Yesteryear’s Memories: Belle Rive

March 26, 2020

This small town, founded in 1851, has an interesting beginning. It seems that a Tennessee entrepreneur saw an opportunity to make some money in southern Illinois. There was talk of a railroad being built to stretch from St. Louis to Evansville, Indiana. Mr. Edmund Grant purchased over 400 acres of land adjacent to the small settlement in the hopes of selling to the new railroad and make a tidy profit. There were already people making their homes there, and he thought he could sneak in and snatch the good fortune away from locals. What he didn’t know was that there was to be an economic recession in 1853 – and some of the hardest hit industries were the railroads. Mr. Grant stayed for a time in the area, but passed away in 1860 – never receiving the windfall he expected.

Belle Rive continues to be a quaint little gathering of homes and businesses. Pictured here is the local post office – which has served multiple purposes over it’s hundred years of existence.