Eldorado, Illinois

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Eldorado is a city in Saline County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,534 at the 2000 census, with a 1925 peak of 8,000. Although the city's name is spelled as if it were Spanish, it is pronounced /ɛldəˈreɪdoʊ/ (listen) or /ɛldəˈreɪdə/. Originally, the name was "Elder-Reado" -- a combination of the last names of the town's two founders, Judge Samuel Elder and Joseph Read. According to legend, a signpainter for the railroad painted the name "Eldorado" on the train depot; as a result, the spelling and pronunciation was forever changed.

Eldorado is included in the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky Tri-State Area and is a bedroom community in the Harrisburg Micropolitan Statistical Area.[1]

The junction of the pioneer Kaskaskia and Goshen Trails was located just south of the city. The Goshen Trail began in Old Shawneetown, Illinois and ran along the east side of Eldorado and on to Goshen, Illinois, a community near the present day East St. Louis.



Eldorado is located at 37°48′51″N 88°26′27″W / 37.81417°N 88.44083°W / 37.81417; -88.44083 (37.814212, -88.440937).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.1 km²), of which, 2.3 square miles (6.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.28%) is water.


In September, 1963, five months before the Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show brought them stardom in the United States, George Harrison performed at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Eldorado with a local band. This was the first performance by a Beatle in the United States. At the time Harrison and his brother were visiting their sister, Louise, who had recently relocated with her husband to nearby Benton.[3]

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