Hancock County - 10 Attractions You Must Visit
About Hancock County
Hancock County, Illinois, is located in the western part of the state in the northwest region. It borders the Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers, providing a wide variety of recreational activities. Its population is currently just over 15,000 people and has seen steady growth throughout recent years. Although there are some rural areas, the county also contains several smaller cities including La Harpe, Dallas City, and Hamilton all offering local businesses to provide for its residents. Notable
Types of Attractions in Hancock County
List of Attractions in Hancock County
The Carthage Jail is one of the many historical buildings which has stood since 1839. The two-story brick building was used to house both criminal and political prisoners. During its time as an active jail, it had a few notable inmates; ex-slave Helena Baker was imprisoned here before an appeal led to her being freed in 1890 and Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was held captive until his death here in 1844 by pro-slavery militia.
Fort Madison Bridge
The Fort Madison Bridge spans the Mississippi River and is a two-lane bridge connecting the mainland to Iowa. Built in 1928, the bridge is 645 feet long and has an impressive 124-foot steel arch span which stands over the Mississippi River. It was built as part of an effort to create a hard surface route through the state and was an incredibly important piece of infrastructure at the time, eventually earning it designation as a Historic Landmark by The National Register of Historic Places.
Joseph & Emma Smith Mansion House
This is an important landmark built in 1839 by founder of the Church of Latter-Day Saints Joseph Smith, the mansion was intended to serve as the family home for many years. After Smith's murder in 1844, his widow Emma moved back to the house with several of her children and later sold it to Major Levi Williams. The Mansion has since gone through transformation from a country palace to a stately residence that stands as an icon of 19th century domestic architecture.
Joseph Smith Historic Site
This is a must-see for history buffs and anyone interested in the early days of the Latter Day Saint Movement. The beautiful area houses a number of original restored buildings from 1839, when Joseph Smith was visited by Brigham Young and others for the conference that officially organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Visitors can explore reconstructed ruins, enjoy a docent-led tour, stroll through the cemetery, or take part in living history presentations.
The Keokuk-Hamilton Bridge is a bridge, joining the cities of Keokuk and Hamilton. The bridge was opened to traffic in 1890 and has remained an important transportation route for more than a century. Spanning two miles across the Mississippi River, it is supported by 42 trusses built on concrete piles driven into bedrock. It offers four lanes for vehicles and two sidewalks—allowing pedestrians and cyclists to traverse the bridge safely.
Lock Number 19
Man-made Structures- Other
Lock Number 19 is an example of American engineering excellence. Originally erected in 1857 by the state of Illinois, the lock is part of a series of locks and dams that help to control river levels for transportation purposes. Today, the lock stands as a reminder of Uncle Sam's incredible engineering abilities. Its walls are still constructed from stone quarried from local bluffs and it continued in service into the twentieth century when it was finally superseded by more modern methods.
Nauvoo Historic District
The Nauvoo Historic District is a vibrant and awe-inspiring historic site that spotlights the rich history of the Latter Day Saints. Founded in 1839, it was the second largest city in Illinois at one time and was home to many of its original settlers, which has been preserved for visitors to this day. The District offers visitors a variety of interesting sites like the Family Living Center, where members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lived during their first days in Nauvoo.
The Nauvoo House is a treasure to be treasured. Located near the banks of the historic Mississippi River, Nauvoo House offers its guests rustic, yet luxurious accommodations and all the modern amenities one would expect from a top-notch resort. Guests can enjoy exploring nearby attractions such as Historic Nauvoo State Park and Nauvoo Temple Square — or simply relax at an outdoor heated pool or in their exclusive three-bedroom cabins with fireplaces.
Nauvoo Illinois Temple
The Nauvoo Illinois Temple was designed by architect William Weeks and built in 1972, representing a major architectural landmark of the area. It was constructed on an elevation overlooking the city of Nauvoo, nestled in the background of its historical scenery. Built as a replica of the historic temple that once stood in Nauvoo from 1845-1846, visitors marvel at the detailed designs and original art glass found within its walls.
Nauvoo State Park
Nauvoo State Park is a great place to explore! Located just 25 miles from the Mississippi River town of Keokuk, IA, it is a natural retreat for visitors seeking peace and serenity in the open skies of northwest Illinois. This unique park consists of 690 acres of prairie land, woodlands, and wetlands that are home to an abundance of wildlife such as bobcats,river otters, beavers, mink and a variety of raptors. Visitors can hike along more than 6 miles of trail or paddle two scenic ponds.