome - Public Tags: 62206,Cahokia Illinois,Museums

Historic Alton, Illinois

Historic Alton Illinois - Alton, Illinois has been the location of many historic events in the history of the United States. - More Info - Tags: 62002, about, alton, attractions, day-trips, fall-season, featured, ghosts, halloween, historic, history, illinois, madison, madison-county-info, st-louis-fall-things-to-do, towns, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Historic Cahokia Courthouse

Historic Cahokia Courthouse - The Historic Cahokia Courthouse was built in 1740 and is an example of French Creole architecture, one of the few examples left in the United States. It is located in St Clair County in Cahokia Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62206, about, attractions, buildings, cahokia, creole, featured, french, historic, history, illinois, landmark, lewis-and-clark, museums, st-clair-county-info, st-louis-off-the-beaten-path, stclair, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62206,Cahokia Illinois,Museums

Historic Elsah Illinois

Historic Elsah Illinois - Elsah, Illinois was founded in 1853 by General James Semple who came from Kentucky and is located off of the Great River Road, through the opening in the bluffs between Mt. Radiance and Mt. Pisgua. - More Info - Tags: 62028, about, attractions, day-trips, elsah, featured, historic, illinois, jersey, st-louis-off-the-beaten-path, towns, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62028,Elsah Illinois

Historic Grafton Illinois

Historic Grafton Illinois - The history of Grafton, Illinios is tied to the two rivers, the Illinios and the Mississippi, that come together at this town's riverside location. - More Info - Tags: 62037, about, attractions, day-trips, featured, grafton, historic, illinois, jersey, towns, ziphome - Public Tags: 62037,Grafton Illinois

Historic Holy Family Log Church

Historic Holy Family Log Church - The Historic Holy Family Log Church is located in Cahokia Illinois, and is an example of late 1700's French Creole architecture. - More Info - Tags: 62206, attractions, buildings, cahokia, catholic, church, creole, featured, french, historic, illinois, landmark, stclair, worship, ziphome - Public Tags: 62206,Cahokia Illinois,Church

Historic Leclaire Village

Historic Leclaire Village - The historic village of Leclaire was founded in 1890 by N.O. Nelson who had a vision to create a factory town. The entire village is on the National Register of Historic Places. This is a part of Edwardsville Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62025, attractions, edwardsville, featured, historic, illinois, locations, madison, madison-county-info, national-register, places, ziphome - Public Tags: 62025,Edwardsville Illinois

Maeystown Illinois

Historic Maeystown Illinois - Maeystown Illinois is located in Southern Illinois in Monroe County. Maeystown, founded in 1852 by German immigrants, holds several annual events such as Oktoberfest, Fruehlingsfest and Fastnacht. - More Info - Tags: 62256, about, attractions, day-trips, featured, german, historic, illinois, landmark, maeystown, monroe, monroe-county-info, national-register, st-louis-off-the-beaten-path, towns, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62256,Maeystown Illinois

Jarrot Mansion

Jarrot Mansion - The Jarrot Mansion, home of the French entrepreneur Nicholas Jarrot, was built in 1807 and is one of the oldest masonry buildings in the state of Illinois and a National Historic Landmark. - More Info - Tags: 62206, attractions, buildings, cahokia, creole, featured, french, historic, illinois, landmark, lewis-and-clark, st-clair-county-info, stclair, ziphome - Public Tags: 62206,Cahokia Illinois

Katherine Dunham Museum

Katherine Dunham Museum - The Katherine Dunham Museum is located in East St Louis Illinois and houses extensive collections of costumes, mementos and art of Miss Dunham's. - More Info - Tags: 62201, african-american, attractions, east-st-louis, featured, historic, illinois, museums, st-clair-county-info, stclair, ziphome - Public Tags: 62201,East St Louis Illinois,Museums

