Today, Waterloo, Illinois, has a population of over 10,000, but back in the 18th century, Waterloo was a new frontier, uninhabited and welcoming to the French Europeans who first settled here. As the first permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory, Waterloo was founded and named Bellefontaine, meaning “beautiful spring.” The settlers loved their new home. The elevation protected it from the flooding of the Mississippi River Valley that we are continually reminded of, and it was conveniently situated near the French stronghold of Fort de Chartres.
In the spring of 1782, James Moore, Larken Rutherford, and James Garretson settled near Bellefontaine. They were the first English-speaking settlers on record to land here. Moore’s original log cabin on the local spring eventually became known as the Bellefontaine House, which can still be toured to this day.
Over the years, the city of Waterloo has been recognized for its work through Sister Cities International. Every summer, Waterloo holds its Annual Porta Westfalica Fest in honor of its Sister City in West Germany. We will see you at the parade June 18! We love this small town and its rich history, and we are always honored to participate in the festivities.
Today, Waterloo offers a small-town ambiance with a great deal of beauty, historic charm, unique restaurants, and boutiques. Waterloo is still as welcoming a community as it was in the 18th century.
Waterloo can be the best of both worlds with it’s small town charm and proximity to St. Louis.
For culture, Waterloo is home to the Monroe Actors Stage Company, the Monroe County Arts Alliance and the History Museum of Monroe County.
Outdoors enthusiasts will appreciate the many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the wonderful climate in Waterloo. Waterloo offers residents fishing lakes, ball fields, disc-golf courses, traditional golf courses, numerous walking trails, a dog park and a whole lot more.
Every summer, Waterloo hosts a series of outdoor music events at the bandstand, with live music. A vintage car show makes its way downtown for car and nostalgia enthusiasts. The annual Monroe County Fair always draws a fair-sized crowd, and the yearly Pumpkin Fest is a favorite destination for families around Halloween time.
Waterloo is a family town with family values, excellent schools, and an old-time ambiance. If you’re looking for a place to raise your youngsters, Waterloo should certainly be on your radar! View our online listings or contact Mandy McGuire Group to find your perfect home in a city that is full of small-town charm. In Waterloo you can Live Where You Love.