Carlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)

Carlinville is a town in the Central Illinois region of Illinois with a population of 5,710 as of the 2020 US Census. It is home to Blackburn College and hosts the Macoupin County Fair on the fair grounds north of town every year. Farm land surrounds the town as well as a few coal mines still in production, though there has been a stark decline in mining operations in the 21st century.


Carlinville is located in the center of Macoupin County and is the county seat. Founded in 1865, Carlinville was named after Thomas Carlin, 7th Governor of Illinois and major contributor to the creation of Macoupin County.

Carlinville is moderately famous for its collection of Sears Catalog homes. An entire neighborhood of Sears Homes was built in town by the Standard Oil Company of Indiana to house local coal mine employees. Today, 149 of the original 156 homes still exist, and is considered the largest single repository of Sears Catalog Homes in the United States.

Carlinville is also known for the Macoupin County Courthouse. Built in 1870 by and designed by Elijah E. Meyers, the courthouse was considered the largest outside of New York at the time of its construction. The courthouse is known locally as "The Million Dollar Courthouse" due to the overspending to build it. There were accusations by county residents regarding misappropriations of funds during the construction of the courthouse. Judge Loomis was accused of using stone from the courthouse to build a hotel, the Loomis House, on the square. Judge Loomis stated he purchased the stone but never produced a bill of sales. Another commissioner, County Clerk George Holliday, was seen leaving town by train in the middle of the night carrying a carpet bag. Public opinion was that the bag was filled with some of the money raised for construction of the courthouse. Holliday was never seen again and it is still a mystery as to where he went.

Get in[edit]

By rail[edit]

Carlinville is rather well served by rail, with multiple daily Amtrak trains calling here. There are four daily departures on the Lincoln Servie between Chicago and St. Louis. Additionally, the once-daily Texas Eagle between Chicago and San Antonio, with through-cars to and from Los Angeles three times per week, calls here.

  • 1 Carlinville Station, 128 Alton Rd, toll-free: +1-800-872-7245. Refurbished in 2017, the station features a waiting room with basic amnestis. Carlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2) Carlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (3) (updated Mar 2022)

By car[edit]

Carlinville sits where Illinois Route 4 and Illinois Route 108 intersect. Route 4 links Carlinville to Springfield in the North and the St. Louis Metro East area to the south. Route 108 connects Carlinville to Carrollton to the west and I-55 to the east. I-55 is 12 miles east of town on Route 108s eastern terminus, linking Carlinville to A major Interstate artery connecting Chicago all the way to New Orleans.

By plane[edit]

Carlinville is not serviced directly by any airport. The closest airport is the 2 Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport Carlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (4) SPIIATA in Springfield, which hosts multiple daily flights from Chicago and Fort Worth Texas, but still requires transportation from Springfield down to Carlinville.

The 3 St. Louis Lambert International Airport Carlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (5) STLIATA is the closest, most frequently used airport in the area and is an hour drive south west of Carlinville. The airport hosts a number of international and national flights throughout the year.

39°16′48″N 89°52′54″W

Map of Carlinville

Get around[edit]

  • Macoupin County Transit services the nearby town of Macoupin counts from inter-town and town-to-town travelling.
  • Driving is the easiest method of travel in town and in the surrounding areas.


  • 1 Sears Homes (West/northwest of Blackburn campus). In Carlinville you will see the largest concentration of Sears Catalog Homes. Out of the 156 homes that were built by 1918, 152 are still standing. These homes are privately owned but the neighborhood is easily walkable. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 2 Macoupin County War Memorial, 201 E Main St (Macoupin County Courthouse). Memorial built to honor county residents that fought in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 3 Macoupin County Courthouse, 201 E Main St (One block east from the town square), +1 217 854-3181. Locally known as 'The Million Dollar Courthouse' due to the excessive cost overruns during its construction. Tours are available inside. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 4 Carlinville Historic Square, Town Square, +1 217 854-2141. A jewel of historic small-town America, preserved to keep its Route 66 charm. The square hosts many small town shops and is nearby multiple notable nearby landmarks. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 5 Old Macoupin County Jail, Southside Macoupin County Jailhouse, +1 217-854-3136. A small jailhouse built in 1869 and designed by architect EE Myers. The walls have cannonballs in them to prevent digging out as an escape route. Only one man had ever escaped in its usage as a jail and he was apprehended shortly after. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 6 Anderson Mansion (Macoupin County Historical Society & Museum), 920 W. Breckenridge St. A large mansion built in 1883 that has been converted into a museum housing local historical artifacts and memorabilia. Tours available via reservation. (updated Mar 2022)


