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.

What's Happening

FOL March Newsletter
Meeting people with personal knowledge of Leclaire history is always exciting, but one lucky encounter last summer resulted in the wonderful stories found in this month's newsletter.

Carolyn Dawson, of East Alton, stopped by the Leclaire booth at the Goshen Market one Saturday last summer and spoke to Mike Reinhardt about the history of her mother, grandparents and great-grandparents in Leclaire. Mike gave her a phone number for FOL and told her we would love to make copies of her photographs and hear her stories.

The second week of February she called, then stopped by with a treasure-trove of Leclaire history, not only photographs, but also memories written by her mother who was born in Leclaire in 1909. We were given permission to copy all the materials.

The stories and family history are the subject of March's newsletter. But if you want to read more, Virginia Pierson Scherer’s memoirs, lightly edited for privacy, have been posted to our web site. To read her full account, please visit the Historic Documents section under the History tab. Thank you Carolyn, for your willingness to share your fascinating family history!

3rd Annual Leclaire Yard Sale
Although it seems that it will never arrive, spring is right around the corner which means the annual Leclaire Yard Sale is coming soon. The sale is from 8 am -2 pm on Saturday, May 17, the third Saturday in May. Participants hold sales at their home and collect all the proceeds from their sale. There is no charge to participate and you need not be a member of Friends of Leclaire.

FOL places advertisements in local newspapers and prints fliers but we need your help to make the advertising effective. If you plan to participate, please call or send a note to Friends of Leclaire at the number and/or address listed below to let us know your Leclaire address and the items you will have for sale. Larger items will be included in the newspaper ads, and all items will be included in a list on the FOL web site. Please contact FOL by May 6th for yard signs and to be included on the list.


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