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. It was originally very prosperous as a shipping town for the goods produced by the local farmers. Later Principia College became an important influence in its revitalization.
The Village of Elsah, nestled in its valley, is an excellent example of a 19th century Midwestern village with its stone cottages, most of which are built in the Greek Revival style of architecture. Many of the original structures are still standing in the village and have been restored or preserved with care over the century. The whole town was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Today, the Village of Elsah is popular with visitors who come to the area for Bald Eagle watching or for the fall colors, as well as those who bike along the Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail. Several Bed and Breakfasts are located in Elsah and during the month of December, the town holds an annual house tour.
Historic Elsah Illinois
Elsah, Illinois 62028
Civic Center: 618-374-1568