Tour Locations | Interstate 55: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL
LOCATION 46 | Interstate 55: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL
Carlinville, about 11 miles to our left, was founded in 1828 and named after local resident Thomas Carlin who became the 7th Governor of Illinois.
Carlinville is known for its many historic buildings, but none more notable than the Million Dollar Courthouse, when in 1870, it became the second largest courthouse in the United States. The Courthouse was originally projected as a $50,000 project but ended up costing 1.3 million dollars. Shockingly, one of those accused of mishandling funds for the project jumped on a train and was never heard from again.
The population of Carlinville soared during the 1920s after two coal mines opened, and because the city faced a housing shortage, 156 build-it-yourself homes from the Sears Catalog were shipped here by train. 149 of those homes still stand today, making Carlinville home to the highest concentration of contiguous Sears homes in the United States.