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  »Attractions

(217) 774-5531  
Forest Park is a municipal park established in 1857 as the county fairgrounds and was then given to the city of Shelbyville in 1932 and became the city park. Forest Park has the Chautauqua Auditorium, Vietnam Memorial, Family Aquatic Center, Boy Scout Cabin, Lions Club Building, Shelby County Senior Center, picnic areas, pavilions, the Memorial Sunken Gardens, baseball & softball diamonds, soccer fields, fishing lagoon, Youth Athletic Center and more. You can also start the General Dacey Trail in the back area of the park. Future improvements coming...
Where: Northeast Ninth Street, Shelbyville. To reserve pavillions, Lions Club Bldg or Cabin call 217-774-5531.
   
Aquatic Center
(217) 774-4343

This attraction provides zero depth entry for the young, old, and physically handicapped. It has a frog slide, a water slide, and a one-meter drop slide. It has a wet playground area, a sand playground area, a concession/food area, a shaded picnic area and a bathhouse. There are also lap lanes and a diving board. The Shelbyville Family Aquatic Center offers recreation for all ages. Open Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day Weekend.

Monday - Friday: 12 - 8 PM
Saturday: 12 - 6 PM
Sunday: 1 - 6 PM

 
Chautauqua Auditorium
(217) 774-5531
Chautauqua Auditorium, built in 1903, is one of the few left in the state. Shelbyville’s Chautauqua Auditorium was at one time the entertainment center of the community. It is located on Northeast Ninth street (in Forest Park) in Shelbyville. The bowled floor provided seating for 5,000 and above the stage are Grecian statues designed by Robert Root. The interior floor space of the building is 15,000 square feet and there are no posts inside the structure. The roof is supported by a unique series of beams and supports in the ceiling. It is the largest building of its kind anywhere in the world and is included on the National Register of Historic Places. Famous speakers were William Jennings Bryan and Billy Sunday, and vibrant musicians and performers including the John Phillips Sousa Band. It is used for several events throughout the year. The 1st phase of restoration will begin in late August 2014. To learn about the restoration and fundraising, please visit www.shelbyvillechautauqua.com.
 
General Dacey Trail
 

The General Dacey Trail is a multipurpose trail that is designed for walkers, runners and bicyclists. This trail is a great place for the whole family to spend time together enjoying Mother Nature. Besides exercising, the trail is a great place for bird watching, geocaching and photography. The trail offers users a 15 station outdoor fitness area, located on the lower shelf by the Dam Overlook. The trail opened in 2006 and a total of seven phases have been completed with the latest in 2014.

The trail heads are located at the Dam West recreation area, the Dam Overlook, or just behind the Scout Cabin in Forest Park. Trail users can explore the two of the one mile loop sections through the wooded area along Lake Shelbyville. A third phase connects Forest Park to the Dam West recreation area and the fourth phase take users to the Dam Overlook. Maps and information on the annual Tom Short 5k Trail Run in August and candlelight walks in January and February can be found at www.daceytrail.org.

Mountain Bikers can enjoy a single track at Camp Camfield. This site is the focus of local mountain bike activist efforts to expand single track at Lake Shelbyville. This trail challenges the intermediate skill level riders and rewards them with beautiful views of the lake. The Central Illinois Mountain Bike Association (CIMBA) works closely with the Army Corps to promote development of additional trails at Camp Camfield. Information about the "Clash at the Camp" mountain bike race, held each August, can be found at www.cimba.org.

Memorial Sunken Garden
Forest Park was established in 1857 as the county fair grounds. In 1932 Forest Park was given to the city of Shelbyville.  The Federal Civil Works Administration built a swimming pool and bathhouse, which replaced the old swimming hole, which is now the location of the Memorial Sunken Garden. 

As part of an effort to beautify the park, Rev. Knapp and Stan Young researched sunken gardens and turned what had become an unsightly trash dump, into a place of beauty.  They visited Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama for inspiration.

Over the years park employees and concerned citizens have beautified and maintained the Memorial Sunken Garden.  About nine years ago, park employees replaced two thirds of the terracing as the original stone had disintegrated.  Trees which had been planted around the area had died and have been removed.  It became apparent to the Garden Club that the area needed to be refurbished and brought back, as close as possible, to its original design and purpose. The garden is complete and is used for education, as a wedding venue, and for its beauty. To learn more:
www.memorialsunkengarden.org

Sunken Garden
Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center-USACE offices
 

Located at the Dam East Recreation area on Lake Shelbyville. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project office opened in December 2010 with the visitor center portion opening early 2011. There is an exhibit hall, grand lobby, sales area, auditorium, rest rooms, library, outdoor deck, observation platforms, an outdoor classroom, and butterfly house and garden and a telescope overlooking the lake.