  • 1 Bowlero Bowling Lanes, 12470 Rte 108, +1 217 854-9208. A classic example of a bowling alley. Food is served with multiple lanes to play on. Nearby is also the remains of the old Carlinville Drive-In. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 2 Carlinville Campground and Lake, 15927 Carlinville Lake Rd, +1 217-854-8931. A man made make that supplies the town with water and also allows for boating, fishing, and camping. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 3 Plainview Vineyard & Winery, 10456 2nd Rd, +1 636 336-2862. Sa noon-5PM, Su 10AM-5PM. A nice winery 20 minutes south of Carlinville near Plainview Illinois. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 4 Macoupin County Fair, 21368 State Route 4, +1 217 854-9422. Usually 4 days every June. a yearly fair that hosts fair food, a demolition derby, rides, a pageant, and a tractor pull among other small events throughout the 4 day ordeal. $10 entry fee. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 5 Broom Orchard, 12803 Broom Rd, +1 217 854-3514. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Apples, peaches, strawberries, jam and a country store. Pick your own pumpkins, apples, peaches and strawberries. Special events in September and August. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 6 Beaver Dam State Park, 14548 Beaver Dam Ln, +1 217 854-8020, Camping, fishing, and restaurant. Named for beavers whose dam-building formed the lake more than a century ago, the state park is not home to the industrious rodents today. (updated Mar 2022)


  • 1 My Sister's Closet, 364 South Side Square, +1 217 854-8215. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 2 Cherry Tree Gifts & Souvenirs, 236 East Side Square, +1 217 854-4535. M-F 9AM-4PM, Sat 9AM-2PM. A small gift shop on the square that sells locally relevant souvenirs (updated Mar 2022)
  • 3 Mother Road Antique Mall, 106 N Side Square, +1 217 854-8029. M-Sa 10AM-4:30PM, Su noon-3PM. Mother Road antiques is a must stop in Carlinville, it offers plenty of antique goods for anyone's style or needs. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 4 The Silver Owl, 514 N Side Square, Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. The old blends with the new at the Silver Owl. Browse the shelves for an eclectic array of home décor, faux floral, and gifts. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 5 It Is What It Is Resale, 190 Carlinville Plaza, +1 314 272-4354. M-Sa 10AM-4PM. It Is What It Is offers a perfect blend of old and new. Browse the shop featuring multiple vendors offering antiques, crafts, furniture, home decor, tools, and more. (updated Mar 2022)


  • 1 Reno's Italian Pizza (Reno's), 518 North Side Square, +1 217 854-6655. M-Th 11AM-8:30PM, F Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 11AM-8PM. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 2 Carlinville Plaza Cafe, 170 Carlinville Plaza, +1 217 854-6208. M Tu 6AM-8PM, W-Sa 6AM-7PM, Su 6AM-2PM. Hometown diner. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 3 Taylor's Mexican Chili Parlor, 510 N Side Square, +1 217 854-8713. M-Sa 11AM-2PM. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 4 Town's Edge Diner, 18838 Route 4, +1 217 854-4440. W-M 10:30AM-8PM. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 5 Hawthorn Tree, 242 East Side Square, +1 217 854-0088. M-F 6:30AM-4:30PM, Sa 8AM-3PM. Located on the historic Carlinville Square, Hawthorn Tree is where locals and visitors gather for a great cup of coffee, fresh bakery items made locally, hand-dipped ice cream and other treats. (updated Mar 2022)


