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WOOD RIVER

The history of Wood River dates back to the early 1800s and the encampment of Lewis & Clark. On May 14, 1804, the River Dubois or the Wood River marked the point of departure for the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery and the journey westward. Over time, the rivers have changed their course, and the small Wood River ceases to exist, yet the community still lives on.

Settlers to Wood River began arriving in the early 1800's, but it was not until the early 1900's that the city really started to see growth. In 1906, Standard Oil Company chose Wood River as a location for a new refinery. As word of the refinery spread, spectators and workers began to move into the region. By 1920, the U.S. Census showed Wood River to be the fastest growing town in the United States.

The Wood River Heritage Council has worked diligently to preserve the town's past at the Wood River Museum and Visitor's Center. It is here that you will find exhibits on the Wood River massacre of 1814, Olde Downtown, the Flood of 1915, the World's largest swimming pool, and the impact of Standard Oil on this growing community. Another historic stop is the Vaughn Cemetery on Illinois Route 111 where Revolutionary War soldiers, Civil War soldiers and Wood River massacre victims are buried.

In addition to exploring the town's history, Wood River has much to offer visitors interested in putting around or making a big splash. The Belk Park Golf Course is one of the premier golf courses in the state of Illinois welcoming more than 50,000 visitors a year to enjoy 18-holes in this picturesque park. For families looking to cool off on a hot summer day, the Aquatic Center water recreation complex features a wading pool, Olympic size lap pool, two 4-story high water slides, diving wells and a volleyball court.

For more information on the community of Wood River, go to www.woodriver.org.

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