Introduction to Columbia, Illinois
Columbia, Illinois, in Monroe county, is 13 miles S of St. Louis, Missouri. The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns that it shares the Saint Louis metropolitan area with.
Frenchmen were the first Europeans to settle in the community, arriving in the mid-1600s. The area was then known as L’Aigle, which is a French term for The Eagle. The British took possession of the area in the mid-1700s, but were forced to move out of the area after the Revolutionary War. The first permanent settlements were established by colonial American settlers in the areas of Fort Whiteside, Columbia and Fort Piggot. The forts were made out of log cabins to ensure protection against Indian raids. Columbia was plotted as a town in 1820. Germans began to immigrate into the area in 1833. Columbia was officially incorporated as a town in the year 1859, and the first rail road tracks were laid out in the area in the year 1868.
Columbia and nearby Attractions
- Scott Joplin House State Historic Site
- Cahokia Mounds
- Saint Louis Holocaust Museum
- Cahokia Mounds
- Frank Holten State Recreation Area
Things To Do In Columbia
Local museums include the Eugene Field House and Toy Museum, the Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum and the Saint Louis Holocaust Museum. Local wildlife parks and areas include the Horseshoe Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area-Madison and the Peabody River State Fish & Wildlife Area. The Frank Holten State Recreation Area is a popular local spot as well.
Lambert-St. Louis International is the nearest major airport.
Columbia Higher Education
Nearby colleges and universities include Saint Louis University, Washington University and Southwestern Illinois College.