Historic Sites

Southern Illinois is rich in history that not only shaped the state but also the nation. The intrigue and the stories from Southern Illinois history have spanned generations. Only in Southern Illinois, can you experience first hand and walk the same path as Lewis and Clark. The many historical sites that are home to Southern Illinois are open year round and many have interpreters that will transport you to another place and time.

While in Southern Illinois make sure to visit Cave-in-Rock. This was a haven for the river pirates in the early 1800s that preyed on the travelers on the Ohio River. You can also experience the peace and tranquility of Bald Knob throughout the year. The cross which rises 111 feet tall can be seen over 7,000 square miles when it is illuminated. Be there on Easter Sunday as hundreds of people join together for a sunrise service at the cross.


Altgeld Hall, Carbondale, IL
1000 S. Normal Avenue, Southern Illinois University
Originally the Science Building of Southern Illinois University, Altgeld Hall is the oldest building on campus. The building was constructed in 1898 and resembles an English castle.

Cave-In-Rock State Park, Cave-In-Rock, IL
Heavily wooded park named for the 55-foot-wide cave that was carved out of the limestone rock by water thousands of years ago.

Fountain Bluff Indian, Carbondale, IL
Carvings Prehistoric dwellers left their mark on the rock walls of Fountain Bluff at the north end of Big Hill about a mile southwest of Gorham. To reach the rock carving site, turn east off Illinois Route 3 onto the Gorham Road. Drive 1.2 miles to Gorham and Second Street and turn left. Continue two blocks to Lake Street, turn east and proceed approximately one mile on the gravel road to the petroglyphs, where roadside parking is available.

General John A. Logan Statue, 2125 Spruce St., Murphysboro, IL
This statue depicts the Civil War hero on horseback. Erected in 1928.

Giant City State Lodge, Makanda, IL
This lodge was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s and creates an environment that defines beauty.

Robert W. Hamilton House, Murphysboro, IL, 618-684-6421
Built in 1867, it is one of the oldest houses in Jackson County. Currently, it is the home of the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce.

Jackson County Historical Centre, Murphysboro, IL
Houses records dating to the 1800’s from Jackson County.

Makanda Boardwalk
Storefronts dating from the 1890’s.

Mobile and Ohio Railroad Depot, 1701 Walnut Street, Murphysboro, IL
Train Depot from the 1880’s. Now currently a restaurant.

The Old Illinois Central Railroad Passenger Depot, Carbondale, IL
Train memorabilia from the Illinois Central Railroad.

Shryock Auditorium, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale , IL
Auditorium hosts entertainment, performing arts, and lecturers.

Woodlawn Cemetery, 405 E. Main Street, Carbondale, IL
The location of the first organized Memorial Day service in Illinois, and perhaps the first in the Nation.