History and Culture

We are proud of our city and invite you to investigate the many historical and cultural organizations located close to downtown Belleville.   Click on any link to learn more!
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Belleville Historical Society:  The mission of the Belleville Historical Society is to promote awareness and appreciation of the history, customs, artifacts, architecture and people of the city of Belleville, Illinois.

St. Clair County Historical Society:   The St. Clair County Historical Society inspires people by making the vibrant history of St. Clair County tangible, relevant and meaningful for today’s diverse communities and for future generations to come.

Gustave Koerner House:  The restoration of Belleville’s historic Gustave Koerner home, on Mascoutah Avenue at Abend Street, will stand as a testament to one of Belleville’s most illustrious citizens. Koerner joined Abraham Lincoln, Horace Greeley and others who, fired by the passions of the times, came together to create the Republican Party in 1856. Koerner became a close Lincoln confidant, helped write the 1860 Republican Party platform, and helped manage Lincoln’s drive to the presidential nomination at the party’s convention. Koerner was an ardent anti-slavery proponent and, as a German emigre, played a key role in allying western America’s German population with the Union cause.
The Koerner House Restoration Committee, working with a team of consultants, has prepared a Historic Structure Report. Selective demolition of the structure’s modern components commenced in May 2005. Once complete, the home will be opened as a museum, where Koerner’s life and political career will be interpreted.

Belleville Public Library:  It is the mission of the Belleville Public Library to unite our community through the attainment of knowledge, the expression of creativity, and access to technology.  The library also holds a database for genealogy.

Labor & Industry Museum:  The Labor & Industry Museum is the only public institution devoted to the history of the labor and industry of Belleville and southwestern Illinois. Belleville was one of the most significant centers for the growth of Illinois industry, which ranked third in the nation in the late 19th century. The Museum's mission is to chronicle and interpret the area's rich cultural heritage of labor and industry.

Belleville Philharmonic:  The oldest continuously running philharmonic in the nation, the Belleville Philharmonic has been in playing since 1866.

Belleville Historic Preservation Commission:  The Belleville Historic Preservation Commission was formed in 1972 by City ordinance to assist in integrating preservation principles into all community wide planning efforts. The concern of the Commission at its inception, and still today, lies exclusively with the enhancement and perpetuation of Belleville’s historic neighborhoods and landmark buildings.


 
Thank you to the Belleville Historical Society Website for the source of these pictures.
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