701 E. Washington St., Belleville, IL, 62220 / Cake artist: Paul LaFlam
Belleville (founded by George Blair in 1814), is the largest city in the southern part of Illinois (south of Springfield and Decatur). It is the county seat of St. Clair County. Belleville translates to ‘beautiful city’ in French, and is also known as ‘Bellevegas’. The city celebrated its bi-centennial in 2014, with a special celebration in the Fall, which included a concert from the Beach Boys. Lots of famous people grew up here including Buddy Ebsen, Jeff Tweedy (of the rock band Wilco), along with numerous politicians and athletes.
Abraham Lincoln spoke in Belleville on October 18, 1856. The balcony he stood on can be found at the Victorian Home Museum. The museum is home to the St. Clair Historical Society. The building was bought by the group in 1963, and in 1968 it was opened as a museum. It is mostly decorated with 19th century artifacts and furnishings.
Cake placement date: March 5
Where is the cake now?: The cake continued to stay outside in its spot until late 2016, the St. Clair County Historical Society donated the cake to the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Belleville. It was re-painted in celebration of the school’s 15th anniversary, and is placed inside. (see ‘Repainted cakes‘)