Visitors Guide to
Columbia
Monroe County, Illinois
Custom Search
 

Columbia, Illinois is located at the northern tip of Monroe County in Southwestern Illinois only about 12 miles from downtown St. Louis and three miles from the Mississippi River. The settlement that became Columbia grew up around two frontier forts. Fort Whiteside, named after a noted frontier family from North Carolina. The Whiteside built a fort, called Whiteside’s Station along the Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail to protect settlers from the local Native Americans. In 1783, Captain James Piggott and 17 families built cabins and a blockhouse just west of modern day Columbia. Piggott later became the founder of East St. Louis.

The oldest part of Columbia was surveyed and platted in 1820. Columbia grew rapidly from 1835 on due to the waves of German immigrants. The Germans followed the Aleman tradition of building their homes close to the sidewalk in order to increase the space in back for gardens and keeping livestock. Many of these homes are still standing and contribute to the original community's unique appearance. Columbia was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1903. While most of the area surrounding the community remains in agricultural uses, increasing development in the Columbia area is rapidly changing its rural character.

 
Custom Search

FEATURED ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE GREAT RIVER ROAD
Mary's River
Covered Bridge
Liberty Bell of the West
Kaskaskia, IL
Pickle Springs
Natural Area
Ste. Genevieve
Missouri
     



 
  Regional Guides
to the Middle Mississippi River Valley
 
       
  Meeting of the Great Rivers
National Scenic Byway
Ste. Genevieve &
French Colonial Country
Gateway to the West
St. Louis & St. Louis County
        
 
   Meeting the Missouri
Historic St. Charles County
The Lincoln Hills Region
Northeast Missouri
   
 
  The Tri-States Area
Iowa, Illinois & Missouri
The Mississippi River
Meets the Ohio River
   
  greatriverroad.com Home Page
Your index to over 800 informative pages covering the Middle Mississippi River Valley.
  At greatriverroad.com we strive for accuracy.
If you have any corrections, suggestions or information
you would like to see contact the webmaster.
For advertising information contact marketing.
Copyright 2001-2011
greatriverroad.com - Elsah, Illinois