400 Airport Road
Mattoon, IL 61938
The New Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities (Kevin Heubush, 1997) rated Charleston-Mattoon 27th in national ranking of over 190 micropolitan* communities on climate, diversions, economics, education, environment, health care, housing, public safety, sophistication and transportation. Coles County's total crime rate was the lowest of any Illinois micropolitan, and the area ranked second among Illinois' nine micropolitans in quality of education.
* Micropolitan: a city of between 15,000 and 50,000 people in counties of at least 40,000 population.
Abe Lincoln visits Coles County on regular basis
In the 1840s, Thomas Lincoln, the father of Abraham Lincoln, established his farm on Goosenest Prairie in the southern part of Coles County. The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site is located in the southern-central area of the county. Live interpretation of the 1840s is enacted throughout the year and Abe Lincoln makes periodic visits to the log cabin as he did in the mid 1800s. The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site offers interpreters portraying members of the Lincoln family and neighbors on a daily basis during the summer months, doing daily activities common to an 1840s farm and talking to visitors in a period dialect.
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas held their fourth debate at a site now known as the Coles County Fairgrounds. The Coles County Fair is the oldest continuous fair in the State of Illinois.
Coles County Growth
In the 1850s, the community became an off-spring of the western movement of the railroads, prospering and growing at a surprising rate. In 1861, Ulysses S. Grant, then a captain, came to Mattoon to muster in the troops of the 21st Illinois Infantry.
In the early 1900s, manufacturers found Coles County to be an ideal location for trade. Centrally located in the nation and in the State of Illinois, Coles County now has the advantage of an airport, rail services, highways and Interstate 57. Manufacturers and large office operations continue to enjoy the opportunities that Coles County continually offers, whether it be location, higher education, hard working labor force, community involvement or recreation.
Baseball Capital of the United States
Mattoon holds the title of Baseball Capital of the United States. With a population of under 20,000, over 10% of Mattoon residents currently participate in baseball, softball or tee-ball on over 160 organized teams. They were host of the Babe Ruth Bambino League World Series in August 1999. Then in August 2000 Mattoon was host of the inaugural Babe Ruth Cal Ripken Baseball Division World Series . The series included international teams from Australia, Canada, Holland, Italy and Far East along with U.S. teams and the Host team. The championship game was televised live on the FOX TV network.
Parks and Recreation
Coles County offers three public swimming pools, including Lytle Park's Million-Gallon Swimming Pool in Mattoon. The county offers the avid golfer a choice of six golf courses (four public golf courses and two country clubs). Nestled in agricultural land, Coles County sports a number of lakes for water recreation, camping, boating and fishing. The communities pull together during the warm weather with a variety of fairs, festivals, art exhibitions, craft shows and entertainment.
Mattoon is known as Bagel Capital of the World, with the world's largest free bagel breakfast during Bagelfest in late July. Celebration Festival of the Arts, Herb Festival, Chocolate Harvest, Christmas Marketplace, Trees and Sweets Expo, Corn and Bean Festival are among a few of the many events held throughout the year. Fox Ridge State Park, and the Walnut Point State Park offer a variety of great family recreation areas.