Eagle Season: January – March

American Bald Eagles make their winter home on the Mississippi River between Alton and Pere Marquette, drawing eagle watchers from all over the region.  Join others as you drive the Great River Road viewing the historic majestic beauty of the bluffs and spot the eagles perched among them. Elsah is a prime location and Elsah General Store is one of the ‘hot spots’ designated by the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau. While in Elsah, take advantage of great overnight deals at The Green Tree Inn “bed and breakfast” or stay at the Maple Leaf Cottage Inn. While visiting, stop in one of Elsah’s newest boutique shops. Various activities have also been planned throughout the region. For more information on eagle season activities visit Great Rivers & Routes.

Hosmer-Williams Lecture Series

Historic Elsah Foundation was formed by Dr. Charles Hosmer and Dr. Paul Williams – both were professors at Principia College – as a non-profit organization in 1971. HEF’s purpose is to preserve and enhance the historic buildings, houses, architecture, and culture of the Village of Elsah. Elsah’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places was also the work of Hosmer and Williams.

Each year, Historic Elsah Foundation presents the Hosmer-Williams Lecture Series, which offers important insights into the rich historical significance of Elsah, its surrounding areas, or our state.

The lectures are free and open to the public.

To become a member of HEF and help contribute to this important work, check out

“Discovering the Underground Railroad ” – March 3

Historic Elsah Foundation offers its first Hosmer-Williams Lecture of 2022: “Discovering the Underground Railroad.” The speaker will be J. Eric Robinson, assistant professor of history at the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. The lecture will be held in person at Farley Music Hall in Elsah (limited capacity) on Thursday, March 3 at 7:00 pm. It will also be available on Zoom. See for a lecture link and reservations. The event is free to the public.

Elsah Photography Exhibit

Submissions are being accepted for the Village of Elsah Museum’s annual photography exhibit which runs from April 2 to August 7, 2022.

The theme is “Elsah Postcard,” and the exhibit will be in the museum building, Elsah Village Hall, at 26 LaSalle St. An open reception is planned for Saturday, April 2, 2022, during which winners are announced.

Submissions are due by Monday, March 7, 2022. Photographers – amateur and professional – are invited to make submissions to the exhibit and participate in the purchase prize portion of the exhibit. There will be one purchase prize winner, The Village of Elsah purchase prize, for an image taken in the valley or in the surrounding area of the Village of Elsah. The amount of the purchase prize is $200. The exhibit has also added a youth prize for photographers age 10 to 18.

Read the full 2022 Rules.

Village of Elsah Festival

Village of Elsah Festival – August 27

The Village of Elsah is holding a summer festival – its first in three years. We invite everyone to stop by and join in the festivities! This popular festival offers a wide variety of live entertainment, food, and craft vendors throughout the Village. Enjoy our Wetlands Trail with a self-guided map. All Elsah businesses will be open for the festival, offering their own specials and additional vendors. Come explore the historic village that won the designation as the top scenic location in the entire state of Illinois. Please email [email protected] if you need additional information.
activities & entertainment

Home for the Holidays House Tour – December 3

Historic Elsah Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement and preservation of Elsah’s homes, buildings, architecture, culture, and environment, will hold its annual Home for the Holidays House Tour on Saturday, December 3, 2022. It’s the perfect beginning to the holiday season. Spend an afternoon in the quaint, historic Village of Elsah, Illinois, while touring homes, Elsah’s museum, the historic schoolhouse, and businesses – all decorated for the holidays. Enjoy the music of the season at the village’s two churches, and take a ride through this picturesque historic treasure in a horse-drawn carriage.

More updates (or revisions) will be forthcoming.

Since 1971, Historic Elsah Foundation has played an important role to help preserve the village’s historic significance and picturesque beauty. Fundraisers, like the House Tour, help support the work of the Foundation. Please consider making a donation to HEF.

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