Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois

Jerseyville, the county seat of Jersey County, is out in the country north of St. Louis, but I still lumped it in with the Metro East due to its proximity to the city. The courthouse, the third one on the site, was designed by Henry Elliott of Chicago. Erected in 1893, which the front fa├žade…

Carrollton, Greene County, Illinois

South on U.S. Highway 67 from Jacksonville is the county seat of Greene County, Carrollton. It’s fascinating to see how quiet and rural the countryside of Illinois becomes when you get away from the major arteries, whether they’re the interstate or railroad, and quaint towns appear on the old highways. It is only sixty miles…

State Street Historic District, Jacksonville, Part Two

Moving along down east back towards Central Park in Jacksonville on West State Street, we encounter the August Ayers House, constructed in 1857. That date of construction makes it an incredibly early example of Italianate architecture. Moving along, the Italianate houses are humbler, but I can’t help but notice that the house below has a…

State Street Historic District, Jacksonville, Part One

West of the courthouse and Central Park, Jacksonville dazzles the visitor with the West State Street Historic District, which is one of the best preserved clusters of Victorian Period houses in the Midwest. It is fascinatingly similar to Maine Avenue in Quincy, which is just a short drive from here to the west. The first…

Central Park, Downtown Jacksonville, Illinois

Jacksonville was founded by groups of “Yankees,” from New England, many of whom were graduates of Yale University. I can’t help but think the influence of the large town commons and greens of cities such as New Haven played a part in the design of Central Park, the outsized town square of Jacksonville. The center…