Built in Alton in the mid to late 1830's, the Ryder Building has both a historic and haunted history. The original owner and builder, Simeon Ryder, was once a sea captain and a successful developer in the area. The building served as a circuit courthouse during its early years. Before running for office, Abraham Lincoln served as a general practice attorney for 25 years, and once defended Ryder over an old debt dispute inside. In 1840, Lincoln returned to the building to give a speech from the third floor, now demolished, in support of Whig party politician and future 9th President of the United States William Henry Harrison. The program for his speech was printed by The Telegraph Office, located just down the street. The Ryder building was likely used as the venue for the Lovejoy Trials for the murder of famed abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy.
Over the years the building has served as a courthouse, flower shop, and is today a restaurant called My Just Desserts. It is purportedly haunted- employees have reported hearing strange sounds and cooks have reported hearing and seeing chairs and tables move by themselves on the main floor while they do prep work in the basement.