Posted by Alison on 1/26/2022 to Commemorative Gifts
The Little Brick House
The Little Brick House is our second custom ornament for the Vandalia Historical Society. Founded in 1819, Vandalia, Illinois is located in Fayette County. Its name likely originated from the Germanic Vandal tribe. It is also possible the name is a Latinization of a Dutch family name or that it came from a small Native American tribe of the 19th century. From when the town was first founded in 1819, it was known that it would be the state’s capital. The state’s previous capital, Kaskaskia is in fact situated along the Mississippi River and was under the constant threat of flooding.
Congress donated land to the newly established state of Illinois in 1819 to build a capital city. Five officials were given the task of choosing the location for the future city. They chose a wooded area known as Reeve’s Bluff, located on the Kaskaskia River about 90 miles northeast of the former capital. At that point topographers, assessors, and builders got to work building a town before the 1820 meeting of the Illinois General Assembly.
Today Vandalia has roughly 7000 citizens. It is located just Southwest of Springfield, Illinois. One of the town’s most historic homes is the Little Brick House at 621 St. Clair Street. It is thought to be built in the mid-1800s and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The house is filled with china, furniture, engravings, and books belonging to settlers during the time Abraham Lincoln attended the legislature (1834-1839). The library, called the Berry-Hall room, pays tribute to James William Berry, the first talented artist of Illinois, and to Judge James Hall who established Vandalia as the first literary center west of Cincinnati. The house is built in simple Italianate style of architecture and is open to the public for tours.