Self-Guided Tours in Stockton, IL

If you, yourself, are a curious dreamer... a wonder seeker... a trailblazer... Adventures in Stockton is for you. Take some time to explore our story and stay a while to build yours.

Here you’ll find: Stories of wonder seekers who came to Stockton to build a railroad community around the highest elevated Main Street in Illinois; Stories of trailblazers who designed architecture that stood the test of time and remind us today of the glamor and ingenuity of the Gilded Age; Stories of curious dreamers who reimagined cheese to feed an Army and transform the world’s culinary landscape. 


Referencing orange flickering flames and upward motion, this mural is meant to capture a mythical reference to a phoenix rising from the ashes as a metaphor for the tragedy of the fire in Stockton in 1896 which made way for a new period of generative growth that followed in the new century.

Stockton Fire of 1986
How did the fire start?
Stockton Fire of 1896

Chicago Great Western Railway

Location: Main St and E Railroad Ave
Riddle: Railroad Crossing, Watch Out for Cars! Can you spell that without any r’s?

Story: All Aboard the Great Western Railroad – the greatest railroad of its time! The Stockton roundhouse provided a place for trains to turn around, switch crews, get repaired, and load up fresh goods, livestock, and lumber to go to market. The Railroad provided jobs for over 400 residents of Stockton and boasted one of the largest workshops filled with people ready to work. With changes in transportation across the United States, the last train ran through Stockton in 1972.

How in the world?
What if it took you months to travel from Chicago to California to see a friend? We now live in a world where we can connect instantly and arrive at many destinations within a day but that wasn’t always the case. Although speeds for trains only ranged between 10 mph to 100 mph, railroad travel cut travel time by 90%, allowing passengers to take an easy ride to see family and friends in different states.

Blair Lunchroom 2

Local woman creates a bestselling moisturizer in the community. The good news is that the popular cream worked to treat eczema and other skin ailments! The bad news is that it contained mercury. View the packaging in the Stockton History Museum.

Mary Pitcher Peters
Eades Building
A flower is structured around layers and layers of petals, with each petal unfurling to reveal a central whole. The petals protect the center of the flower and only bloom when the flower is ready to spread its seeds. Much like a flower, the Eades building features layers of murals connected to the community. The original mural told the story of the town and its railroad origins. Then came a rose mural that was never completed due to a broken lift. This new mural celebrates the floral motif of the previous painting and honors the resiliency of Stockton by featuring wildflowers that emerge after a wildfire.