The state of Illinois has a deep history of Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s first road and the rich farming traditions. Check out some of these great locations to learn more about how life used to be in ILLINOISouth.
Historic Sites in Southern Illinois
Fort de Chartres, Prairie du Rocher
This 1750’s French Colonial fort is a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. The fort is home to many events throughout the year including Kids Day, seasonal Rendezvous and holiday events. If you have time, and an appointment, you can also visit The Creole House. This home was built in 1800 and is an example of French and American architecture.
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site, Ellis Grove
Head out to Randolph County to see the scenic overlook of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia River and of Old Kaskaskia. This is a great spot for a picnic and to take in the gorgeous views of these rivers. While you are visiting also check out the Kaskaskia Bell Shrine and the Liberty Bell of the West.
Lincoln Trail Memorial, Lawrenceville
This memorial celebrates President Abraham Lincoln and his family as they passed from Indiana into Illinois. Lawrenceville is also home to the Lawrence County Historical Museum that showcases Lawrence County artifacts as well as models of the oil field industry. Make sure to check the hours for the museum before you stop by.
Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site, Vandalia
The city of Vandalia served as one the first state capitol and is the oldest capitol building remaining in Illinois. The building is available for tours to show visitors where President Abraham Lincoln started his political career. Also, visit the National Road Interpretive Center while you are in town and see the Madonna of the Trail Statue honoring the pioneer women who traveled the National Road.
For a full list of all historic sites located in our 23 counties, please click here.
History Museums in Southern Illinois
History Museum of Monroe County, Waterloo
Visitors are invited to enjoy a collection of western memorabilia, antiques, historical artifacts and more.
Enjoy static displays of trains and see them in action as they run through the entire building. Learn more about how trains shaped the region and helped communities.
Hanna House Museum, Fairfield
This museum shows visitors several special exhibits including military, oil boom, medicine, and farming items.
For a full list of all the museums in our territory, please click here.
Sign up for our mailing list to receive more information about history in our area or click here to request your FREE 2018 Visitors Guide. This is a commemorative issue to celebrate Illinois’ Bicentennial year and features the history of our territory and how we came to be the largest CVB in the state representing 23 counties.