Welcome to Carlinville, Illinois, where Lincoln walked and Route 66 rolled!
As the only Carlinville in the world (the fictional Carlinville in "The Judge" movie notwithstanding), this small city of 5,685 is a happenin' place that offers much to interest visitors. The centerpiece of the town is its turn-of-the century, brick-paved city square with its quaint central park that features a large cedar gazebo. The park is often used for weddings, open-air concerts, and ice cream socials. The gazebo is located in the very spot where a two-story brick courthouse once stood - and where Abraham Lincoln practiced law and wrote his longest legal brief on record.
A stroll around the town square will reveal interesting architectural details in century-old buildings as well as charming restaurants and shops that boast a history all their own. The town's adjoining historic district includes many significant sites, the crown of which is the “Million Dollar” 1876 vintage Macoupin County Courthouse. "Millionaire's Row" homes down East Main Street give testimony to the wealthy businessmen who made their fortunes in banking and commerce. The 1896 "cannonball" county jail, located south of the courthouse, is currently closed for repairs but still provides an interesting site.
Other areas that attract attention are the world's largest continguous collection of “Sears & Roebuck” catalog homes in the country, all within a 9-block radius on the north end of town.
The community sponsors a host of wonderful festivals and events throughout the year. One of the first major events is the spring festival at "Anderson Mansion," home of The Macoupin County Historical Society, It's one of two exceptional events held there each year. Located in and around the completely restored 1860 “Anderson Mansion,” these festivals are a great opportunity for crafters to show off their talents while the curators ofthe museum serve tasty homemade treats and hold guided tours of the home. Visitors can witness operating antique farm equipment and “good old days” demonstrations during these events. In May, over Memorial Day weekend, the annual spring festival features homemade strawberry shortcake along with all of the other activities. The third weekend of September offers the even bigger Fall Festival. Both events feature fun and entertainment for the entire family to enjoy.
The annual Macoupin County Fair, the oldest continuously held county fair in the state, is held in June on the fairgrounds located just North of the city limits. Entertainment in the grandstand, carnival rides, livestock and arts, demolition derby, tractor pull, and much more make it a great family outing.
Beginning in 2015, Carlinville Winning Communities hosts an annual 4th of July celebration at the Macoupin County Fairgrounds. There are a number of car shows, new and antique, sponsored by local dealers and organizations. Area orchards sponsors fall apple and pumpkin festivals each year as well. Local clubs and organizations sponsor a number of entertaining events throughout the year, including a parade, carnival, and cookouts on the square. In addition to the standard fare, Carlinville offers a number of unique opportunities for participation in community activities.
Throughout the year there are a number of special sidewalk features, not only on the city square, but scattered throughout the city from the Walmart Shopping Center on the southwest end of town to the Carlinville Plaza on the north end.
A major event closing out each year is the “Carlinville Christmas Market.” This unique event, held the first weekend in December, takes place around the historic city square and the Macoupin County Courthouse. Visitors delight in the festive atmosphere as they wander around the square and surrounding buildings that are filled with handcrafted fine arts, folk art, and craft items. The beautifully decorated town, accented by the music of traditional holiday carolers, is a vision to behold. Children delight in visiting with Santa and participating in the many activities awaiting them during this event, while adults enjoy the unique shopping experience, entertainment, and the overall beauty of the event.
We welcome you to our beautiful town and hope you will find it to be one of the friendliest places you have ever visited! We look forward to having you back!