Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau

The Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau of Southwestern Illinois is a destination marketing organization serving Madison, Jersey, Calhoun and Macoupin Counties. Founded in 1985, the bureau was established to educate visitors about the many attractions the region has to offer by providing information regarding the area’s history, unique landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels. The Great Rivers and Routes region is the only place in America where two of the nation’s great roadways (Route 66 and the Great River Road) come together alongside the confluence of America’s three great rivers. The Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau of Southwestern Illinois is certified by the Illinois Office of Tourism.


Erica Swagler, owner of the Lyman Trumbull House

Instagram page highlighting Erica’ work on the house which is a National Historic Landmark.

madison county il gen

by multiple contributors 

History and genealogy of the local region that has been research and includes Alton Telegraph clips. Subscribe to their Facebook page for daily updates and fascinating stories! 

Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance

by cheryl laroche

The book "focuses instead on free African American communities, the crucial help they provided to individuals fleeing slavery, and the terrain where those flights to freedom occurred." You can find this book at the Hayner Library and online. 

pbs special on rocky fork church, 1988

By Macneil/Lehrer newshour

NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC.

abolitionism and the civil war in southwestern illinois

by john j dunphy

This book focuses on how Southwestern Illinois played a significant role before and after the Civil War, with individuals on both sides of the anti- and pro-slavery lines. Dunphy highlights key abolitionists and local legends. Second Reading Book Shop located on E Broadway in Downtown Alton. 

Alton Museum of History and Art

Facebook page

Museum contains artifacts and information from 1673 to the present. Exhibits include, Robert Wadlow, Western Military Academy, and African American Pioneers. Located on College Ave in Upper Alton. 

Genealogy & Local History Library

Hayner Public Library

Explore collections of books, digitized newspaper collections dating back to the early 1800's, and attend ongoing programs. One-on-one appointments can be requested. Located on State St in Downtown Alton.