Welcome to Alton
Home to the world’s tallest man, a legendary man-eating bird and the site of Abraham Lincoln’s one and only duel, Alton has been telling its story in hundreds of ways over its nearly 200 year lifetime.
Alton’s location along the mighty Mississippi River made it a sought-after location for businesses and settlers in its early years. At one time, the riverfront community rivaled St. Louis as a river port for trade and commerce.
While thriving as a river community, the city also saw its share of tragedies. Abolitionist, newspaper publisher and Presbyterian Minister, Elijah P. Lovejoy, was murdered while defending his printing press along the river in 1837, the same year Alton was incorporated as a city.
Abraham Lincoln spent time in Alton as a young lawyer and later as a candidate for U.S. Senator debating Stephen A. Douglas along the banks of the river, which redefined our political election process and also fueled the fire for the civil war.
Today, Alton is known as the home of Robert Wadlow, who stood at 8-feet 11.1 inches tall at his death in 1940. Jazz legend Miles Davis made Alton the birthplace of cool when he was born in the city. Now, the only outdoor statue of Miles Davis on the North American continent celebrates Alton’s downtown entertainment district and live music scene. One of the most recognized bars in the world, Fast Eddie’s Bon Air, brings young and old alike to the city as does Old Bakery Beer Company, an organic craft brewer, the first riverboat casino in the Midwest, and an amazing riverfront amphitheater.