Elsah, Illinois

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Elsah is a village in Jersey County, Illinois, United States. The population was 635 at the 2000 census, and the population was 641 in the 2006 official US Census estimate. The village's current mayor is Lynn Schreiber.

Elsah is a part of the Metro-East region and the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Elsah is located at 38°57′13″N 90°21′17″W / 38.95361°N 90.35472°W / 38.95361; -90.35472 (38.953720, -90.354732).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.7 km²). None of it is covered by water.

History

James Semple, a local lawyer, prominent politician and United States Senator from Illinois, founded Elsah in 1853 and offered free lots to anyone who built houses with stone from his quarry. It is believed that he named the village of Elsah after Aisla Craig, the last outcropping his family saw as they departed Scotland for the United States.

Although Elsah has been described as the "New England of the Midwest," the village is not a New England prototype derived from 18th century colonial styles. Rather, the architecture found in Elsah demonstrates 19th century styles and fashions including Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Mansard, Italianate, Saltbox, and Gambrel. Elsah prospered as the main shipping point for the agricultural goods produced by the farmers of Jersey County. The village's importance diminished with the coming of the railroad, later being revitalized when Principia College was established in the 1930s [2].

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