Belleville Bicentennial: 200

To celebrate Belleville’s 200th birthday this year, an exhibit, Belleville Bicentennial: 200, has been put together at the Schmidt Art Center on the campus of Southwestern Illinois College.


Similar to the 250 in 250 exhibit at the Missouri History Museum that celebrates St. Louis’ 250th birthday, this display has 200 items that illustrate Belleville’s long history.

It is broken up into six sections, which focus on Belleville’s beginning and growth, the jobs that people in Belleville have had, the opportunities for service in the city, and education and recreation:

How else to illustrate “Belleville Begins” than with a copy of the original hand-drawn plat map of the town?


The children liked that baseball was displayed in the “Belleville Plays” section:


And of course you can’t have a “Belleville Learns” display without some report cards:


This Civil War drum in the “Belleville Serves” section looks like it has a lot of stories to tell:


Our old our county courthouse was so beautiful, and the model of it in the “Belleville Grows” display showcased its beauty even more than old pictures do!


And a big part of the “Belleville Works” display was this architect’s drafting table, which I thought was really cool!


The section of the gallery dedicated to Belleville’s German heritage was of particular interest to me:

Of course there was a tribute to one of Belleville’s most famous sons, Buddy Ebsen:


There were so many other cool things to see…I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story!

And at the end, you have a chance to ponder a final thought:


Even though it is in a very small space, this display was very well done, and does a good job of telling the Belleville story. If you have a chance, you should go take a look at it yourself!

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