Bellefontaine House - Monroe County Historical Society

Bellefontaine was one of the first settlements made by Americans in what is now Illinois. The earliest settlers included families of Revolutionary War veterans who had served with George Rogers Clark. During this period of time, the Monroe County Illinois area was part of the State of Virginia. 

Due to the lack of funds, Patrick Henry, the Governor of Virginia at the time which included southern Illinois, issued land grants to the soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War. Captain James Moore, who received a land grant, brought a band of pioneers from Virginia and Maryland in the winter of 1781-1782 to this area. The settlement took its name from a nearby spring the french called "La Belle Fontaine" (Beautiful Spring).

The 1800 federal census showed that Bellefontaine, with 286 inhabitants, had become the third largest community in the Illinois territory.

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Latitude: 38.326849 Longitude: -90.150882 Elevation: 648 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Tina Johanning

Time Period Represented

1700's to the 1950's

Visitor Fees (if any)

$2 donation per visitor

Seasons Open

Sundays Noon - 3pm; April - September

Accessibility Notes

Historic site - limited handicap accessibility

Pet Friendly Notes

Service animals welcome


Nice people. Very interesting history. Hard to believe there was a settlement this far west before by 1790. The massive elm tree is worth seeing too.

Susan Barker, 6/14/2016

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