contentsGrowth Association of Southwestern Illinoisads



The Village of Elsah’s entrance is in the valley at the base of Mount Radiance, one of the high limestone bluffs that form much of the Mississippi shoreline in the River Bend area. The Village of Elsah municipal limits include the valley and the bluffs to the east. The Great River Road is the primary access road, although the village can be reached from the north off Highway 3, as well from the east on Beltrees Road.

Elsah School building

Valuing the community’s historic architectural heritage, the village includes two historic districts. The Elsah Historic District is composed of 19th century buildings located in the valley. On the bluffs, the Principia College Historic District is a National Historic Landmark recognizing the work of architect Bernard R. Maybeck. Local zoning and the dedication of the community to historic preservation have helped retain the appearance of the buildings as well as property values.

Quality of life and easy access to employment in Alton and St. Louis have drawn a variety of residents to Elsah. Also, since 1935, Principia College, a liberal arts four-year college for Christian Scientists, has been a part of village life. Three bed and breakfasts, a few shops and a restaurant provide a consistent tourist activity that harmonizes with the residential nature of the village. Since 1893, Elsah has been a “dry town.”

The village government and police office occupy the second story of the 1857 Elsah School building. With dedicated volunteers and part time staff, the village uses its web site, e-mail and an answering service to provide prompt replies to questions from the public.

Residents are served by Jersey County schools, as well as hospitals in Jerseyville and Alton, only a few minutes from the village.

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