Guided historic daytime tours of the Mineral Springs Mall, one of the most haunted locations in one of America's most haunted small towns!
Guided historic daytime tours of the most haunted locations in this century old treasure include stories of the spirits and visits to the iconic pool, grand banquet hall, second floor rooms, the infamous ‘Jasmine Lady’ staircase, the haunted artist mural and also includes admission to the Historic Museum of Torture Devices.
FREE DEAD OF WINTER FESTIVAL - FEBRUARY 8!
Join us for the annual Dead of Winter event at the Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton! FREE admission with donation of canned good / non-perishable item for local food banks! Ghosts, hauntings, and the unexplained at one of the most haunted locations in Alton, Illinois!
Morrison's Irish Pub
There is so much history here in Alton IL, Morrison’s Irish pub included. The building we are housed in was built in 1865 and started as the First National Bank of Alton. Many other business’s have opened here over the years and we have been fortunate to meet some of the previous owners and hear their stories. We know the building has been a bank, florist, retail store, supply store, antique store, art store, hardware store, and many others between. We are located by so many historical landmarks like the confederate prison, which we believe is where the stone to build our basement came from, the area where Elijah P. Lovejoy, a famous abolitionist was murdered and his printing press destroyed, the Alton glass factory, Lincoln Lofts, once called the Franklin House Hotel where Abraham Lincoln once dined and is rumored to have stayed, and the Great River Road, that many love to explore with its dramatic cliff drops. There is so much more history and so much to explore. We are proud here at Morrison’s to continue and hopefully be a part of Alton’s historical legacy. Sláinte!
#morrisonsirishpub #altonillinois #ouralton #historicaltown #connectwithhistory #irishpub #historyofalton #historicalplace #historicalbuilding
Great Rivers & Routes
Alton, Illinois played a vital role in helping slaves make connections to freedom. Discover this history: RiversandRoutes.com/shuttle
Another great place to experience in Alton! Love our McPike Family!
Doors open 1pm Friday and 4pm Saturday.
Benefits Oasis Womens Shelter!
Much Love Marshall!
Happy Trails is right around the corner! Get your tickets here!
Stay Tuned! It's Raining Zen will be giving away 2 VIP Tickets to this event! Locals, supporting locals! It is what we do! Congratuations to Season Two, Richel Stratton and Brian Murray!
Hi Friends....stay tuned...It's Raining Zen will be giving away 2 VIP Tickets to this event! Locals supporting locals! It is what we do! Congratuations to Season Two, Richel Stratton and Brian Murray!
eventbrite.com Help us raise money for Suicide Awareness
Madison County ILGenWeb
ORDINANCE BARS WOMEN FROM PATRONIZING ALTON SALOONS
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 9, 1909
110 years ago
After ten days’ time, when the new wine room ordinance takes effect, no woman can get a drink or be entertained in any licensed saloon or any room connected therewith, upstairs or downstairs, without the proprietor being subject to a $25 fine, and for second offense the revocation of his license is the penalty. The ordinance, which was passed unanimously under suspension of the rules, is as follows, in effect:
“It shall be unlawful for any person, persons or corporation engaged in the business of selling at wholesale or retail spirituous, vinous or malt liquors, to permit any female, married or single, to be entertained therein or in any room connected with the building in which liquors are sold, either by side entrance leading to or connecting with the same by stairways to upper room, nor shall wines or beers, or liquors of any kind be furnished to any female connected therewith.”
The ordinance was made as drastic as possible to abate a tendency toward evil that required some firm controlling power to restrain it. As stated last evening, there was no wine room ordinance in the city revised ordinances, it having been omitted through oversight and the new ordinance is the strictest one that has ever been in force.
Always something to learn!
THE LAURA BUILDING IS NAMED
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 8, 1896
123 years ago
Captain Huntington Smith, owner of the new post office building, has decided to name it the "Laura Building" in honor of his noble wife, Mrs. Laura Griswold Smith, who is a lady of high musical talents, a celebrity in those circles in St. Louis. Contractor Weld went to St. Louis yesterday to procure the joists for the third story of the building, which will now be pushed to completion as rapidly as possible.
The Laura Building is located at the southeast corner of Market and Broadway in Alton. The original building on this property was a frame structure, constructed in 1829 by Beal Howard, in which a hotel was located. It began as the Union Hotel, and the name later changed to the Virginia House and then the Central Hotel. The hotel was destroyed by fire. In 1846, the First Presbyterians constructed a brick edifice on the site. They were located there until 1896, when Captain Huntington Smith, a St. Louis realtor, purchased the property. He added a third story, and named it the Laura Building in honor of his wife, and leased the building to the post office and other offices. A fourth floor was added in 1908. Later, businesses such as the Faulstich Cigar Store, Lake View College of Commerce, Y.M.C.A., and Brown’s Business College were located in the building. The building still stands.
