Social visionary N.O. Nelson founded the village of Leclaire in 1890, naming it after Edme Jean Leclaire, who inaugurated profit sharing in France. In contrast to unsanitary urban tenement districts, Leclaire was a model cooperative village offering affordable homes, a healthful environment, free education, many opportunities for recreation and self improvement, and pleasant working conditions at the N. O. Nelson Manufacturing Company. Leclaire was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Neighborhood News

Parkfest is Almost Here
We're less than two weeks away from the 23rd Annual Leclaire Parkfest. This year's event will be on Sunday, October 19th from Noon to 5:00 p.m. in Leclaire's historic Park. Save the date and invite your family to “come home” for this annual party that celebrates our history while providing the opportunity for local non-profit organizations to raise funds that benefit the entire community. We have a wide selection of festival food and drink, live music, narrated trolley tours of the neighborhood, and numerous arts and craft vendors. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

This is the first time in many years that we have had no funding from the City of Edwardsville. We are very grateful for our sponsors: William Krause of Krause Properties LLC, the Law Office of Keith Short, TheBank of Edwardsville and Creative Options Graphic Design. Without sponsors, the festival would not be possible. Thank you!

Parkfest Volunteers!
As coordinator of Leclaire Parkfest I would be remiss if I didn’t include a special thank you to the group of people who make themselves available each year for the festival: Site Supervisors Mike Reinhardt and Al & Kim Pauli; Contracts and Insurance, Janet Foehrkolb; FOL Booth and Trolley Tours, William Krause; Band-stand Décor, Bob and Mary Blain; Treasurer, Jim Milgrim; and Graphic Design, Sherrie Hickman of Creative Options Graphic Design. Most of these volunteers have been doing the job for many years.

We are grateful for their continued support. We also thank all of the volunteers who work the day of the event, preparing tables, working the FOL booth or with other tasks. “Many hands make light work” my mother used to say, and when it’s time for Leclaire Parkfest, I can truly realize the value of those words. Thank you to all who participate! -Cindy Reinhardt

International Interest in Leclaire
Friends of Leclaire was recently approached by a Korean professor for information about Leclaire’s history. Dr. Jae Won Sun, an economist and professor of Japanese Studies is comparing a company town in Japan with N. O. Nelson’s business model. He visited Leclaire and the Madison County Historical Society this summer while in the U. S. as a visiting professor at Harvard. At the end of his visit, Dr. Sun asked to be a member of Friends of Leclaire. We were happy to comply, but will send him his newsletter electronically. Does this qualify FOL as an international organization?

State Association Comes to Leclaire
In August the Illinois State Historical Society held their Centennial Awards Reception here in Leclaire, the first time the event has been held in Madison County. Cindy Reinhardt provided a program on the history of Leclaire and several attendees later took self-guided walks through the neighborhood using HPC’s Leclaire Walking Tour brochure.

Leclaire Gardening
Thank you to Mike Reinhardt and Will Krause who again this year spread 2 truckloads of mulch on the flower beds at the south end of Leclaire Lake. The cost of the mulch was donated by Barbara Krause, who also provided the truck. Thank you Barb!

Half Price Trees
A reminder that the Edwardsville Beautification and Tree Commission has a program that offers half price rebates on trees costing up to $150. There are twenty varieties to choose from and Fall is the ide-al time for planting. For more information, go to and click on Tree Planting Program or pick up a form at City Hall, the Public Library or at the Public Works Department.


Make a statement! Purchasing our merchandise lets the world know you support the goals of Friends of Leclaire. All proceeds from memberships, contributions, and merchandise support the historical and educational efforts of Friends of Leclaire.

If you have questions or would like to place an order:
Call (618) 656-1294