Hours:
Nov-Mar: M-F 9:30am-4:30pm
Apr & Oct: 7 days 9:30am-4:30pm
May-Sept: Sun-Thurs 9:30am-4:30pm
Fri & Sat 9:30am-6:30pm

Dam Tours are Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend-Saturday 3 pm, Sunday 1 pm. Meet at Visitor Center 1/2 hour prior to tour.

Call 217-774-3951 for more information

 
 
   
Lincoln Public Square Eternal Flame
   

The Lincoln Public Square & Eternal Flame houses the Soldiers & Sailors Monument, designed by local artist, Robert Marshall Root. The square was erected in 1907 in memory of the fighting men in the county.

The square also has a plaque in honor of Abraham Lincoln who practiced law in Shelbyville. A plaque for Horace Tallman, the inventor of the first mechanical pick-up hay baler also sits on the square. Flags are placed around the square from Memorial Day to Labor Day honoring those who fight for our country.

On July 3, 2002, an eternal flame was dedicated to the men and women who have served in past wars. The black granite base of the flame contains etchings, such as General Douglas MacArthur wading ashore in the Philippines in 1945, Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima in World War II and Shelbyville resident August West.

   
Shelby County Courthouse
(217) 774-4421

In 1871, the Committee on Public Buildings reported to the County Board that the Courthouse (located on the Public Square) was too small and unsafe. In November 1872, voters approved the proposed new courthouse. The lot, just north of the Public Square, was purchased for $800.00.

The building was built in 1879 (at a cost of $72,987) and was dedicated on April 13, 1883. The courthouse is currently undergoing renovations to the exterior and interior of the building and installation of geothermal. The renovations are planned to be finished by 2013.

The upper courtroom, remodeled due to fire, houses historic paintings including Robert Root’s depiction of the Lincoln-Thornton Debate in Shelbyville that launched Lincoln’s national political career.

Courtrooms are open for viewing generally when court is not in session (free admission). Hours: 8-4 on weekdays. It is located on the corner of Main & Washington in Shelbyville.

 
Shelby County Historical and Genealogical Society
(217) 774-2260 or (217) 774-4082

Shelby County Historical and Genealogical Society is a library for researchers. There are historic artifacts on display. Built in 1892, the building was formerly the Shelby County Jail and sheriff’s residence.

Hours: 5-7 pm Tuesdays and 9 am to Noon on Wednesday & Saturday. Donations are welcome. It is located on the corner of South First & Washington in Shelbyville. For more information, please visit: http://www.shelbycohistgen.net

 

 
Shelbyville Public Library
(217) 774-4432

The Shelbyville Public Library was dedicated in 1905. The library was built with a Carnegie Grant in a French Renaissance-style. It has computers, a video library, and has plenty of reading and learning experiences for children throughout the year.

It is open Monday - Friday from 9-7, and on Saturday from
9-1. The library is located at 154 North Broadway in Shelbyville.

 
Josephine Cochran
Dishwasher inventor (1839-1913)

In a woodshed located behind her home, Mrs. Cochran invented one of the first mechanical dishwashers ever built. She exhibited her patented machines at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 winning the highest award. Thus was born over 100 years ago. The progenitor of todays KitchenAid® Dishwasher. The brainchild of one of america's first female inventors. A Woman from Shelbyville, Illinois. The first machines were too large for immediate acceptance for home use, but were welcomed by larger prominent hotels such as the Palmer House in Chicago. Models suitable for home use such as the Kitchen Aid in the mid 1950s. The home still stands today at 148 South Broadway and is a private residence.
Information from Shelby County Historical Society

 
 
 
Best Wedding Chapel
(217) 774-7809

The Best Wedding Chapel is nestled in mid-west Illinois in the historic town of Shelbyville. Dedicated in the 1870's this former Catholic church features Gothic style architechure, 14 foot original stained-glass windows, and a 33 foot cathedral ceiling with a small archway separating the vestibule from the nave.

It is now the home & business of the Best family. This wedding chapel is available as a traditional, as well as non-traditional wedding, or vow renewal site. It is located at 159 N. Washington Street in Shelbyville.

 

Trick My Truck transformed Darrell Best's 1942 American La France Fire Truck into a mobile wedding chapel. The episode aired in early 2009 on CMT. September 2010, it made "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" and in 2012 the "Guiness Book of World records".

For more information, please call or visit www.bestweddingchapel.com.

 
Goat Tower
 

The only one in the United States, the Tower of Baa is a goat tower modeled after a tower that Dave and Marcia Johnson saw in a wine magazine from South Africa. The original goat tower was in Portugal.