Beal Howard, who originally constructed the frame building on the property in 1829, arrived in Alton with his brother, Charles, in August 1829. They settled in a small log home at the northeast corner of Broadway and Market Streets. He then purchased the property at the southeast corner of Market and Broadway, and erected the Union Hotel. There, he and Charles began holding religious services, with Charles as the preacher. Beal then erected a four-room brick house (the first in Alton), on the east side of Market Street, third door north of the corner of Broadway and Market. It was in this house that Beal raised his children. This home was later owned by Uttell Smith and later, Timothy L. Waples. It was razed in 1904.
Beal Howard was one of the founders of the Protestant Methodist Church in Alton, and aided in erecting a small stone church at Easton and 4th Streets. There he was an active member until it was disbanded, after which he connected himself with the Baptist Church. Beal died in August 1874, and is buried in the Upper Alton Oakwood Cemetery.
1. The First Presbyterian Church, southeast corner of Market and Broadway. This building was later remodeled into the Laura Building.
2. The Laura Building, c. 1915.
3. The Laura Building, which then housed the Faulstitch Cigar and Billiards and the Lake View College of Commerce.
4. The Laura Building today.
Madison County ILGenWeb
GRAND THEATER HAS BIG OPENING
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 4, 1920
99 years ago
The new Grand Theater at Market and Third Streets was opened to the public at 2 o'clock this afternoon. The day could hardly have been more discouraging for an event of the kind. The management of the theater was unwilling to see anything bad in the outlook, as he was confidently expecting a big business on the opening day, regardless of weather conditions. He felt that the public would turn out to see the new playhouse regardless.
The finishing touches were still being put on the place up to the time of opening. Little details here and there remained to be finished. The lighting arrangement in the front was the most important work that had to be finished up, the management having planned for a perfect blaze of light on the front of the Grand. The new manager said that Market Street is not very well illuminated otherwise, and he intends to make it light as day. A good program of pictures had been arranged for the afternoon and evening. As recognition of the opening there were some handsome floral pieces sent by friends of the owners and the management with their best wishes, and the new theater looked like a flower shop. The new theater has a big orchestra which made its bow to the Alton public today, and which will be in service constantly.
The owners and managers of the theater believe that the desire for amusements in Alton is ever on the increase, and they think that the Grand will enjoy steady popularity. The handsome floral offerings sent by friends attracted much attention, due to their great beauty. Among the pieces received were many from St. Louis friends to Manager Oberstolz. Flowers were received from Alton Brick Company, Board of Directors, Alton Evening Telegraph, Princess Theater, J. J. Rielley, owner, George Palmer Electric Company, H. H. Unterbrink, Famous Players, Universal Film, Standard, Krug's Floral, and the Alton Daily Times. Miss Bertha Edwards, assisted by Mrs. W. A. Clark of Ouatoga Theater, was in the ticket office selling tickets. Francis Mills was at the door. Berg Plummer's Orchestra was a big feature of the opening. Fred Boem was stage manager. The Misses Nellie Neil, Julia Selhime, Helen Thomas, Ruth Simpson, Vera Kimmel, Velva Wheeler, Eunice Crouse and Vera Herman were the ushers. The Western Military Academy attended in a body, and were the first to enter the Theater.
The Grand Theater was constructed in 1920 at a cost of $150,000, by a group of Alton business men who formed the Alton Amusement Company. The theater was located at the southwest corner of Third and Market Streets, where the old Crescent Theater once stood. The theater went up so quickly, that the bricks from the Alton Paving & Fire Brick Company were still warm when they arrived. The sign for the Grand theater included 700 light bulbs, and at the time, was the largest in Alton.
The original opening day was to be on Thanksgiving Day, but the opening was delayed because the theater was not yet finished. The Grand officially opened on December 4, 1920, and included a live orchestra. The feature film was “The Sin That was His,” with William Faversham. The price of admission was 20 cents for adults, and 10 cents for children. Box seats were 50 cents.
The Grand closed in 1977, but was used as a haunted attraction in the 1990s. The building still stands today. Plans are being made for the renovation of the theater by the owner – Alton attorney John Simmons. A New Year’s Eve party was held at the Grand in December 2018, and will be held again on December 31, 2019.
1. The Grand Theater in Alton.
2. Interior of the Grand Theater.
3. Clarence Kulp, manager of the Grand.
4. Opening night ad from the Alton Evening Telegraph.
Go Haunted Roads Media Team! A well deserved award, Mike!
