And Historical Resources
Association of State & Local History
The American Association for State and Local History
provides leadership service, and support for its members, who preserve
and interpret state and local history in order to make the past
more meaningful in American Society.
Art On The Square
on the Square is intended to foster the appreciation of the visual
and performing arts to a diverse public by presenting an exhibit
and sale of fine art, providing educational and enjoyable workshops
for children and promoting the importance of the creative process.
This commitment includes providing these goals free of charge, not
only for entertainment, but also to educate the residents of Southwestern
Illinois - A Pictorial History And Tribute
History of Belleville Illinois in pictures. Street views, The Square,
The Courthouse, City Hall, Scott Air Force Base, Churches, Schools,
Hospitals, Hotels and Motels, Other Places of Interest.
Illinois Main Street is modeled after a program developed by the National
Trust for Historic Preservation. It is tailored for communities under
50,000 in population and is under the direction of the State Lt. Governor's
Office. The program draws on a community's architectural and historical
resources. Its major goal is the revitalization of downtown areas. Heritage
tourism is recognized as an important player. Belleville became a Main
Street Community in 1998. The executive director is Rick Ortiz.
Web Site: www.bellevillemainstreet.net
Belleville Public Library
The Belleville Public Library is the oldest subscription library in
the State of Illinois. Belleville, a community with a strong German
heritage, owes this distinction to a group of educated German immigrants
known as the "Latin Farmers". On June 26, 1836, they pooled their
books and housed them in a place easily accessible to the public.
The German Library Society of St. Clair County was organized. As to
be expected, much of the original collection of 346 volumes is in
German. At a City Council meeting on February 5, 1883, the decision
was made to acquire the holdings of the Saengerbund and Library Society's
collection of 6,000 volumes. Along with that decision came the establishment
of a tax of one mill (1/10 of a cent) on the dollar to support the
Library is housed in a Carnegie library building dedicated on January
20, 1916, which is located at 121 E. Washington St.
Web Site: www.belleville.net
Public Library Page
Sister Cities, Inc.
Germany, became Belleville's Sister City in 1990. The aim of this organization
is to encourage travel and communication between the two countries in
order to strengthen cross-cultural relationships. It sponsors a summer
youth program with financial assistance for young adults between the ages
of 16 and 19. To support this program, Belleville Sister Cities participates
in various festivals and sponsors "A Taste of Germany" each fall.
wishing to contact Belleville Sister Cities, Inc. may do so by e-mail.
Macklin, Membership Chairman:
Tourism is an arm of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce located
at 216 East A St., Belleville, IL, 62220. Belleville Tourism publishes
an annual Calendar of Events for Belleville. The brochure also includes
sites in Belleville and the Belleville area, i.e., The National
Shrine of our Lady of the Snows, Eckerts Country Store and Farms,
Cathedral of St. Peter, Historic Lincoln Theater, and Scott Air
Force Base. A map and a Hotel/B&B Directory are also included.
Cathleen Lindauer 618-233-2015 or 800-677-9255
East Artists Guild
Guild, a non-for-profit organization founded over 30 years ago,
is open to any professional or non-professional artist 18 years
of age or older. Members create and display art and help promote
the arts throughout the community by providing educational opportunities
and shows. The Gateway East Artists Guild meets the first Wednesday
of each month at the Broadway Center of Arts, 124 E. Main St., Belleville.
information on guild programs and workshops for 2003 contact Patty
Kampmann 618-234-9812; for theatre productions and art exhibits
at the Broadway Center of the Arts contact Kathy Mordini at 618-233-0431.
Preservation Commission, City of Belleville
by City Ordinance in 1972. The purpose of the Commission as defined
by City Ordinance #3154 is to "identify and inventory those places,
areas and buildings having special historical, cultural or aesthetic
interest or value and to prepare for consideration by the City Council
such proposed legislation as may be necessary to insure preservation
and continued utilization of the places and objects so identified."
The volunteer citizen board reviews all exterior changes in historic
districts so designated by the City Council.
large portion of the near north and south side of the residential
areas beyond E. Main St. was placed on the National Register of
Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior in 1976.
In December 2002, the City Council adopted a "Design Guideline
Manual" to assist homeowners with exterior changes to their
homes. A copy is available for reference at the Belleville Public
Library, 2nd Floor Reference Department, the City Zoning Office
and the Office of Economic Development.
