Recently, while assisting a patron with genealogy research, Recorder Amy M. Meyer happened upon the original plat of Alton from 1817, folded and stuck between the pages of an early deed book almost 200 years ago. An Altonian and history buff, Meyer, was excited by the find. She immediately contacted the Illinois State Archives, the agency in charge of preserving public records of historical value, and the document was recently picked up by ISA Director Dave Joens. Mr. Joens reported that the delicate restoration work has begun, as the picture illustrates, and will be completed by early summer. Once fully restored, the plat will be digitally copied, and available through the Recorder's Office for the standard plat fee of $10.
The Madison County Recorder's Office is responsible for making and preserving a record of all land transfers and plats in Madison County. The records collection dates to 1812 and contains countless historical treasures for anyone interested in the early history of the county. Meyer is mindful, and reminds her staff regularly, that in addition to the legal need for their work, their daily recordings form part of the basis for the recorded history of Madison County. Hence, the motto for the office - History Begins Here. Meyer stated, "Treasures abound in our records collection, especially the very early books and plats, for anyone who enjoys local history or has an interest in genealogy."
Meyer invites the public to visit the records vault, located in the Madison County Recorder's Office at 157 N. Main Street, Edwardsville, open M-F from 8:30-4:30. Research sessions for groups can be scheduled by contacting Recorder@county.madison.il.us or calling (618) 692-7040.