WE WON! At Shockfest Film Festival Vegas Haunted Road Media won the award for Excellent Media In The Paranormal Field!Having this award presented by Johnny Zaffis was an absolute honor! Thanks so much to all of those at Shockfest for the amazing job they do and including the paranormal this year in their festival (Matt Rosvally and Guil Claveria you guys rock!), for all of those that support Haunted Road Media, all the HRM authors, my co-hostess Vanessa Hogle, and most of all Shana Wankel for all of the support and being my partner in crime with HRM! And thanks to Nicole Guillaume for helping me out at the event this weekend. Also... to all of those who have had a paranormal experience and people thought you were crazy... you are not alone and this is for you!
Great team to investigate with!
my.cheddarup.com D&M Paranormal is turning 5 in May of 2020! We are celebrating with a public event and various activities to raise money for The Lost Limbs Foundation. Event Tickets will be sold for $30.00 each. Raffle Tickets are 1 for $5.00 or 5 for $20.00. Winner will gain entry for 2 people to the May 2nd event...
Madison County ILGenWeb
HISTORY OF MONK’S MOUND
In 1864, Thomas G. Ramey, a member of the Illinois General Assembly, owned much of the land on which the Cahokia Mounds stand, on Collinsville Road. He purchased the land in 1864 from a Mr. Page, who lived in St. Louis. Ramey employed coal miners from Collinsville, and ran a short tunnel into the largest mound – Monk’s Mound. He also permitted one or two excavations in mounds south of Monks, yet on the whole, he was opposed to excavations. Trees were allowed to grow on the mound until they were cut down in the 1970s by archaeologists.
For a time, Monks Mound was called the Ramey Mound. The Monks Mound name was derived from the Monks of La Trappe, who came to the area in 1809 from the Province of Perche in France. They numbered 80 in all, and lived upon the mound, which was a gift from Colonel Nicholas Jarrot of Cahokia. Jarrot was a French entrepreneur and land speculator, who also served as judge and local militia officer. The monks farmed, repaired watches and traded with local inhabitants. No one was ever allowed to speak to another, except in cases of absolute necessity. The monks ate two meals a day, and excluded all meat. They slept in their clothing upon boards, with blocks of wood for pillows. When a stranger visited, he was received with utmost kindness.
The Monks did not do well in our climate. Fevers prevailed among them to an alarming extent. Those who died were buried without a coffin in the field adjoining their residence. In 1813 they sold off their personal property, returned the land to Mr. Jarrot, and left the country for France. In 1907, John Sutter, an archaeologist, found glass beads which had been made in Italy "250 years before the birth of Christ," and presumably belonged to the monks.
During the 1890s, Ramey lobbied the state for Cahokia's preservation. However, his efforts were thwarted by a Chicago legislator who remarked in 1913 that his "district needs parks for live people, and the guys in that mound are all dead ones." Finally, in 1925, the State purchased 144.4 acres, including Monks Mound (which is in Madison County), from the Ramey family for $52,110. Cahokia Mounds State Park (part of which is in St. Clair County) was then created. The Southwestern style building, which housed the museum and living quarters for the park ranger, was built about 1930 on the spot where the Ramey house stood. The Ramey farmhouse was moved to the east side of the mound. The farmhouse no longer exists.
To read more about Colonel Nicholas Jarrot, and view his mansion (built in 1810), which still stands today at 124 E. 1st Street in Cahokia, please visit this website: https://jarrotmansion.org/
Because the history of Alton is important! Hope you dont mind and enjoy this one!
THE BROADWAY AND MAIN FRUIT & PRODUCE
The Broadway and Main Fruit & Produce in Alton was located at 2530 E. Broadway (corner of Main and Broadway). It was one of my favorite stores for penny candy! The building was razed in 1993. There is currently a Casey's Gas Station on the property.
1. The Broadway & Main Produce Store, 1964; from the Alton Telegraph.
2. 1947 ad for the produce store; from the Alton Telegraph.
3. The demolition of the produce store in 1993; from the Alton Telegraph.
Madison County ILGenWeb
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF WILLIAM “DEAF BILL” LEE
William “Deaf Bill” Lee was born in 1863, during the Civil War. He was a poor, hard-of-hearing fisherman, who lived in his houseboat along Missouri Point, and at times docked his boat at McPike’s Island across from Alton, where he lived in a small cabin. During the severe winters, he would frequent Alton, finding shelter where he could. He was known for his drunken sermons on the Missouri and Illinois riverbanks and on street corners.
In 1890, Lee was arrested and fined at St. Charles for operating a skiff ferry between Illinois and Missouri. He was sentenced to ten days in jail.
In 1900, a man and a woman sought shelter in Bill’s cabin on McPike Island. The man gave his name as John Davison, and said the woman was his wife. The woman took a liking to Bill, which angered the man. One day the man borrowed Bill’s skiff, saying he and his wife were going to Alton to make a few purchases. They were never seen again. Bill believed the man knocked the woman into the river and she drowned. The boat was found tied up near the landing in Alton, and a witness said a man got out of the boat, but there was no one else with him. An investigation was made by authorities, but neither the man nor the woman were ever found.