To further promote Belleville's downtown area and century-old
residential neighborhoods, the Commission sponsors "Old Belleville
Days" which is held annually the third Saturday in May.
Contact the Belleville Zoning Office or the Economic Development
Office at City Hall at 618-233-6810.
Belleville Historic District"
1974 the "Old Belleville Historic District" was formed and expanded
In 1991 the "Hexenbuckel Historic District" was established.
1995 the "Oakland Historic District" was established.
Association Of Museums
Illinois Association of Museums is an independent statewide network
of art, history, and science museums, historical and genealogical
societies, zoos, nature centers, arboreta, and other cultural agencies.
primary purpose of the Association is to facilitate the exchange
of ideas and methods among member organizations in Illinois who
share goals relating to preservation and interpretation of history,
prehistory, natural and built environments, and social scientific,
cultural and/or artistic endeavors.
The Illinois Heritage Association perpetuates the
history and heritage of Illinois by providing professional services
to educational institutions, local government bodies and nonprofit
agencies. It recognizes the contribution of people and nature to
the shaping of the cultural heritage of the state of Illinois. In
furthering such such purposes, the Illinois Heritage Association
researches and documents the history of Illinois, makes available
the services of qualified personnel to assist with the needs of
agencies entrusted with the perpetuation of Illinois history, provides
educational services and benefits to the public, and builds coalitions
with other groups that have similar objectives.
Historic Preservation Agency
The Agency operates 60 state-owned historic sites
and memorials, ranging from prehistoric Native American to the Vietnam
War, that are visited by nearly three million people each year.
We administer all state and federal historic preservation and incentive
programs in Illinois, including the National Register of Historic
56 years the Illinois History Magazine has been available to young
people as an opportunity to be published. Belleville high school
students traditionally write for Ilinois History Magazine which
will be available only on line beginning in 2003.
Labor History Society
Purpose of the Illinois Labor History Society is to encourage the
preservation and study of labor history materials of the Illinois
Region, and to arouse public interest in the profound significance
of the past to the present.
Koerner House Restoration
Gustave Koerner House Restoration Committee is dedicated to the restoration
of Belleville's Gustave Koerner home, on Mascoutah Avenue at Abend Street.
Once complete, the home will be opened as a museum, where Koerner's life
and political career will be interpreted. This site contains information
about Koerner's life and the progress of the home restoration project.
restoration of Belleville's Gustave Koerner home, on Mascoutah Avenue
at Abend Street, will stand as a testament to one of Belleville's most
illustrious citizens. Koerner joined Abraham Lincoln, Horace Greeley and
others who, fired by the passions of the times, came together to create
the Republican Party in 1856. Koerner became a close Lincoln confidant,
helped write the 1860 Republican Party platform, and managed Lincoln's
drive to the presidential nomination at the party's convention. Koerner
was an ardent anti-slavery proponent and, as a German emigre, played a
key role in allying western America's German population with the Union
cause. The Koerner House Restoration Committee is working with a team
of consultants to prepare a Historic Structure Report. Selective demolition
of the structure's modern components commenced in May 2005. Once complete,
the home will be opened as a museum, where Koerner's life and political
career will be interpreted.
Masterworks Chorale is an auditioned adult ensemble of experienced
choral singers committed to dynamic performances of significant
choral literature. A. Dennis Sparger is music director and conductor,
as well as founder, of the Masterworks Chorale. Under Dr. Spargerís
baton, the Chorale has performed over sixty major choral-orchestral
works, since its inception in 1974.
in 1985, Masterworks Childrenís Chorus (MCC) is based on the premise
that all children possess the capacity for artistic expression when
provided an opportunity for its nurturing. MCC is a music education
and performance program emphasizing individual understanding and
development of musical skills. The program endeavors to enrich the
lives of children from all religious, racial, cultural and socio-economic
backgrounds. Membership consists of singers drawn from grades 1
through 12, including both boys and girls, divided into three levels.
The summer includes a choir tour and a summer camp, complete with
noted guest clinicians.
adult chorale performs 4 concerts per year, while the children perform
2 major concerts and 2 concerts with the adults. Concerts are open
to the public and admission prices are held to a minimum to include
all who wish to attend. The two most popular concerts are Christmas
at the Cathedral and the Spring Broadway Concert.
information can be gained by visiting our website at www.singmasterworks.org
or by calling our Executive Director, Paul Lindauer at 618-236-0182.
