Dedication ceremony to celebrate Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail

Benjamin Godfrey

The Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail Committee will formally dedicate the historic seven-site trail project to the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau during a public ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Lewis and Clark Community College.

The ceremony will be at the Benjamin Godfrey Memorial Chapel on the college’s campus, originally Monticello Female Seminary. The chapel and college campus are two of the recognized historic sites.

The ceremony will include remarks by Benjamin Godfrey (portrayed by John Meehan), Linda and Dale Chapman, Monticello Foundation board member Bonnie Norman and Ann Badasch, former president and emeritus board member of the tourism bureau.

This event is the culmination of the dedicated efforts of the 21-member committee that planned the project. The project includes:

  • Current and historic Godfrey, which serves as a stimulus to encourage young people and travelers to learn more about this visionary personage
  • An accurate portrayal at each site via word and audio presentations, reflecting the true insight of Godfrey
  • A continuing inspiration to entrepreneurial efforts by the community
  • The perpetuation of Godfrey’s legacy through the Benjamin Godfrey Entrepreneurial Speakers Series beginning in 2020 at the Benjamin Godfrey Entrepreneurial Auditorium at the Asbury Village (formerly United Methodist Village) in Godfrey
  • Nearly four years ago, the North Alton Godfrey Business Council spearheaded the project to enhance awareness of Godfrey’s important and numerous contributions, to preserve his scholarship and vision for future generations and to add a significant tourism piece to the region’s historical mix.

    The trail stretches across Alton and Godfrey and includes a descriptive brochure, an audio presentation and a curriculum developed for third- and fourth-grade students, supplemented by a children’s book telling Godfrey’s story. The foundation of the trail includes the permanent marking of the Godfrey and Gilman Warehouse, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the Alton and Southern Freight Station in Alton, the Godfrey Mansion, the Godfrey Cemetery, the Benjamin Godfrey Chapel, and the former Monticello College and Plank Road, which runs between the mansion in Godfrey and Fourth and Belle streets in Alton.

    Historians, educators, authors and municipal officials developed the trail.

    For more information, call Zeke Jabusch at (618) 466-8353.

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