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hotels near o’fallon il

15 February 2022

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O'Fallon is a city in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. It is the third largest city in the Metro-East region and Southern Illinois. Due to its close proximity to Scott Air Force Base, the population receives a boost from military and federal civilian personnel, defense contractors, and military retirees. The population was 28,281 at the 2010 census. The city name is derived from that of General John O'Fallon, an early 19th-century U.S. Army commander (see O'Fallon, Missouri).

A large part of O'Fallon's history is connected to the railroad. As a young village, O'Fallon was a flag stop on the Chicago and Alton Railroad. Later, railroads came through town: the New York Central, Louisville and Nashville, and the Norfolk-Western. At one time there were six passenger trains coming through each day. The railroad brought growth to O'Fallon.

In 1843, the first railroad line was completed from East St. Louis to Alton, Illinois. The proposed route for the railroad would have bypassed St. Clair County entirely. John O'Fallon and Judge Thomas Lippincott traveled to New York City to purchase the Illinois-Missouri Land Company which owned much of the land in St. Clair County at that time hoping to be able to influence the railroad decision makers. Their efforts were successful and not only did St. Clair County receive a railroad; it became a major transportation hub for Illinois because of its junction with two east-west rail lines, forming what is known as the "Gateway Geographical Area" (in addition to being a shipping point for agricultural products).

In 1856, a depot was built in downtown O'Fallon. In 1890, it was moved to the center of Main Street where it remains today as the Depot Museum. In 1919, the current Depot Building was constructed at the end of South First Street and still stands today as a reminder of days gone by when trains were a vital part of life in this town.

The first passenger train came through O'Fallon in 1852 on its way from St. Louis to Chicago via Alton. The original train station consisted of two rooms one for freight and one for waiting passengers and stood on North Main Street opposite Second Street near where the current bank building is located (the old National City Bank).

In the early 1900's, O'Fallon was a typical small Midwestern town. The population hovered around 300 and agriculture dominated the area. However, with the completion of Interstate 70 in 1974 and Scott Air Force Base just east of the community 10 years earlier in 1964, O'Fallon experienced unprecedented growth and prosperity. In fact, between 1970 and 1990 O'Fallon grew from 1,300 residents to over 20,000 residents. Today, it is known as one of St. Louis County's fastest growing municipalities with its population reaching nearly 85,000 people according to the 2014 census estimate.

There's plenty to do and see in O'Fallon, Illinois. Here are our picks for the top things to do in O'Fallon:

O'Fallon Station

A historic train station turned museum, O'Fallon Station is a great introduction to O'Fallon's past. The museum has a large collection of artifacts from the Civil War, including muskets, uniforms and other equipment. There are artifacts from later wars as well, such as World War I and II.

Scottish Rite Cathedral

This stunning gothic cathedral is a sight to behold on the inside and out. Built in 1901 by Scottish Rite Masons, this church remains in operation today. Its massive stained glass windows depict biblical stories and Masonic imagery, while its impressive pipe organ will take your breath away. Visitors can tour this beautiful building on Saturdays or Sundays between April and October.

Downtown Historic District

The best way to get to know O'Fallon is to walk through its historic downtown district. It's a step back in time with Victorian-style homes lining the streets. There are also antique shops, art galleries and restaurants to explore along the way.