Society Of Belleville
Philharmonic Society was established in 1866, and its first concert
was played January 26, 1867. Robert Charles Howard is the 22nd conductor
of the Philharmonic, the nation's second oldest philharmonic. The
Philharmonic Society which was incorporated in 1871 and in 1897
acquired a home of its own by purchasing a building previously used
as a kindergarten. This historic and architecturally significant
building is located at 116 N. Jackson St. Despite world wars and
economic depression, the Philharmonic has continued to present outstanding
concerts by well-trained musicians and professional artists. In
celebration of the Society's centennial in 1966, the Philharmonic
Chorale was organized. The Chorale is under the direction of Richard
Thompson. The Society also makes available instruction to children.
history of "The Singing Societies and Philharmonic Orchestra of
Belleville" can be read in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical
Society, November, 1975.
Web Site: www.bellphil.com
St. Clair County Genealogical Society
St. Clair County Genealogical Society, organized in 1977, publishes
a quarterly journal, a monthly newsletter and maintains ancestral
records, genealogical publications, and family histories at the
Belleville Public Library.
500+ member organization publishes member queries and indexes and
translates civil and military records, including census records,
newspaper obituaries, and cemetery and church records. The society
provides programming at monthly meetings and sponsors genealogical
programs in cooperation with the Belleville Public Library on a
wide variety of topics pertaining to family history. Monthly meetings
are held on the first Thursday of the month at St. Luke's Parish
Beth Koenig, President, 618-398-1832, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: www.compu-type.net/rengen/stclair/stchome.htm
Clair County Historical Society
St. Clair County Historical Society was founded in 1905 by the Honorable
J. Nick Perrin who served as the Society's first president. Perrin,
a lawyer, legislator, author and orator, was an acknowledged guardian
of Belleville St. Clair County History. He died in 1940, and the
society diminished. In 1960, the society regrouped to prepare for
Belleville's Sesquicentennial in 1964, and J. D. Trabue, attorney
and judge, was elected president.
that time an annual journal has been published. The society has restored
two house museums that have been opened to the public -- a German
street house dating from Victorian America and a two story mansion
also representing Victorian America. They also maintain the historic
Clair Historical Society Museum
Clair Historical Society "Kunz House"
Society is currently raising funds to restore the 1852 Gustave Koerner
Home in the "Old
Belleville Historic District". Koerner fled to Illinois in 1833 after
Germany's social revolution failed. Koerner, an attorney, became the
first German-American elected to the Illinois Legislature. In 1852,
he was elected to the Office of Lt. Governor for the State of Illinois.
He was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and was emphatic in his
stand against slavery.
Society can be reached at 618-234-0600.
William and Florence Schmidt Art Center, a new 6,800 sq. ft. privately
funded art gallery was opened in 2002. It is located on the campus
of Southwestern Illinois College. Its 400 plus piece collection
includes Pre-Columbian Pottery, Greek Stoneware, "Ogoni" Marionettes,
photographs, paintings and sculptures by artists including: Picasso,
Dali, Manet, Delacroix, Cunningham, Adams, Oldenburg, Motherwell,
Cristo, Damier and Close.
addition to exhibiting its own collection, the art center provides
educational programming for students and traveling exhibits. The
college was founded as Belleville Junior College in 1946. Satellite
campuses are located at Granite City, Red Bud, and Scott AFB, IL.
The college has a current enrollment of 23,000 students.
Director/Curator: Libby Reuter 618-222-START ( EXT. 5278)
Hill Cemetery, located in the southeast quadrant of the city on
Route 177, has been serving Belleville families since 1850. The
practice of burying loved ones in a family plot was abandoned with
the cholera epidemic of 1849. Walnut Hill at that time was outside
the corporate limits of Belleville. Walnut Hill with its remarkable
source of history and beauty offers a tranquil sanctuary. Some of
the unique features are the gently rolling grounds with above ground
monuments, lawn crypts, a Civil War Memorial, a Veterans of Foreign
War Memorial and other unique headstone sculptures.
Hill Cemetery Page