by Jessica Waytenick •

Address: Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, 90 Public Square in Monmouth, Illinois
Monmouth is located 45 minutes south of the Quad Cities on Highway 67 and 16 miles from the Mississippi River.
Phone: 309-734-3181
Web Site:
Media Contact: Angie McElwee, 309-734-3181 or
What's Notable:

  • Monmouth is part of the Ronald Reagan Trail as former President Ronald Reagan went to grade school there.
  • Monmouth has the oldest continuously operated airport in Illinois.

Discover a quintessential Midwestern town in historic Monmouth, Illinois, that grew up from the prairie with pioneer settlers. Monmouth's pioneer spirit lives on at the Wyatt Earp Birthplace Museum, 406 South Third St., which houses memorabilia related to the famous lawman, born in Monmouth in 1848. The home is open year round by appointment only. The Warren County Pioneer Cemetery in Monmouth was established in 1833 and is the final resting place for relatives of Wyatt Earp and veterans of the War of 1812 and Black Hawk War.

Western Stoneware is well known to pottery collectors world wide, particularly for its highly prized "Old Sleepy Eye" pottery. In June 2006, the stoneware giant celebrated its 100th anniversary after it had ceased operation in April. Three former employees of the company are continuing to make the pottery with the traditional maple leaf logo and the Western Stoneware name. The Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual pottery swap meet, the fourth Saturday in June of each year to celebrate Monmouth's history with pottery and stoneware.

A visit to downtown Monmouth is a must. The area features unique shops and restaurants that reflect both the elegance and less-hurried pace of days gone by. For an elegant dining experience, Cerar's Barnstormer Restaurant offers fine steak and seafood amidst an ambience of early aviation memorabilia. (Monmouth has the oldest continuously operated airport in Illinois.)

Monmouth College's campus is a must-see for tourists, who also can check out the birthplace of the first-ever Greek letter organization for college women, Pi Beta Phi. Holt House, where the "fraternity" was founded in 1867. Another historic property on the campus is the Stewart House, the birthplace of the Kappa Kappa Gamma women's fraternity. Both homes, which feature restored rooms and historical memorabilia, are open by appointment only. Victorian architecture fans will want to check out historic Quinby House, home to Monmouth College presidents. Built in 1867, the Greek Revival/Italianate home was designed by John C. Cochrane, whose Chicago firm designed the Illinois and Iowa State Capitols and many of the public buildings in Chicago.

The arts come alive at the Buchanan Center for the Arts, located on Monmouth's historic Public Square, and Monmouth College's Len G. Everett Gallery (located in Hewes Library), which feature changing exhibits throughout the year.

The Warren County Historical Museum has moved to a new location in Monmouth. Now at 238 S. Sunny Lane, the museum showcases the community’s unique character of its people and its location. The museum houses historical farm equipment, Native American artifacts, military uniforms, Western Stoneware, and more.

Monmouth is home to a number of events and festivals each year, including the annual Maple City Cruise Night on the first Fariday in August. An estimated 2,000 automobiles roll into town, along with 20,000 people. Celebrate Wyatt Earp's birthday in early August at his former home with tours, activities, and an authentic re-enactment of the street fight at the O.K. Corral. The Prime Beef Festival begins the Wednesday after Labor Day and runs through Saturday. Features include a parade, cooking contest, carnival, bands, demolition derby, and more!

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