The covered bridge was constructed in the 1880’s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#78001185). The bridge, also known as the Hedley (or Headley) bridge or the Glenarm bridge, is one of 5 remaining 19th century covered bridges in Illinois. Photo courtesy of Chatham Area Public Library.
The legend of Carthage College began in 1870. After two short stints in Hillsboro, Ill. and Springfield, Ill. in the mid-1800s, the United Lutheran Church of America moved its Midwestern institution to Carthage, Ill. at the insistence of the then-burgeoning town’s residents.
“They (the Lutherans) were wanting to find one in the Midwest, and the Carthage people promised them the ground and money towards the building,” said Kim Nettles, president of the Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum board. “Pretty much the same story as today — they got financial incentive to put it here.”
In the 1800s, the Lutheran church struggled financially, and according to Michael Lowe, a history graduate assistant at Western Illinois University, it could not refuse Carthage’s offer.
“It was in some ways out of necessity,” Lowe said. “The money situation wasn’t great for the Lutheran church when it decided to do this. Carthage was kind of seen as this unique place of opportunity. The railroad was just being built there.”
The railroad proved to be instrumental in the college’s development. Students from Wisconsin and the Chicago area eventually took the train to get to Carthage. This aspect, combined with Carthage’s location, made the town a favorable option for the Lutheran church.
“The towns that are prominent today are not necessarily the towns that were prominent then,” Nettles said. “So, this was probably more of a center of gravity, and they (the Lutherans) were probably looking at ease of transportation and being equidistant from other important points.”
Aside from its relation to other towns, the church also viewed Carthage as a place that would promote the one thing the college stood for: education.
“The idea in higher education, from what I’ve read, at that time was that urban society — it was kind of a Gilded Age idea — can distract you and rural life, pastoral life is more conducive to independent thought, relaxation and study, and Carthage was very much seen as a place like that,” Lowe said. “That was part of why the trustees decided to locate the college in Carthage.”
Though the college was chartered in 1870, classes were not held on the campus until after the Old Main was constructed in 1872. In the meantime, buzz built around the anticipated institution.
“I’ve read a lot of newspaper accounts, and everyone reports all the positive, brilliant happenings of the college and this rapid expansion of the college, and as the addendum they asked for money because they didn’t have the place built yet,” Lowe said. “It really did take two years, and Carthage citizens were really influential in that process.”
During the two-year period, the college and Carthage hosted a cornerstone ceremony and parade in 1871 to celebrate the future school. The parade, reportedly attended by 5,000 people, included church officials and community members eager to show support for the college.
“It was also the Odd Fellows and different citizen groups like that — local people who cared and thought that the education of Christian virtue but also education in the classical tradition would be great for the community,” Lowe said. “It would bring people into Carthage and make it a business center, hopefully, in addition to being a host for the college.”
Photo courtesy of carthage.edu
Opened to westbound traffic on August 22, 1987, the Quincy Bayview Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Mississippi River. It spans 4507 feet connecting Illinois and Missouri via US-24 and is supported by 56 cables from its 182 foot tall main towers. In 2015, on its 28th Anniversary and in conjunction with the 175th Anniversary of the City of Quincy, the Quincy Bayview Bridge was illuminated by 86 color-changing LEDs for the first time, bringing a new element of light and beauty to the grand structure.
Built by Thomas Bailey, one of Camp Point's four founding fathers, Bailey's Opera House opened on December 16, 1853. Although it is now home to a popular local restaurant, it originally hosted a variety of notable performers both from the area as well as many who would come in by train to share their talents. Mr. Bailey deeded the Opera House to the Town Trustees as well as the land for Bailey Park.
The Piasa Bird once terrorized the Illini Indians near what is now Alton, Illinois. Swooping down, it would snatch victims in its talons and carry them back to a cliffside cave. According to one translator, its name meant, "The bird that devours men."
The first explorers in the area were startled to see a painting of the Piasa on a limestone bluff overlooking the Mississippi. It was had horns, red eyes, fish scales, a long tail, and a snarling, bearded face. The painting didn't last long, however, as the Illini would fire arrows and bullets at it whenever they passed.
The painting was destroyed and recreated several times, most recently in 1999 where it stands 22-feet high and 48-feet long.
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