In the beginning,Glen Carbon started out as many different small areas. There was Peters Station to the west, Mont Station to the east and the original Goshen settlement. Not much was written about the early days of the Goshen Settlement, but in 1892 the Village of Glen Carbon was established and encompassed many of these areas to make Glen Carbon what it is today.
The incorporation of Glen Carbon would stand as a true testament of industry to the area. Already rich in agriculture, mining and railroading, the Village would serve as a hub of travel for goods and people alike. Two depots for the railroad were erected, one running east and west and the second running north and south. People wishing to travel to Saint Louis, found it quite easy to do by boarding the Illinois Central and Clover Leaf railroads, as they made several trips a day to Saint Louis and back. Rail travel was equally important to the businesses and mining company; as it was the easiest and most significant way to carry coal and other goods to various locations. The Village also hosted many other industries through the years. History tells us that bricks manufactured here in Glen Carbon were used in the building of the 1904 World's Fair buildings in Forest Park, a few of which still stand today. Main Street was a bustling mercantile center with various merchants, slaughter houses, saloons and restaurants. And in 1898 our first volunteer fire department was created.
We have several cemeteries that date back before we were a Village and are the final resting place for many of the pioneers of our community, as well as many soldiers that served our country in various wars, coal miners and the residents that make up our diverse Village.
Due to the incorporation of the Village and the local mining industry, Glen Carbon became a melting pot of nationalities and although the towns people seemed to settle into neighborhoods with similar backgrounds, the Village soon became a community where people watched out for and cared for one another, a trait that is still prevalent today. Many organizations sprang up, their mission to preserve the heritage of one's nationality, but events held by those organizations were open to all and provided a community spirit that was equaled to none.
Over the years, Glen Carbon has changed a lot and is now known by some as a "quiet hamlet"; as most of our businesses have moved to the eastern portion of the community, allowing the "Old Town" section of Glen Carbon to show it's quaint small town image and image that is loved by both residents and visitor alike.
To learn more about the history of Glen Carbon, please stop by the Glen Carbon Heritage Museum located at 124 School Street in Old Town Glen Carbon. Hours of operation are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.