History

Havana, Illinois, USA


American Indian Communities in Havana's past

Dickson Mounds State Museum
site of 800-year-old burial mounds
across the Illinois River in Fulton County
Rockwell Mound
second largest Indian mound in the Midwest
dates back 2,000 years
Rockwell Park, Havana

Camp for early European Explorers

1678
Father Marquette and Louis Joliet

Founding of the town of Havana

Survey of Havana
In 1827, while the area was Tazewell County
Stephen Dewey surveyed the town for Ossian M. Ross
plat recorded in Pekin, Illinois
Incorporation
as a town in 1848
first city ordinance dated 2 Mar 1848
incorporated as a city under general law in 1873 (mayor-alermanic form)
Named for the capitol of the Isle of Cuba

Abraham Lincoln Era

Lincoln and Stephen Douglas spoke in Rockwell Park
on separate days during their senatorial campaigns
both in August 1858, before their famous debates began

Wildlife and Recreational Sporting

By 1900, Havana was known for fishing and waterfowl hunting
rich and fertile Mississippi flyway, home to migrating waterfowl
market hunters filled the tables of the fine Chicago restaurants with ducks and geese from Havana
Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge
Today, nearby 4,500 acre maintains habitat for migrating waterfow.

Nicknamed Little Reno

Al Capone, the Chicago gangster
developed floating casinos on the Illinois River
Gambling and entertainment were well-known throughout Mason County
Halloween 1953 raid on 14 Mason County casinos and taverns by 52 state troopers closed the games.

For more information:

The Havana Public Library contains many books and papers about the history of Havana.

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