Visitor's Guide to Jerseyville, Illinois


Visitors Guide to
Jersey County, Illinois

"Close to the Crowd ..... But not in It!"

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In 1827 James Faulkner and his family built a small framed structure known as the "Little Red House," in the area that is now known as Jerseyville. The "Little Red House" served as the first stagecoach station, first tavern, first school, and first bank. By 1834 the small settlement that grew up around Faulkner’s home, known as Hickory Grove by its residents, was surveyed and platted by two immigrants from New Jersey, John W. Lott and Edward M. Daly. Lott and Daly’s involvement marked the beginning of a proportionally large number of merchants, businessmen and settlers from New Jersey. A meeting was called in that same year at the "Little Red House" to vote for a town name in order that a post office could be established. Jerseyville was chosen to honor the native state of many of its inhabitants.

In 1837, Jersey County was set off from Greene County and Jerseyville was named as its county seat. After the Civil War and the arrival of the Alton & Chicago Railroad, Jerseyville saw a period of commercial, industrial and urban growth but the major period of growth occurred from 1880 to 1916. The majority of commercial structures in the downtown Historic District were built during this period. It was during this time that the present Jersey County Courthouse was built. This two story Romanesque Revival building was completed in 1894. Other styles of the nearby Victorian style buildings include Queen Anne, Edwardian and Italianate with some of these builds having been recently renovated. State Street is home to many antique stores, gift shops, a few old-style clothing stores, and several local restaurants.

Local history can be experienced at the newly restored Cheney Mansion which incorporated the "Little Red House." The Jersey County Historical Society operates a museum and research center at this facility. North of town on Route 67 is the historical Fulkerson Mansion and Farm Museum which is open to tour groups. There are events throughout the year including the week-long County Fair, held in July, and the annual Apple Festival held in late September.

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