Labor and Industry Museum

Labor and Industry Museum - The Labor and Industry Museum chronicles the contributions the Belleville Illinois area made to the nation's industrial movement. - More Info - Tags: 62220, about, attractions, belleville, featured, historic, illinois, museums, st-clair-county-info, stclair, ziphome - Public Tags: 62220,Belleville Illinois,Museums

Lewis and Clark Community College

Lewis and Clark Community College - Lewis and Clark Community College is a 2 year college located in Godfrey Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 2year, 62035, about, college, colleges, education, illinois, junior-colleges, madison, madison-county-info, new-years-day, sports, ziphome, historic - Public Tags: 62035

Lincoln Douglas Square

Lincoln Douglas Square - The Lincoln Douglas Square, located in Alton Illinois, is the exact location where the debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place when both were campaigning for the same US Senate seat in 1858. - More Info - Tags: 62002, about, alton, attractions, featured, historic, illinois, locations, madison, madison-county-info, ziphome - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Lindbergh Relay Station

Lindbergh Relay Station - The Lindbergh Relay Station in Godfrey Illinois was once used to assist pilots, including Charles Lindbergh, who needed a layover along the Chicago-St Louis Mail route. - More Info - Tags: 62035, attractions, buildings, featured, godfrey, historic, illinois, madison, madison-county-info - Public Tags: 62035,Godfrey Illinois

Martin-Boismenue House

Martin-Boismenue House - Information on the Martin-Boismenue House, a French Creole home built in 1790 in East Carondelet Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62240, about, attractions, buildings, creole, east-carondelet, featured, french, historic, illinois, museums, st-clair-county-info, stclair, ziphome - Public Tags: 62240,East Carondelet Illinois,Museums

Maryville Heritage Museum

Maryville Heritage Museum - The Maryville Heritage Museum features items that showcase the history of the citizens of Maryville Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62062, about, attractions, featured, historic, illinois, madison, madison-county-info, maryville, museums, ziphome - Public Tags: 62062,Maryville Illinois,Museums

McKendree University

McKendree University - McKendree University is a 4 year liberal arts college. It is the oldest college in the state of Illinois and is located in Lebanon Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 4year, 62254, about, college, colleges, education, featured, graduate, historic, illinois, metro, sports, st-clair-county-info, stclair, university, ziphome - Public Tags: 62254

Modoc Rock Shelter National Historic Site

Modoc Rock Shelter National Historic Site - The Modoc Rock Shelter National Historic Site is an archaic site where Native Americans, beginning 9,000 years ago, found shelter and protection from the elements under the cliffs. Located near Modoc Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62277, about, attractions, featured, historic, illinois, locations, modoc, native-american, randolph - Public Tags: 62277,Modoc Illinois

North Alton Confederate Cemetery

North Alton Confederate Cemetery - The North Alton Confederate Cemetery is the final resting place of 1,354 Confederate soldiers who died while in prison in Alton Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62002, alton, attractions, cemetery, civil-war, featured, historic, illinois, locations, madison, madison-county-info, ziphome - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Old Fire Engine Museum

Old Fire Engine Museum - The Old Fire Engine Museum is located in Granite City Illinois chronicles the history of firefighting. - More Info - Tags: 62040, about, attractions, featured, granite-city, historic, illinois, madison, madison-county-info, museums, ziphome - Public Tags: 62040,Granite City Illinois,Museums

Old Six Mile Museum in the Emmert-Zippel House

Old Six Mile Museum in the Emmert-Zippel House - Information on the Old Six Mile Museum in the Emmert-Zippel House located in Granite City Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62040, about, attractions, featured, granite-city, historic, illinois, madison, madison-county-info, museums, national-register, ziphome - Public Tags: 62040,Granite City Illinois,Museums

Peterstown House

Peterstown House - Peterstown House is the last remaining stagecoach stop on the Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail and is located in Waterloo Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62298, about, attractions, buildings, featured, historic, illinois, landmark, monroe, monroe-county-info, waterloo, ziphome - Public Tags: 62298,Waterloo Illinois

