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Alton lies at the convergence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The city was founded in 1817, and is known for its part in the life of Abraham Lincoln. Visit the site of the last Lincoln-Douglas debate held in 1858 in front of the city hall. Pick up a map of the Lincoln & Civil War Legacy Trail at the Alton Visitors Center on Piasa Street and walk in Lincoln's footsteps. Continue exploring the city's heritage with a visit to the Alton Museum of History & Art detailing the history of the town from the Lewis & Clark Exhibition to the Civil War. Reportedly Alton is one of the most haunted places in the country. It gets this claim to ...

Alton lies at the convergence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The city was founded in 1817, and is known for its part in the life of Abraham Lincoln. Visit the site of the last Lincoln-Douglas debate held in 1858 in front of the city hall. Pick up a map of the Lincoln & Civil War Legacy Trail at the Alton Visitors Center on Piasa Street and walk in Lincoln's footsteps. Continue exploring the city's heritage with a visit to the Alton Museum of History & Art detailing the history of the town from the Lewis & Clark Exhibition to the Civil War. Reportedly Alton is one of the most haunted places in the country. It gets this claim to fame from its many 19th century limestone buildings. Supposedly limestone holds psychic energy. Or, possibly the haunting comes from the restless souls of thousands of Civil War Confederate prisoners who died inside the penitentiary. Besides boating, camping and fishing, there are trails for hiking and biking, and historic houses: the Cheney Mansion holds furnishings of the post-Civil War era; the Fulkerson Mansion is an elegant Victorian built in 1866, with the furnishings that belonged to the Fulkerson family. The Farm Museum brims with antique farming equipment.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Autumn for the fall colors