In October 1902, Bill Lee visited Alton to obtain a certificate of marriage. He had been arrested on a charge that the woman he was living with on McPike’s Island was not his wife. Lee and his “housekeeper” married, and when he walked into court, he produced the certificate, and the matter was dropped. In December 1902, Bill was arrested in West Alton, Missouri for stealing a pair of rubber boots. He appeared in court and entered a guilty plea, and was fined $10.00 and costs, together with fifteen days in the county jail. When asked by the court what his wife’s name was, he answered, “I do not remember, it was some peculiar name.”
In December 1905, the wife of “Deaf Bill” Lee was locked in a jail cell in Alton, to restrain her from committing violence. The woman had attempted to burn herself to death by lighting her mattress on fire, and would have succeeded but for the shouts of her fellow inmates. She was originally arrested for being intoxicated on the streets of Alton, and was put in the detention room of the police station. She began wrecking the furniture in the room and threatened to do considerable damage. She was taken downstairs and locked up in a jail cell, where she continued shouting threats. She begged her fellow prisoners for a match to light a cigarette, and instead, she lit her mattress on fire. The prisoners shouted for help until the Captain of Police heard them. Running down the stairs, he discovered he forgot his keys and had to go back up the stairs to retrieve them. When he returned, he found the woman standing in her cell, trying to light her clothes on fire. He dragged her out of her cell, but she fought him with all she had. He was forced to strike her, but she jumped up again, and then fell in a faint. She was dragged away from the fire, and water was thrown on her and the mattress. In court, she pleaded guilty and was fined $3 and costs for being drunk and disorderly.
In 1914, “Deaf Bill” was arrested and placed in jail for stealing tools from a fellow fisherman. While in jail, someone entered his houseboat on Missouri Point, and stole all his household furniture.
In November 1915, “Deaf Bill” became ill and was taken to the County Poor Farm in Edwardsville. It was found that he had tuberculosis. He died at the Poor Farm on November 13, 1915, at the age of 52. William Bauer, who had befriended “Deaf Bill,” owned the Bauer Funeral Home in Alton. Instead of burying “Deaf Bill” in potter’s field at the Poor Farm, Bauer decided to hold onto Bill’s body until he could find relatives, who were said to live near West Alton. During that time period, Bauer was experimenting with a new embalming procedure, which he proceeded to use on “Deaf Bill.” No friends or family came forward to claim Bill’s body, and Bauer continued to keep the body there at the funeral home. The body was moved to a closet, where it remained for decades. “Deaf Bill,” stood in the closet at 5 feet 3 inches tall, and weighing about 50 pounds. His legs were crossed and arms folded. His skin, from the embalming procedure, became leathery and dark, and felt like wood.
Many visitors to the Bauer Funeral Home (later renamed the Burke-Fine Funeral Home) would ask to see the Alton “mummy.” A traveling showman offered Bauer $2,500 for Bill, but he refused to sell. In 1948, Tom and Dallas Burke purchased the funeral home from Bauer, and “Deaf Bill” was part of the deal. In June 1918, “Deaf Bill” was taken to the Illini Hotel in Alton during an Undertakers Convention. There, he was displayed and examined by those who attended.
As the years went by, it was decided that it was time to lay “Deaf Bill” to rest. In 1996, Dallas Burke and Brian Fine, co-owners of the Burke-Fine Funeral Home, called Rev. Michael Sandweg, pastor of the Catholic Churches in West Alton and Portage des Sioux. Sandweg did some research, and found an Edward Lee, age 4 1/2, who died in 1884 and was buried in St. Francis of Assisi Cemetery. It was unknown if they were related, but he heard that both had parents by the name of Thomas and Sara. On June 24, 1996, more than 350 people filed through the funeral home to see Bill one last time. He lay in a casket with gold trim, his hands crossed over a bouquet of red and white carnations. His dark hair and mustache were neatly combed. He wore donated, turn-of-the-century tuxedo coat and trousers, with a white shirt and black string tie. Six men from the Knights of Columbus Council 460 in Alton served as pallbearers. About thirty people attended the graveside service. As Sandweg sprinkled holy water on the closed casket, he said, “Every person born into this world has a right to a proper and decent burial. So, we bury him today and pray for his soul.”
May he rest in peace.
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Alton Hauntings is the Award-Winning tour that offers the Real Story behind the History & Hauntings of "One of the Most Haunted Small Towns in America!"
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The official tourism portal to Great #RiversAndRoutes of Southwest Illinois! Your new favorite getaway starts here: http://RiversAndRoutes.com .