Vandalia, Illinois Tourist Information Center
Tourist Information Center
1408 North Fifth Street
Vandalia, Illinois 62471
The Tourist Information Center and Chamber of Commerce home base are located on Rt. 51 and Veteran's Avenue. The center is open year round and the staff is most helpful with current information about community events, motel rates, restaurants and historic site information.
The office hours are Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM
Other hours of service are as follows:
Memorial Day - Labor Day
Saturday 9:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Tourist Information Sign
This Chamber of Commerce tourist information sign is the culmination of five years of industrious work by Chamber members to fulfill the dream and goal of several organizations who wanted a community sign. In May, 1992, the local Soroptimists and the Chamber of Commerce compiled a list of projects for local improvements. The objective of the list was to provide an outline to various service and civic organizations to pick a project. The Chamber picked the sign. Over the next 5 years, five Chamber Presidents and the membership brought the project to completion. Many roadblocks had to be overcome.
The 1992 leadership of Joe Cearlock and his committee looked at what was wanted for the sign. They researched many communities and decided it must be a "substantial" structure. Contacts were made with the Illinois Department of Transportation to determine needed steps and procedures, since the sign was to be on State right-of-way.
In 1993, under the direction of the late Paul Zeman progress continued and Architect Dan Hurford presented a preliminary drawing. The first donation of $250.00 was received from the 1st National Bank.
In 1994, under the direction of Kevin Childers the project continued. Progress and more problems were discovered that complicated the project. It was discovered that the property near the Tourist Information Center reverted back to the previous original owner, Harry Mabry, if I.D.O.T. abandoned it as was needed for the sign to be placed on City property. The process of conveying the land from the Mabrys to the City was begun. This year also saw a revised drawing of the structure.
In 1995, the process of securing the land needed for the sign continued under the Presidency of David Mahon. Mayor Rich Walker worked with the Mabrys to arrange a land swap that gave them two city lots in exchange for giving the Tourist Information Center to the City. The City then agreed to lease the land to the Chamber. This land trade was delayed because it involved State Highway right-of-way, requiring approval by the State Legislature. Senator Frank Watson attached a provision to another bill and the approval was granted. A lease was signed in December 1995 between the City and the Chamber.
In 1996, most hurdles had been cleared and the fund-raising began. Chamber President Jean Stombaugh took the lead in pushing the project to completion. The sign was valued at approximately $33,000.00 if all materials and services were purchased at full price. Today it is insured for over $43,000.00.
1997 was the year showing the coming-together of the previous four years' work. The structural steel was welded off site and March 8th, the on-site construction began. Volunteers from the Chamber and the community spent countless hours working on the site. The dedication was held Spetember 4, 1997. Chamber President was Steve Henna.