BUZZ MAGAZINE - After a two-year hiatus, the Madison County Historical Society (MCHS) has resumed all regular programming, including the annual Dining in History (DIH) event. DIH, which also serves as the Society’s annual meeting, is held at a historic site in Madison County and includes a program on that location. In years past, it has been held in the Madison County Courthouse for the building’s centennial, the Wildey Theatre, and Diamond Mineral Springs, to name a few.

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The 2022 Dining in History event will be held on Sunday, November 6, at the Old Bakery Beer Company in Alton. The Old Bakery Beer Company is a certified organic craft brewery and restaurant that occupies a century-old building that was used as a commercial bakery from 1903 to the 1980s. It opened as a brewery in 2015. Tours of the modern brewery begin at noon and are followed by a buffet luncheon at 1 p.m. Immediately after the meal there will be a brief Annual Meeting, held for the purpose of electing members to the Society Board.

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With business settled, the event will continue with a presentation called “Beer and Bread: The History of Breweries and Bakeries in Alton” by Alton historian Don Huber and Lacy McDonald, Manager of the Hayner Genealogy and History Library. McDonald will discuss the story behind local bakeries with a focus on the Alton Baking Company, Noll’s Bakery, and Colonial Bakery, all of which were once housed in the Old Bakery Beer Company building. Altonians may remember going to Colonial Bakery for elementary school field trips and leaving with a hat and loaf of bread.

Huber will discuss the history of breweries that once flourished in Alton. One of the largest and longest-lasting was the Yaeckel Brewery which later became known as Bluff City. The building of the old brewery still exists on Pearl Street. Although there was a half dozen breweries in Alton at one time, Bluff City was the only one to survive Prohibition. Dr. John Lindsay will also contribute to the program.

Tickets for Dining in History are $45 for MCHS members and $55 for non-members. To order tickets or for additional information, call 618-656-1294 or visit the Society’s website at

This story originally ran in the October 2022 issue of The Prairie Land Buzz Magazine

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