Welcome to Aledo Main Street
Welcome to Aledo! We hope you’ll enjoy a visit to our rural farm community soon to experience our hometown charm, 19th century architecture and slower pace. Aledo, Illinois, with a population of 3,700 is centrally located in Mercer County, about 160 miles west of Chicago and about 45 minutes south of the Quad Cities. Founded in 1855, Aledo is the County Seat of historical Mercer County.
A stroll down Main Street, or through our historic residential neighborhoods, is an architectural history tour, as our town looks much like it did at the turn of the century. Since Aledo is the county seat, the 19,000 residents of Mercer County travel here to shop and conduct business. One trip to Aledo can accomplish a great deal since Aledo has much to offer. The historic downtown business district, located just off the main route of Illinois 17 and 94 is one of which we are justly proud. Spend time browsing through our antique stores, specialty shops and cafes. In 2002, Lt. Governor Corinne Wood designated Aledo as Illinois’ newest Main Street Community.
Aledo is rich in history and there are several opportunities to experience that history first hand. You can have a truly unique bed and breakfast experience at the historic former Mercer County Jail turned into The Slammer Great Escape Bed and Breakfast. In addition, Aledo boasts Mercer County’s oldest family entertainment center with the century old Aledo Opera House. Current, feature-length movies are being presented in the Opera House which was built in 1904 and restored in 2002. You can also step back in time and tour the Mercer County Courthouse. This grand building, built in 1894, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Aledo is home of the Essley-Noble Museum, Rhubarb Festival, Blue Grass Festival, the 150 year old Mercer County Fair, Antique Days, and the Mercer County Speedway.
Aledo is just 45 minutes south of the Quad Cities. Follow Hwy. 67 south from Milan, Illinois, turn west at the stoplight in Viola on to Route 17 which will take you directly to Aledo. If you enjoy a small town atmosphere, a trip to Aledo will be like coming home.
2013 Aledo Main Street Scholarship Winners
The 4th Annual Aledo Main Street Scholarship was awarded
A total of 20 Mercer County High School Seniors applied for this scholarship. Shoppers who spent money at our local participating businesses were encouraged to vote for their favorite MCHS Senior. In general, each dollar the shopper spent equated to 1 vote for the student of choice, so $20 spent meant 20 votes for their favorite student. You might find it interesting to know that within the 24 participating businesses nearly 113,000 votes were cast.
Here are quotes from essays on “Why do you think it’s important to have a downtown that is active, thriving & progressing?” First, “Downtown provides that all-important first impression of the community that answers the questions “Is this a place I’d want live, a place my employees would want to live. Would I like to hang out here and show off to friends and family?” And from the other recipient “I’ve realized that growing up in a small town has greatly impacted my life in a positive way. Giving me opportunities to participate in many community event that bring us all together as one, and allow us to support each other and our town.”
It is my honor to announce the 2013 Aledo Main Street Scholarship recipients are Carson Hank & Jorden Ruh.
This Scholarship was sponsored by:
Aledo Main Street, Richard Lee, CPA, Knox Heating & Cooling, Ltd., LaBelliVie Wine & Martini Bar, Wagner Pharmacy, PC Works, Stuts Drug & Hallmark, Cooper Floor Covering, Aledo Meat Market, McKnight Pharmacy, Hyett Furniture, BankOrion, The Vintage Button, Boney’s Farm Store, Blessed By Nature, Goldsmith Jewelers, Cokel’s Welding & Muffler Repair, Aledo Pawn & Gun, Curves For Women, Country Financial Agents: Tracy Bigham, Lou Sutton & John Waugh, Rush’s Maytag, Shirt Tales & Blackhawk Bank & Trust.
Aledo Main Street was designated an Illinois Premier Main Street Program in 2007 - 2009 with plans to pursue the designation again in 2010. Premier Communities are mature Main Street programs that serve as a model to those just beginning the downtown revitalization process.
Aledo was originally designated an Illinois Main Street Community in 2002. A designated program has met the National requirements and is successfully applying the Main Street Approach in their communities. Designated programs receive a full range of services from Illinois Main Street. To request design assistance from Illinois Main Street Architectural Services, complete this form and return to the Aledo Main Street office.