IL Posted in Illinois March 23, 2016 by Laura 11 Historic Towns In Illinois That Will Transport You To The Past It’s getting to be that time when we start planning summer trips. Why not get more for your miles and head to some towns filled with history? These are some of the most historic towns in Illinois. 1. Springfield joelrivlin/Flickr Springfield actually wasn't the first state capital. But it's now the capital, and it's seen a lot of history. Its most famous resident was Abraham Lincoln, and you can see his imprint everywhere. Make sure to check out the presidential museum, his home, and his tomb. 2. Kaskaskia Matt Turner/Flickr So it was actually Kaskaskia that was Illinois' first capital. It was settled by fur traders and was under French rule for several years. You can still see a bell there that was donated by Louis XV. In one of the most western battles of the Revolutionary War, Americans were victorious and rang that donated bell to signal victory. 3. Peoria Scott McLeod/Flickr Peoria is actually the oldest European settlement in Illinois. It was settled in 1680 by French settlers. The fort burned down, became Fort Clark, and then was renamed Peoria. 4. Galena Wesley Fryer/Flickr 580 acres of the city are on the National Register of Historic Places. Yes, you read that right. It was the site of the first big mineral rush in the United States, and this put it on the map. It was the home of Ulysses S. Grant and eight other Civil War generals. 5. Champaign H. Michael Miley/Flickr Champaign wasn't chosen to be the home of the flagship university by accident. The town was founded in 1855. Just off the railroad, the population swelled. Abraham Lincoln visited the town. 6. Alton stannate/Flickr Alton has been a huge part of history, from being the home of the world's tallest person to its role in the Civil War. It was the birthplace of Miles Davis. And it was the site of the last debate between Douglas and Lincoln. There are plenty of monuments commemorating these events. 7. Maeystown Chris Yunker/Flickr Boy, will this German town bring you back. The town was founded in 1852 by - you guessed it - Mr. Maeys. German immigrants founded the town, and that's reflected in the architecture and other styling around town. Many of the old buildings are still standing. 8. Long Grove Howard Lifshitz/Flickr Long Grove embraces its history and the town has very strict rules to preserve it. The historic downtown is full of old, beautifully preserved buildings. 9. Rockford vxla/Flickr Rockford was settled in the 1830s. It was on the map after becoming a headquarters for furniture development. Later, it became known for its baseball program. While the town has been the victim of economic decline, there are a lot of great things to do here, like visit Anderson Japanese Gardens. 10. Bishop Hill kepper66/Wikipedia Bishop HIll was founded in 1846 by Swedish immigrants looking for religious freedom. They referred to the new town they settled as "brimming with milk and honey." While the community eventually disbanded some 20 years later, much of the history is preserved. Bishop Hill is a national landmark village. 11. Arthur Tripp/Flickr Back in the 1800s, this town was simply divided into farms. It has grown in population (roughly 2,000 residents today), but it still has a lot of the flavor of the past. It is the home of Illinois' oldest Amish community. Head out to these awesome historic towns this summer!