History & Heritage

Carterville, established in 1871, has a rich history that includes a booming coal mining history, a focus on education and performing arts, wonderful businesses and "characters" that have always brought a charm to this small town.

History of Carterville
Learn more about the wonderful history of this charming small town.

Veteran's Memorial
A fitting tribute on 11-11-11, Veteran's Day, the Veterans Memorial in downtown Carterville was dedicated.  Designed by the late John Yack, the memorial was a ten-year dream for Yack, one he knew would become a reality when this $100,000 project was approved in February 2011.  It is located on S. Division St., next to the future heritage museum downtown. Carterville donated the building to the Carterville Heritage & Preservation Foundation, and the museum will open in Spring 2012, with exhibits featuring important historical elements of the community, including veterans.

History Book of Carterville, Cambria, & Crainville
A comprehensive, 400-page, all four-color book titled, Carterville, Cambria, & Cambria:  A Look Back At Our Towns, was written in 2010 by retired Carterville High School teacher Sheri Hunter and her former student, Jennifer Spence.  The book is available for purchase at Carterville Heritage Museum, Carterville City Hall, Anne West Lindsey District Library, or by clicking here.  All proceeds from the first printing of Carterville, Cambria & Crainville: A Look Back At Our Towns benefit the Carterville Heritage & Preservation Foundation.

Carterville Heritage & Preservation Foundation
The Carterville Heritage & Preservation Foundation is a 501C3 charity organization that was formed in 2010 with a mission to present, preserve, and restore the history of Carterville, Cambria, & Crainville.  Board of Directors meet on the first Monday of each month and in addition to raising funds to produce Carterville, Cambria, & Crainville:  A Look Back At Our Towns, the Heritage Foundation has sponsored downtown events including "Christmas In Carterville", preserved items such as the Richart Quilt that is now displayed in the Anne West Lindsey Library, and opened the Carterville Heritage Museum at 139 S. Division Street in downtown Carterville.

Carterville Heritage Museum
Opened in June 2011, the Carterville Heritage Museum is a beautifully renovated building showcasing architectural detail of former 1924 high school, hundreds of photo and memorabilia.  It also serves as a gift shop, offering nostalgic, custom designed t-shirts, retro candy, gift baskets, a few antiques, and popular hand-made cards made by community volunteers.  It features books on the Tri-C community for sale, including Carterville, Cambria, & Crainville:  A Look Back At Our Towns and SIU's A Weekend In Carterville, Cambria, & Crainville.

Harrison/Bruce Historical Village at John A. Logan Community College
This five-acre historical village offers Purdy School (1860), Hunter Cabin (1818), a museum in a replica of the historic David Ruffin Harrison House which includes a general store log cabin and post office, and a conference center that can accommodate up to 120 people.

Historical Sites In Southern Illinois
There are various historical sites near Carterville to learn more about the area's history.