The Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce is a membership-supported organization. Its goals and objectives include promoting the quality of life and making Shelbyville a better place to live, work and do business, a job we have been doing for 76 years. Many of the 350 business and community organizations who are Chamber members are active in programs that foster growth and development. They improve the local business climate, take an active role in the local, and regional political action endeavors, and promote community sprit by actively supporting worthwhile projects. Several arms of the Chamber are Shelbyville Industrial Development (SIDS), and aVery active Retail Committee.
In July the Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Independence Day Fireworks over Lake Shelbyville. In August, a two-day festival and carnival is held during the Chautauqua Days celebration at beautiful Forest Park. Wind up your summer and welcome the fall season during the week-long Scarecrow Daze Festival, held the first week in October. The scarecrows come alive and take over Shelbyville!
Shelbyville, Illinois is located next to beautiful Lake Shelbyville. Shelbyville was founded in 1827 and is the cultural, governmental and business center for Shelby County. Situated near the heart of the continent, we are close to the population center of the United States. Currently our population is approximately 5,000, and growing!
The history of Shelbyville begins with Barnett Bone, a Tennessean who in 1835 built a log cabin along the Kaskasia River. His cabin eventually became the county courthouse. The first businesses were blacksmith shops, a general store and stagecoach stop, and a grist mill.
By the 1890s the railroad had put Shelbyville on the map with five trains passing through each way every day. Between 1900 and 1933 coal mining was a major industry in the Shelbyville area. Miners such as Dutch and Red Phelps, Doc Keller and Shorty Root, lay on their sides to chip coal in areas 48" high. In the midst of the depression rising insurance rates and competition from petroleum products closed the mines.
Shelbyville is located in a diverse manufacturing and service area in Central Illinois. The area is home to some of the richest, most fertile land in the nation. A strong agriculture and light industry-based economy provides a wealth of heartlandValues and a strong work ethic.
State-of-the-art manufacturing of food service paper plates and cups, and automobile turbo chargers are just a small sample of our wide-ranging manufacturing and business base. Quality products and services are produced throughout our community.
Shelbyville has a proud andVaried history. The friendly Kickapoo Indians, who fished and hunted the Kaskaskia River Basin, aided the early settlers of the area. Abraham Lincoln was a frequentVisitor to Shelbyville. His first debate against Anthony Thornton, which culminated in his successful rise to the Presidency, was held at the original Courthouse in June, 1855.
Many historic homes and businesses can be seen as one drives throughout the tree-lined brick streets of our city.[ top of page ]
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