Valmeyer is located in the western portion of Monroe County, with
the original portion of the Village located on the eastern edge of a
broad flood plain known as the American Bottom, and the newer part of
the town on top of the adjacent river bluff.
Development in and around Valmeyer began in the mid 19th Century.
Prior to that time, most of the area had been devoted to agricultural
interests, and to a few scattered businesses catering to the steamboats
which passed by on the Mississippi River. During the 1890’s, the
construction of the railroad between St. Louis and Chester brought
additional development to several small communities along its route. By
1909, population had grown to the point where Valmeyer was incorporated
as a Village under the laws of the State of Illinois.
Population continued to grow and businesses flourished in support of
the railroad and the surrounding farm community. The area was hit
hard, however, by flooding during the years 1943, 1944 and 1947.
Following the last flood, residents rallied with their elected officials
for help, and by 1950, a protective levee system had been built along
the entire western boundary of Monroe County, providing protection to
Valmeyer and the surrounding area.
Valmeyer’s protective levee system
was challenged by the high Mississippi River levels of 1993. In August,
those levees were overtopped, and flood waters flowed through the
Village with water depths up to sixteen feet.
By the early Fall of 1993, it was evident that Valmeyer in its existing
setting and in its current condition could not continue to function as a
Village, because of the damage caused by the flood waters. Local
officials and Village residents made the decision to move the town
center to higher ground – atop a 400 foot bluff adjacent to the former
Bus tours of the original town
and new Valmeyer, featuring the 1993 Flood story can be arranged through
the Valmeyer Village office at 618-935-2131
Events: Festival of the Bluffs / BioBlitz
Saturday May 14th Friday-Saturday May 13th & 14th, Borsch Park Salt Lick Point Land & Water Reserve, Old Town Valmeyer.
9a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14th- Enjoy the splendor of the
towering Mississippi River bluff lands and hike along one of several
trails at Valmeyer’s Salt Lick Point Land and Water Reserve. Enjoy
music, food, and demonstrations, stroll through a market of artwork and
handcrafted items and shop for native plants from Missouri Wildflowers
Nursery. This year’s event also will feature a BioBlitz. Scientists and
naturalists will be scouting for species throughout the reserve for a
24-hour period. Visit the Clifftop website for details on
preregistration for hikes and costs:
1. Rock City Business Complex -
Boulder Boulevard, Valmeyer, IL. For information on tours of parts of the facility contact Joe Koppeis, 618-281-6300 or the Village of Valmeyer office at 618-935-2131. http://www.valmeyerillinois.com/rockcity.html
This property is the former Columbia Quarry Company underground
limestone quarry, and is owned by the Village of Valmeyer. Development
of the property is under the control of Admiral Parkway, Inc. - Joe
Koppeis. Currently located in this complex are Gateway Restaurant
Supply at 1423 Boulder Boulevard, Gateway Cold Storage at 1429 Boulder
Boulevard and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
facility at 1411 Boulder Boulevard. The NARA is currently the largest
facility at the site and includes about 475,000 square feet of finished
space, which is used for the storage of government agency and military
For more information on the Valmeyer
Community Heritage Society, contact the Village of Valmeyer office at
618-935-2131 2. The Valmeyer Community Heritage Society-
The Heritage Society is
working on the development of two museums in the Village.
The first is located at the corner of Empson and South Meyer Avenue just
south of the post office in the new town area. This building was the
original farmstead on the farm property that became the relocation site
for Valmeyer. Inside this structure are the remnants of the 1850-era
log cabin that was built as the home for the Rehling and Stemler
families. Work is currently underway at this facility, with the hope of
having it open to the public by 2012.
The second Museum facility will be
located at the corner of Empson and South Cedar Bluff Drive, across the
street from the Valmeyer C.U.S.D. #3 School complex. Members of the
Valmeyer Community Heritage Society have made arrangements to relocate
the Monroe City School to this spot, and develop it as a school-related
museum. Plans are to move this building in early 2011, and have it open
to the public later this year.
PARKS AND RECREATION:
For more information
contact the Village of Valmeyer office at 618-935-2131, a map of the trails is available at 1. Salt Lick Point trail system - http://www.valmeyerillinois.com/park_saltlick.html
This is a 500-acre Land and Water Reserve owned by the Village of
Valmeyer and registered with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.
The system offers three trails. The Johnson Trail is 1.3 miles along the
base of the bluff and is an easy walk; the Salt Lick Point Trail is 1.8
miles and is a bit more challenging, but affords beautiful views across
the Mississippi River flood plain, including the St. Louis skyline to
the north. Both of these trails can be accessed from the former Columbia
Quarry processing plant area at the intersection of Bluff Road and
Limestone Lane. The third trail is the 1.9 mile Newman Trail which
connects to both the Johnson and Salt Lick Point Trails, and can also be
accessed from the uphill trail head located just south of the St. John
UCC parking lot in the uphill Village of Valmeyer area. These trails
are open to the public from dusk to dawn each day.
White Rock Nature Preserve is Monroe County's newest hiking trail. The preserve is home to 306 acres of Illinois' natural habitat. The tract is located within the Hill Prairie Corridor, a 25-mile stretch of ribbons and patches of hill prairie perched on top of the Mississippi River bluffs. White Rock hosts several rare habitats including loess hill prairie, limestone glades and upland forest. It contains two miles of non-looping trails through dense woodlands with both trails ending at hill prairies. The preserve parking area is located on Bluff Road, two miles south of old town Valmeyer. It is open to the public daily, for foot traffic only, from dawn to dusk.
1. Corner Pub Restaurant and Grill
- 602 South Meyer Avenue, Valmeyer, IL. 618-935-8209. Follow Corner Pub Restaurant and Grill on Facebook for the daily specials.
As you walk the Salt Lick
Trail, you might get a delicious waft of fried chicken or other great
home cooked favorites from the Corner Pub, located in new Valmeyer. You
know you'll be hungry after your hike so be sure to drop in for a bite.