Home of the
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
Scott Air Force Base
The picturesque community of Belleville was founded by Frenchman George Blair in 1814 and was incorporated as a village in 1819. In 1914, it became the county seat of St. Clair County, replacing the Mississippi riverbank trading post of Cahokia that had been founded by the French explorer Marquette in 1790.
During the 1830's, the region was settled by German immigrants, who became known as "Latin farmers" because of their emphasis on education and the arts. Their simple brick architectural influence is still visible in the older neighborhoods such as the "Old Belleville District," "Hexenbukel" and "Oakland".
The city taken great care to preserve other structures and churches with architectural styles such as Greek Revival, French Second Empire, Queen Ann and Italianate. The Cathedral of St. Peter, located at 200 W. Harrison St., was founded in 1842 and modeled after the Gothic style of the Cathedral of Exeter, England. The Belleville National Register Historic District includes over 700 homes and buildings, including the Victorian Home-Museum and Emma Kunz Home Museum.
The Lincoln Theater, located at 103 East Main Street, opened in 1921 as a vaudeville house and later purchased by the FOX Circuit. In 1927, a theatre organ was installed to replace the orchestra.
Residents and visitors enjoy year-round activities with festivals, bicycling along the Greenway Trail, sports at the Family Sportsplex, and events at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds. Shopping malls, unique specialty shops and antique stores are conveniently located in the downtown area and adjacent neighborhoods. Numerous cafes and gourmet dining opportunities are popular locations for business lunches and family occasions.
The growing community also has a diverse economy with major banks, manufacturing, medical centers and agribusiness. Many businesses are in their third and fourth generation. The Eckert's Country Story & Farms, located at Route 15 and Greenmount Road, is family owned and operated since 1862 by six generations of Eckerts, is the largest pick-your-own orchard operation in the United States. The farm hosts numerous weekend festivals with family activities, a kids' corral and petty farm, and gardening workshops.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, founded in 1958 by Fr. Edwin J. Guild, OMI, is located on Route 15 at Route 157 in Belleville, just fifteen minutes east of St. Louis.
The 2,400 seats and grassy slopes at the Shrine's Amphitheatre can accommodate large crowds for special liturgies and events. Visitors of all faiths and denominations participate in numerous programs year round including pilgrimages, retreats, healing workshops, youth rallies, ethnic festivals and concerts.
Belleville is adjacent to Scott Air Force Base, home to the 375th Airlift Wing. The complex, which occupies almost 4,000 acres with 900 buildings, is comprised of the Air Force's Air Mobility Command, the Army's Military Traffic Management Command and the Navy's Military Sealift Command. Additional commands include the Air Force Command, Control, Communications and Computer Agency and the Air Weather Service.
Southwest Illinois News & Saint Louis Front Page is owned and maintained by the Moore Design Group for the sole purpose of disseminating news and information about the Metropolitan Saint Louis area. Text or graphics may not be copied, rewritten or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written permission. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved world wide © 1996 - 2018 Moore Design Group.
St. Louis Vacation Savings
STL Front Page
St. Louis Fine
Southwest Illinois News is designed & hosted by the Moore Design Group.
How To Reach:
Southwest Illinois News
3832 S. Broadway Street
St. Louis, MO 63118
To submit news, contact: