Open for summer hours: Saturdays and Sundays 12-4
Pike County boasts a high number of historical markers and memorials scattered across the county. Most of them are recorded on the Historical Marker Database at hmdb.org. You can follow the link below to see all logged Pike County markers or you can follow the link in a marker's description to its specific page.
ILLINOIS (Old Highway 36)
The fertile prairies in Illinois attracted the attention of French trader Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette as they explored the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in 1673. France claimed this region until 1763 when it was surrendered to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris. During the American Revolution, George Rogers Clark and his small army scored a bloodless victory when they captured Kaskaskia for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Illinois became a county of Virginia. This area was ceded to the United States in 1784, and became in turn a part of the Northwest Territory and the Indiana and Illinois Territories. On December 3, 1818, Illinois entered the Union as the twenty-first state.
The Markers that designate U.S. Highway 36 in Illinois as the 33d Division Memorial Highway were dedicated on Memorial Day, 1963. The 33d Division was organized in August, 1917, from National Guard units of the State of Illinois. It became famous in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and by November 11, 1918 was poised for a break through the Hindenburg Line. In World War II the division fought in the Pacific area and liberated Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines.
U.S. 36 passes through Pittsfield, where John Nicolay and John Hay, President Abraham Lincoln’s private secretaries, formed their friendship. Stephen A. Douglas studied law and taught in Winchester, and held his first elective office in Jacksonville. Lincoln’s home, tomb, and the Old State Capitol are in Springfield, and a courthouse where Lincoln practiced is in Mt. Pulaski.
Erected by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Historical Society, 1978
Historical Marker Database: https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=136729