Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail Project
The North Alton Godfrey Business Council is pleased to announce the creation of the Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail Project which will portray the life in the entrepreneurial spirit of Benjamin Godfrey to the historical significance of Alton and Godfrey, Illinois.
The intended purposes of this project are to provide a knowledge base for our young children, make the community more aware of the importance of numerous contributions of Godfrey, preserve his scholarship and vision for future generations, and to add yet another significant tourism piece to the historical mix of the region.
Benjamin Godfrey’s portrayal will be presented on several platforms – a video presentation, a descriptive brochure, a self-guided audio presentation, a curriculum developed for 3rd and 4th graders – supplemented by a children’s book illustrating and telling the story of this visionary. The foundation of these informational elements will be permanent markers identifying 1) the Godfrey and Gilman Warehouse, 2) St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3) the Godfrey and Gilman homes and 4) the Alton and Sangamon Railroad Freight Station in Alton; in Godfrey – 5) the Godfrey Mansion, 6) the Godfrey Cemetery, 7) the Benjamin Godfrey Chapel, 8) Monticello College (now Lewis and Clark College) and finally 9) the plank road traversing between the Mansion in Godfrey and 4th and Bell St. in Alton.
A committee of worthy historians, educators, a former site owner, local published author, foundation and municipal executives, and interested council members have been meeting for over a year to plan, arrange promotion and fundraising, and prepare a budget to execute this project. Other major contributors are creative and talented Alton High School illustrators and a local consulting firm who is producing videos.
Recent events highlighting the project include the appearance and brief presentation by Benjamin Godfrey at the 25th anniversary celebration of the founding of the village of Godfrey; and the recognition of Godfrey as a seaman in the war of 1812 at the Godfrey Cemetery, his final resting place.