Piasa Bird Monument

Piasa Bird - The Piasa Bird is a legendary bird-like creature that, according to legend, terrorized the Illni Indian tribes long before any European settlers came to the Alton area. - More Info - Tags: 62002, about, alton, attractions, featured, historic, illinois, landmark, locations, madison, madison-county-illinois-parks, madison-county-info, native-american, ziphome - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Pierre Menard Home Historic Site

Pierre Menard Home Historic Site - The Pierre Menard Home Historic Site is located in Ellis Grove Illinois. The home was built around 1815 by Pierre Menard, the first Lieutenant Governor of the then new State of Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62241, attractions, buildings, creole, ellis-grove-illinois, featured, french, historic, history, illinois, landmark, randolph, st-louis-off-the-beaten-path, ttd, ziphome, national - Public Tags: 62241,Ellis Grove Illinois

Prairie du Rocher

Prairie du Rocher - Prairie du Rocher is located in Randolph County Illinois and was settled as a French farming community in 1722. - More Info - Tags: 62277, attractions, creole, day-trips, featured, french, historic, history, illinois, prairie-du-rocher, randolph, st-louis-off-the-beaten-path, towns, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: 62277,Prairie du Rocher Illinois

Robert Wadlow

Robert Wadlow - Robert Wadlow was born and lived in Alton Illinois and is the tallest known man in the world at the height of 8 feet 11 inches. - More Info - Tags: 62002, about, alton, attractions, featured, historic, illinois, madison, people, ziphome - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Springfield Illinois - Springfield, Illinois has served as its state capital since 1837 when Abraham Lincoln and eight other legislators pushed to have it moved to Springfield from Vandalia. - More Info - Tags: about, attractions, day-trips, featured, government, historic, illinois, st-louis-off-the-beaten-path, towns, ttd, ziphome - Public Tags: Springfield Illinois

St Clair County Historical Society

St Clair County Historical Society - Information on the St Clair County Historical Society which houses information and artifacts about the St Clair County Illinois area. - More Info - Tags: 62220, about, attractions, belleville, featured, historic, illinois, museums, st-clair-county-info, stclair, ziphome - Public Tags: 62220,Belleville Illinois,Museums

Village of Elsah Museum

Village of Elsah Museum - The Village of Elsah Museum chronicles the history of the village from its founding in 1853. - More Info - Tags: 62028, about, attractions, elsah, featured, historic, illinois, jersey, museums, ziphome - Public Tags: 62028,Elsah Illinois,Museums

Wood River Massacre Memorial

Wood River Massacre Memorial - The Wood River Massacre Memorial is located in Alton Illinois, near the location of the massacre of 7 people in 1814 by a band of renegade Indians. - More Info - Tags: 62002, alton, attractions, featured, historic, historical-events, history, illinois, madison, madison-county-info, native-american, ziphome - Public Tags: 62002,Alton Illinois

Wood River Museum and Visitor's Center

Wood River Museum and Visitor's Center - Information on the Wood River Museum and Visitor's Center which is free to the public. - More Info - Tags: 62095, about, attractions, featured, historic, illinois, madison, madison-county-info, museums, wood-river, ziphome - Public Tags: 62095,Museums,Wood River Illinois

Wood River Refinery History Museum

Wood River Refinery History Museum - Information on the Wood River Refinery History Museum which chronicles the history of the refinery since 1917. - More Info - Tags: 62084, about, attractions, featured, historic, illinois, madison, madison-county-info, museums, roxana, ziphome - Public Tags: 62084,Museums,Roxana Illinois

Yanda Log Cabin

Yanda Log Cabin - The Yanda Log Cabin was built in 1853 by William Yanda, who became the blacksmith of Glen Carbon Illinois. - More Info - Tags: 62034, attractions, buildings, featured, glen-carbon, historic, illinois, landmark, madison, madison-county-info - Public Tags: 62034,Glen Carbon Illinois