Historic Sites & Landmarks

South Henderson Church and Cemetery
Located 4 miles east of Gladstone. The ivy graced, large, striking, old stone structure was built in 1855 and still provides services on occasion. Daniel Boone's Granddaughter, Elizabeth Robbin, is buried in South Henderson Cemetery. The grave is plainly marked. The graves of three Veterans of the Revolutionary War are also easily located.


The Reformed Church of Raritan
The Reformed Church building located in Raritan with its inspirational spire and large wooden columns is a striking example of Mid-Nineteenth Century church architecture and is nearly one of its kind. You will find it on the west side of town.

Alexis Phelps House
The Alexis Phelps House was built in 1832-1833 by Alexis Phelps who was a fur trader with the Sac and Fox Indians. The two story frame house was erected on a high point along the Mississippi River.The house was restored by Henderson County Historical Society, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house is of the New England style of architecture. The Phelps House has been completely refurbished and is open by appointment for breakfast, teas, luncheons, and receptions. Great place to relax and view the Mississippi River. Phone Joanne Klossing @ 309-627-2567.

Allaman Covered Bridge
The Henderson County (Allaman) Covered Bridge is located two miles south of Oquawka in a rest area along Route 164. It is one of only five covered bridges remaining in the State of Illinois. This bridge is 104 feet long and was built in August and September of 1866 by Jacob Allaman for a cost of $2,125.00. All structural members were originally made of hand hewn native white pine. The bridge beams were cut to shape at a lumber yard in Oquawka. They were then hauled to the bridge site where they were assembled and the bridge completed. The truss is a burr arch named after Theodore Burr who developed and patented the truss design. The bridge carried traffic until 1934. In 1935 the State of Illinois acquired the bridge from Henderson County and has since developed a very attractive rest area around it. The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in February of 1975. In July of 1982 a flood washed the bridge from its abutments. Members of the Henderson County Historical Society and Illinois Department of Transportation salvaged the bridge. In 1984 the bridge was reconstructed on its original location using most of the original timbers. Arsonists twice attempted to burn the bridge in the fall of 2002 damaging the roof and siding on the east end of the bridge. A sprinkler and alarm system have since been installed.

Burg House
Located in Dallas City, it's a unique landmark of the L. Burg family legacy. The spacious singular stone block structure resembles a castle and holds a fascination for all who pass by. The Burg family manufacturer of "Fine Carriages and Vehicles" was a tribute to the area. The Burg Car was a quality "Vehicle" manufactured circa 1910. There is one Burg Car still known to be in existence and operable and it appropriately is in Dallas City. The living quarters of the Burg House are being refurbished and will be utilized as a private residence when the remodeling is completed. No tours are available but this is a great photo opportunity.

County History
The territory comprised within its limits has, at successive periods, been included in four other counties of the State. Its territory was first (1790-1812) a part of St. Clair County; second (1812-21) a part of Madison County; third (1821-25) a part of Pike County, and fourth (1825-41) a part of Warren County.

There is a Genealogy room in the Henderson County Library that is worth a trip. If you are interested in old plat maps going back to 1868, visit the genealogy room. If you are interested in the 42 pioneer cemeteries, visit the genealogy room.

Henderson County Courthouse
The county of Henderson was created by an act of legislature effective January 1, 1841. Oquawka has been the County Seat since that time. The four large white columns and south portion of the building we see today are that of the original structure. It is the second oldest courthouse in Illinois still in continuous use. Judge Stephen Douglas presided over the first court in Oquawka.

History Book
The history of Henderson County was published by the Henderson County Historical Society in 1988. A limited number of copies of this book are being offered at a special sale price of $12.00. Books can be purchased at the Henderson County Library and at the Horse and Buggy Museum.

One-Room Schools
It has been over 50 years since children living in Henderson County got their early education in one-room schools. If you are interested in viewing pictures of many of these schools you will enjoy a visit to the Henderson county web site www.hendersoncolibrary.com. If you would like to visit a restored one-room school you will want to visit the Henderson County Museum in Raritan. You can learn about this one-room school by going to www.hendersoncountymuseum.com. There are still two unrestored one-room schools standing in the Biggsville area. You can get information and a map by visiting the Horse and Buggy Museum in Biggsville.
Santa Fe Railroad Trestle
Erected in 1882 on the Santa Fe mainline this is a unique structure for the Midwest. With a span of 1000 feet plus and 6 stories high, it testifies to the steel girder construction skills of that era. The U.S. Army provided top security for the trestle during WW II. This same mainline remains in full service today. It is located 1 mile east of Media on the county blacktop.

The Grave of Norma Jean
Norma Jean was 30 years old in 1972 and working with the Clark and Walters Circus. It was a small circus playing small towns where elephants are a delight to children. On the morning of July 17 in Oquawka a very ominous summer thunderstorm roared east across the Mississippi river. The 6500 lb. Norma Jean was chained to the only tree in this area. While the trainer was attempting to undo the chain, a bolt of lightning came down from the dark sky and struck the very tree which held Norma Jean fast. July 17, 1972 was Norma Jean's last show day. With permission of the State of Illinois, Norma Jean was interred on the spot where she had fallen. The grave is marked with a large boulder and with a hand laid monument erected of local stone holding a head stone. Norma Jean's memory lives on in Oquawka.
Weir Fruit Farm
William T. Weir started the Oak Grove Fruit Farm in 1884. Six generations have lived here, and it is named as an Illinois Centennial Business by the Illinois State Historical Society. Great place to get apples, Amish Jam, and amazing cider! Come visit Jane Weir and see the museum. Business hours are 9-5 Aug- November. Closed Sundays.

Raritan Opera House
The Raritan Opera House of old has been renovated and is visited often by serious players of the Two-Rivers Arts Council and other local talent. Once again it is entertaining the public as it did so many years ago. Watch for the next play.