  • 1 Route 66 Craft Beer and Wine, 232 East Side Square, +1 217 854-2021. Tu-Sa 5PM - 2AM. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 2 Uptown Tavern, 33 Daley St, +1 217 854-2337. M-Sa 11AM-2PM & 5PM-9PM. (updated Mar 2022)
  • 3 The Wood Duck Bar and Grill, 546 W Main St, +1 217 854-4445. (updated Mar 2022)


Go next[edit]

  • Litchfield
  • Springfield
  • St. Louis
  • Alton

Routes through Carlinville

St. LouisAltonS/SWCarlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (7)Carlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (8)N/NESpringfieldChicago
ENDSpringfieldNCarlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (9)SStauntonJct W E
This city travel guide to Carlinville is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
Carlinville – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)


What is Carlinville, Illinois known for? ›

The Carlinville Historic District includes the Macoupin County Jail, Million Dollar Courthouse, and the largest collection of Sears & Roebuck mail-order homes in the U.S. The Historic Square is filled with antique shops and charming restaurants, including Taylor's Mexican Chili Parlor, a new member of the Illinois Made ...

How do you spell Carlinville, Illinois? ›

Carlinville, city, seat (1829) of Macoupin county, west-central Illinois, U.S. It lies about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Springfield.

How old is Carlinville, Illinois? ›

The history of both Carlinville and Macoupin County date to 1829. Together, they are the only town named Carlinville, and the only county named Macoupin, in the world. The county was established on Jan. 17, 1829, and that June 2, the site of Carlinville was selected as the seat of government.

What county is Carlinville, Illinois in? ›

Macoupin County Illinois

Macoupin County is located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 47,765. The county seat is Carlinville.

What is the oldest town in Illinois? ›

Kaskaskia, the oldest town in the state and the first capitol of Illinois | Library of Congress.

Is Carlinville IL a good place to live? ›

Carlinville is a town in Illinois with a population of 5,724. Carlinville is in Macoupin County and is one of the best places to live in Illinois. Living in Carlinville offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Carlinville there are a lot of bars and restaurants.

What are the demographics of Carlinville IL? ›

The 5 largest ethnic groups in Carlinville, IL are White (Non-Hispanic) (92.5%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (2.57%), Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (1.84%), Other (Hispanic) (1.4%), and Two+ (Hispanic) (1.38%).

What is the original name of Illinois? ›

Illinois isn't the version of the name; rather, it is the French pronunciation of the original word. The word Illinois is derived from the Native American word “iliniwok” or “illiniwek,” which literally means “best people”; it was used to refer to the 10 to 12 tribes found around the river.

What is Illinois as a name? ›

ILLINOIS: From the Illini Indian word meaning "men" or "warriors,” supplemented by the French adjective ending "ois..” INDIANA: Presumably named from the fact that the land lying along the Ohio River was purchased from the Indians.

When was the Carlinville courthouse built? ›

- Significance: Designed in 1867 and constructed between 1868 and 1870, the Macoupin County Courthouse in Carlinville, Illinois, dominates the skyline of this central Illinois town of 5,400...Elijah E.

Who is Logan County Illinois named after? ›

Named for Dr. John Logan, a pioneer physician, father of General John A. Logan.

What is Carlinville Illinois ZIP code? ›

What state is Carlinville in? ›

Carlinville is a city and the county seat of Macoupin County, Illinois, United States.

What towns are in Hamilton county Illinois? ›

What county is standard Illinois in? ›

Standard is a village in Putnam County, Illinois, United States.

What is Central Illinois famous for? ›

Most counties in Central Illinois have an agriculture-based economy. The most common crops are soybeans and corn. County fairs and the Illinois State Fair help to promote agriculture in the region and also offer entertainment. The manufacturing and service industries are also significant.

What city is Illinois known for? ›

Chicago became a leading cultural, economic, and population center and is today one of the world's major commercial centers; its metropolitan area, informally referred to as Chicagoland, holds about 65% of the state's 12.8 million residents.


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