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, 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, 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 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, 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, Collinsville Illinois, Attractions, Museums
Camp River Dubois
Camp River Dubois - The Camp River Dubois was 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, 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, 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 one of the founders of Edwardsville, Illinois. - More Info 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, 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, 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, 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 National Cemetery and was placed to honor the outspoken and martyred abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy who is buried there. - More Info Tags: 62002, Alton Illinois
Emma Kunz House
Emma Kunz House - 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 and is located in Belleville, Illinois. - More Info 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 has been reconstructed. - More Info 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, 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, 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 one of the two historic Curtiss-Wright Hangers. - More Info 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, 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, 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, Elsah Illinois

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