contentsGrowth Association of Southwestern Illinoisads



Founded in 1818 and incorporated in 1837, Alton enjoyed rapid growth in its early years, thanks to its prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River. Today, the city is the largest municipality in the River Bend area, with a population of more than 30,000 people.


It is the region’s principal shopping center. Downtown Alton’s splendid array of quaintly styled antique shops makes it one of the St. Louis area’s best antique districts. The city boasts such grand attractions as a regional shopping mall, the popular Argosy Casino, and the Gordon F. Moore Community Park with its 18-hole golf course and 17 baseball and soccer fields. The golf course was the setting for the 1999 USGA Public Links Championship.

The city’s homes encompass everything from turn-of-the-century mansions on high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi to impressive new executive style homes, from comfortable new and old mid-size single-family homes and quality condominium and apartment complexes to small cozy homes with one to three bedrooms.

Alton Community Unit School District 11, with 11 schools, serves Alton and a few neighboring communities. Private schools are also an option.

The city has three hospitals, Alton Memorial Hospital, Saint Anthony’s Hospital and its affiliate Saint Clare’s Hospital.

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