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Favorite thing: I think that some people need to be convinced about visiting such a small village in such an out-of-the-way location. But, I feel that there are many reasons why you SHOULD visit:
1. Palestine has worked diligently to revive its Main Street with its "turn-of-the-century structures, quaint specialty shops, Antique shops, restaurants, festivals, and, especially, with the revamped Fife Opera House.
2. Another good reason to visit Palestine would be to discover its the marvelous history.
For instance: The reconstruction of Fort LaMotte.
3. Palestine's local Pioneer Winery is part of the wine tour.
4. Come to see the architecture with many places on the National Registry.
5. Enjoy the Historic District.
6. Immerce yourself in the Patriotic spirit of the community.
7. See the Changes that individuals and groups can make, such as Palestine Development Association, Artist Relocation Project, Palestine Chamber of Commerce, Palestine Preservation Projects Society, and the Village government..
Regardless of its size, Palestine, Illinois is the small town with a Big History.
Fondest memory: Palestine Commercial Historic District [See Photo #5] has 31 buildings that make up the downtown district and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Palestine Chamber of Commerce [See Photo#1] helps to promote its city with such items as the Welcome Sign off Route 33 when you are entering from the west.
The government at Village Hall [See Photo #2] also promotes this historic village with, for example, its website.
The entire community has a patriotic spirit [See Photo # 3].
The Farmer's State Bank Building [See Photo #4] is but one example of the preservation of fine architecture for visitors to enjoy.
All-in-all, Palestine, Illinois if one great village to visit in Southeastern Illinois.
Updated May 29, 2008
Favorite thing: I just happened to have discovered this Historic Marker as my sister and I were driving around Palestine looking for interesting sights/sites. It's located at South Pike Street and Grand Prairie Street.
I got out of my car to look closely at what it said. When I read it, I knew that I needed a photograph. Here is what the Historic Marker reads:
GOV. AUGUSTUS C. FRENCH
On this site stood the home of Augustus C. French (1808-1864) when he was elected the ninth
GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS. The early settlers in Illinois came mostly from southern states so that French, a native of New Hampshire, was the first "Yankee" to be elected Governor.
This marker was dedicated in 1962, and the marker was erected by the Citizens of Palestine , The Illinois State Historical Society, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Why was Augustus C. French in Palestine? In 1839, Mr. French was appointed Receiver of the United States Land Office at Palestine, Crawford County. He lived in Palestine when he was elected Governor. Interestingly, was the governor of Illinois from 1846 until 1853. Though he was chosen in 1846, he was forced to stand for re-election under the new constitution of 1848. He ran again, and he won.
My advice is to stop for all Historical markers, reading them carefully. You just never know what you'll discover.
Updated May 29, 2008
Favorite thing: When I visited Palestine in May of 2008, I had a good laugh when I saw this banner stretched across Route #33 at Main Street. Being from Chicago for the last 46 years, I've never seen or heard anything about Coonhunters.
Well, what I discovered was that the National Bluetick Breeders of America [that's a kind of dog that hunts coons] would be in Palestine on May 15,15, & 17 for the Annual Breed Day Event. The "Bluetick is principally descended from the quick foxhounds of England with bloodlines of various French hounds used for big game hunting."
The Robinson, Illinois Wabash Valley Coonhunters Club would be the host and would supply the guides for the event, but it was taking place in PALESTINE.
It's all about competition of the dogs and matters concerning bloodlines of the dogs.
I still don't understand any of it, but it sure put a smile on my face when I saw the banner!
Updated May 29, 2008