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Christopher Wills
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Historic sites celebrate a historic birthday

Illinois historic sites recognized for their significance to St. Louis as the city marks its 250th birthday
SPRINGFIELD – Three historic sites and one monument operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency have been recognized for their significance to the development of St. Louis as the city celebrates its 250th birthday.
Festive fiberglass birthday cakes will be on display at the agency’s Cahokia Mounds, Cahokia Courthouse and Lewis and Clark Historic Sites. The Elijah Lovejoy Memorial, which honors a murdered abolitionist newspaper editor, also made the list of 250 key sites in the St. Louis region.
“Our sites represent important eras in the history of the St. Louis area, from the achievements of Native Americans to early settlement and exploration to the battle against slavery,” said Amy Martin, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. “We’re proud these sites could be part of a great city celebrating a great milestone.”
The initiative to recognize the area’s most important sites, tourist attractions and businesses is organized by stl250. The group selected 200 locations, and the public voted on others to bring the total to 250 places that made St. Louis what it is today.
Four places protected by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency made the cut:
- Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, in Collinsville, is the largest Native American earthworks in North America and the site of a huge city about 1,000 years ago
- Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site, in Cahokia, was built as a home around 1740 and later served as a courthouse, post office and tavern in early St. Louis-area settlement
- Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, in Hartford, is where the famed explorers prepared and launched their expedition into the unknown western territory of the young United States
- The Elijah Lovejoy Memorial, in Alton, honors the newspaper editor who was killed while protecting his press from a mob enraged by his anti-slavery views.

They’re on a list that also includes the Fox Theatre, Gateway Arch, Missouri Botanical Garden and Soulard Market. For more information, visit
The cakes will be on display throughout 2014. Stl250 has developed a smartphone app that provides more detail on each location and lets visitors “check in” to earn points that make people eligible to win prizes.
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