Dave Johnson built this tower for his Saanen goats. The tower gives the goats shade as well as a place to climb that they would normally get in their native Switzerland. The tower is 31 feet tall and has 5,000 bricks with 276 spiral steps that encompass the tower. It is located on Wolf Creek Road.
1968 N 2500 E Road
Lat. N39 30.2, Long. W88 40.61

 
Pam and Bob Boarman Chevy BelAir Museum
(217) 774-4919
This museum opened in 2005 with Bob’s private collection of Chevy’s. The building is decorated in 50’s sock-hop style with black and white checkered floors. The walls are lined with 50’s memorabilia, Chevy clocks and neon signs. A jukebox takes you back to that popular time in history. The museum has eight vintage cars as well as a 1993 Indy Pace Car with only 28 miles on it. The museum was built so the cars could be in a controlled environment. Mr. Boarman restored most of the cars himself and has been collecting cars for over 25 years, reminding him of his youth. The museum is located at 224 West Main Street in Shelbyville. It is open Monday through Friday 8-7 pm and Saturdays from 8-6 pm.
 
Roxy Theatre
(217) 774-ROXY

After 37 years without an indoor movie theater, Shelbyville again has a place for movie buffs. Boarman’s Roxy Theatre is the brainchild of Shelbyville automobile dealer Bob Boarman who donated $100,000 in the summer of 2003 to the Greater Shelbyville Area Chamber of Commerce if they would build a movie theater. The original Roxy closed on November 6, 1966 after showing the Disney film “Mary Poppins.”

The Roxy is located in the same location as the old Roxy in downtown Shelbyville. Volunteers and members of the Roxy Theatre Management Committee, gutted the old theater building, that had been a photography studio, and rebuilt the Roxy from the brick walls out. New seats were added in 2010 and in 2012 was upgraded to digital and Real 3D. The theater shows current Hollywood releases, classic films, and children’s films and provides other special programming. Tickets are low at $4 a person or $6 for a 3D movie. Showtimes are 6:30 pm-7 days a week and 2:00 on Saturday and Sundays.

   
The Roxy pays homage to the glory days with a vintage-looking theater marquee featuring neon lighting, and old style fabrics and curtains inside the building. In addition to Boarman, other businesses have donated to the theater restoration and their names are featured on a plaque in the building’s lobby. Civic groups, Boy Scouts and other volunteers contributed many hours to the restoration project. More information at www.boarmansroxytheatre.com
 
Thompson Mill Covered Bridge
 

The Thompson Mill Covered Bridge was built in 1868 to span the Kaskaskia river. The road that the bridge is located on was once an important route between Effingham and Springfield.

This 157 foot bridge is one of only five covered bridges remaining in Illinois. It is the narrowest out of those bridges, with a width of only 10 feet, 7 inches. Although traffic is no longer allowed on the bridge, you can still drive up to see how the bridge was built and admire the natural setting. It is located 4 miles east of Cowden. Watch for signs on Rt. 128 in Cowden.
Village Hall 217-768-6326.

 
 
 
Niemerg Family Winery
(217) 756-5521

Niemerg Family Winery opened their doors in the fall of 2007. This father-son trio, Don, Bill & Dan, offers a wide variety of wines with grapes imported throughout the U.S. including Illinois, Michigan & California. With the tasting room complete, reconditioning of the 100-year building will continue for the next couple of years. Cheers! Located on Main Street in downtown Findlay. Summer hours(May-October): Tuesday - Friday: 12-8; Saturday: 11-8; Sunday: 12-5. Winter hours(October-January) same except closed Wednesdays.
E-mail: niemergwinery@frontier.com

 
 
Vahling Vineyards
(217) 682-5409
Vahling Vineyards first opened in 1997 by Brenda and Dennis Vahling and their children. They bottle and market their wine using varieties that are indigenous to the area. They have narrowed their selection to 5 superior varieties. Vahlings also carries nonalcoholic beverages. On October 1, 2002, the Vahling Vineyards was officially opened to sell bottle wine to the public. Located near Stewardson, the vineyard is open all year including Mondays of holiday weekends. Open Tuesday - Saturday: 10am-5pm; Sunday: Noon-5pm. For more information, visit: www.vahlingvineyards.com.
 
Willow Ridge Vineyards & Winery
(217) 738-2323
Willow Ridge Vineyards & Winery is situated on a sesquincentennial farm, and is owned and operated by Louis and Tina Donnel. Nestled in a rural setting, there is a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy a glass of wine, visit with friends, sit by the fireplace or relax on the terrace overlooking the vineyard.
A Tuscan style atmostphere invites you to the tasting room;
it has a handcrafted bar, stained glass windows, and a stone fireplace. Wine can be purchased by the glass or the bottle while you are enjoying the complimentary wine tasting. The banquet room seats 190 people and is available for any occasion (except on major holidays). The wine tasting room has seating for an additional 40 people. Located 8 miles northwest of Shelbyville (1/2 mile west of Westervelt). Open year round: Wednesday - Sunday. Open Monday on holiday weekends. For more information, visit our website: www.willowridgewinery.com.