In his capacity as Republican boss of Elsah, Dr. Farley undertook in 1885 to construct the long building across the creek from his home. Very quickly if became known as the "Music Hall" or "Farley's Dance Hall." In spite of the protests of the Democrats, the hall became a center of village activity, including visits from wandering Indian medicine shows, meetings of the literary clubs, church socials, school plays, and all sorts of dances.

Farley’s Music Hall is available to rent for events.

Located in the Elsah Village Hall, which was erected in 1887, and operated by the Village of Elsah and the Historic Elsah Foundation, the Village of Elsah Museum covers the history of the town from its founding by James Semple in 1853. Visitors will find exhibits covering the varied architectural styles found throughout the town, Principia College, nearby New Piasa Chautauqua, and tools and other implements used by past residents. Special exhibits are held periodically.


There is no charge to visit the Village of Elsah Museum.

The Museum is open seasonally, April through October, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm.

Elsah Village Civic Center

Village Trustee and Zoning Board meetings are held at the Civic Center and it is also available for rent by contacting Lauren McGarry, Village Clerk, at or by phone at 618-374-1568.

History of the Civic Center; James Semple presented the stone school building to his new village in 1857.  It is reported to have cost $2,833.  It was originally the Elsah School and children in grades 5 through 8 were taught in the room which is now the Village offices.  The younger children were taught in the classroom below.  The school operated until 1970 and some of the folks you meet today were educated there. Throughout the nineteenth century both the upper and lower rooms were filled to capacity. The school was also a cultural center for the village since the pupils often performed in dramatic or musical entertainments to help furnish the building.  It now houses the Village offices, meeting rooms and the public rest rooms.  If you walk around to the south side, you'll see the high water mark of the 1993 flood.  Walk back to Mill Street and look down toward the river. You'll get a sense of the power of the Mighty Mississippi.  Some Information taken from Elsah:  A Historic Guidebook by Charles B. Hosmer, Jr. and Paul O. Williams, published by Historic Elsah Foundation, P. O. Box 117, Elsah, IL  62028 

Ice House

Historic Ice House, ca 1865.

Elsah has a number of ruins, but few of them can equal the massive quality of this ruined ice house. There were at least five ice houses in Elsah: at the end of Valley Street, under the Mott’s store, at Eliestoun, and at Notch Cliff. This building was initially a residence built about 1865. The lower levels and closeness to the river makes it ideal for storing ice in the lower levels. A model of the building is in the Village Museum that shows a view of possible initial appearance. In recent years, the owner, Historic Elsah Foundation, had ice house ruin’s walls reduced and tuck pointed to stabilize them. The ruin is often used for staging photographs of families and couples.

General Store

Take a step back in time at an old fashion general store in the heart of historic Elsah, and discover groceries, unique gifts, vintage bottled soda, old time candy, ice cream, cards, books, pottery, and the 'goodies table'.

Open: Wed-Sat 10-7, Sun 12-5                        

22 LaSalle Street, Elsah

(618) 556-0709

Elsah General Store Facebook Page

Methodist Church

Services: Sunday 8:45am

Pastor Alan Abert     Selma Square     618-531-4378

Built in 1874, this small Gothic church was the only house of worship in Elsah until the 1940's. Mrs. Ames donated a small Sunday School Room at the rear of the building.  Available for weddings.

Christian Science Church and Reading Room

Christian Science Church

Sunday Service and Sunday School 10:30am

Wednesday Testimony Meeting 7:30pm

Reading Room 17 LaSalle Street    

Sunday 1 pm - 3 pm      Monday-Saturday  9 am - Noon

The Elsah Christian Science Reading Room is a combination book store, library and study room where you can learn more about spiritual healing.  Come in and explore research materials on the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. You can read the Christian Science magazines as well as the daily international award-winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. All of these resources, as well as a number of other audiovisual and print publications on the healing message of Christian Science are available.

Building History: In the spring of 1931 Jake and Albert Spatz, who ran the grocery store in the large frame building across the street, planned to build a corrugated iron filling station on the site now occupied by the Reading Room.  At that time Principia College was being constructed on the hill just east of the village, and the brothers hoped to serve an expected increase in traffic.  In 1986, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Elsah,  leased the Maybeck Gallery and finished it into a Reading Room.

Principia College

1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028

618.374.2131   Website

Enrolling 500 students from 33 states and 28 countries, Principia College offers an outstanding liberal arts academic program with a focus on Christian Science-based character education.

Treehouse Wildlife Center

TreeHouse Wildlife Center is a non-profit, established in 1979, dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of wildlife while promoting environmental awareness through education.

23956 Green Acres Road Dow, Illiniois 62022

Phone: 618-466-2990   Website

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