Chamber Welcome

Welcome to Waterloo! We are delighted to have you join us, whether for the day or for a lifetime. Our beautiful city is one of the safest in the country and our dedication to preserving our history and charm make it one of the most desirable in the region.

The Waterloo Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1929 to support the local businesses within our community. Through the years, we’ve expanded, purchased a building space, hired an executive director and continue to grow within our community. As a privately funded organization, we work directly for our chamber members and provide opportunities to increase their visibility within the community.

We are committed to the future generations of our community and do so by recognizing youth volunteerism annually at the MayFest. We also award two high school scholarships annually, and invest in the Monroe County CEO program.

If you are a business owner either located in Monroe County or doing business in Monroe County, you are eligible to join the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and we welcome you to do so!

We encourage and thank you for shopping local. When you choose local, you reinforce the very fibers of our community.

– Written by Jenny Bullock

Why Join the Chamber?

The Waterloo Chamber of Commerce works toward building community and supporting business. Our members benefit through the following efforts:

Building Community

The Waterloo Chamber of Commerce serves within the community to enhance the quality of life for our citizens. Some of the events/programs we host, co-host or sponsor are:

  • Trivia Night
  • MayFest
  • Porta Westfalica Festival
  • Christmas Lamppost Decorating Contest
  • Downtown Beautification
  • Two annual high school scholarships
  • Employment opportunities
  • Relocation packets
  • Street maps
  • Supporting Business

Our goal at the Waterloo Chamber is to partner with our members by providing opportunities for you to promote and market your business! To this end, we offer the following member-only benefits:

Your business listing, including a link to your website and map with directions to your business, on

  • Offer Chamber member discounts
  • Promote your upcoming events
  • Submit photos of your business
  • Be our featured Business Spotlight
  • Monthly membership meetings – a great networking opportunity
  • Access to great speakers and business topics
  • Your business listing in our print edition annual business directory
  • Ribbon cuttings and ground breakings
  • Training opportunities
  • Host or co-host a Business After Hours event
  • Committee/board participation
  • Discounted rates for Chamber events
  • Inclusion of your business information in our relocation packets
  • Business referrals
  • Opportunity to sponsor events throughout the year
  • Social media sharing
  • Promotion of your job opportunities

All of these benefits are included in your annual investment!

We invite you to invest in your business by investing in us – it’s a win-win!

History of Waterloo

Waterloo’s history dates back to the 1780s, when settlers formed the first permanent American settlement in the entire Northwest Territory – Bellfontaine, named for the beautiful spring that served as stopping place for the French traveling between the two French settlements of Cahokia and Kaskaskia.

The area grew to such an extent that by 1800, the population of Bellfontaine had reached 286.

In 1816, a man named Emery Peters Rogers arrived in the area and, four years later, opened the first permanent store, mill and quarry. The neighborhood around his store soon came to be known by his name, Peterstown.

As the years passed, the town was divided into two parts – Bellfontaine at the south and Peterstown at the north. The two communities were divided by a creek, and there was said to have been intense rivalry between them.

Legend has it that in 1818, a man named Charles Carroll, an Irishman, came upon the scene, and to the astonishment of the Peterstown men and the Bellfontainers, ignored the rivalry and built his house on one side of the creek, his barn on the other and said, “It won’t be Bellfontaine, and it won’t be Peterstown, but begorra, I’ll give ye’s both your Waterloo.”

The town experienced a marked population increase in the 1840s, and that is when the German population got its impetus. Many of the city’s buildings and its citizens today still reflect the heritage left by those German settlers.

Waterloo received its charter as a town on Feb. 12, 1849, and the charter was amended in 1857 and 1859. It was chartered as a city on Aug. 29, 1888.

Waterloo became the Monroe County seat in 1825. On Dec. 1, 1978, its historic district was recognized and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Important Numbers


City Hall 939-8600

Office Extensions
Mayor 200
City Clerk 225
Public Works 530
Finance 207
Zoning 208
Building Inspector 212
Community Relations 211

After Hours Utility EMERGENCY 939-1000
(for residents within city limits)
Police Department 939-3377
Post Office 939-7317
Regional Office of Education 939-5650
Reliable Sanitation 939-3333
Recycling Center/County Dump 939-3871
Fire Department – To report a fire 911
Fire House, non-emergency 939-8009

Dispatch/Sheriff’s Dept. 939-8651
Monroe County Courthouse 939-8681

Office Extensions
Animal Control 238
Assessor 211
Board of Commissioners 214
Circuit Clerk 224
County Clerk 302
Emergency Management 531
GIS Coordinator 287
Highway Dept. 212
Mapping & Platting 259
Treasurer 213
Weed Commissioner 297
Zoning 260

Health Department 939-3871, Ext. 13
Coroner’s Office 939-5640
Monroe County Electric 939-7171
Emergencies (800) 757-7433
Driver’s License Facility 939-3663
Human Support Services 939-4444
JULIE – Call Before You Dig 811
Morrison Talbott Library 939-6232


Waterloo has been honored nationally as a “Playful City” and for good reason. Waterloo is home to five public parks, totaling more than 150 acres of green space. The parks contain a variety of features including walking trails, ball fields, soccer/football fields, disc golf, a dog park, modern playground equipment, handicap accessible playground equipment, fishing lakes and piers, covered pavilions, barbeque grills, modern restrooms and even a skate park. Waterloo also has four golf courses and a multi-use trails along Rogers Street and Route 3.

Koenigsmark Park – 316 N. Library St.
Koenigsmark Park includes a skate park, a roller hockey park, a basketball court and playground. The park district office is also located here.

Konarcik Park – 5303 Konarcik Rd.
Konarcik Park is located off Konarcik Road (Fourth Street) east of Waterloo. The park has an 18-hole disc golf course, a short walking trail, a ball field, two sand volleyball courts, soccer fields and modern playground equipment. There is also an enclosed playground for smaller children. Fishing is allowed in the lake; a fishing license is required.

Six covered pavilions are available for group picnic use. The pavilions have running water and electricity and barbecue pits nearby. These pavilions can be reserved for a nominal fee. There are also multiple restroom facilities located in the park.

Lions Park – Lake Drive
Lions Memorial Park is located off Janice Drive and Lake Drive in the Sunset Acres subdivision. The park has a ball field, soccer field, sand volleyball court, modern playground equipment and a covered pavilion which can be reserved for a nominal fee. A modern bathroom facility is also available in the park.

Lakeview Park – Lakeview Drive
Lakeview Park is located off Lakeview Drive southwest of Waterloo and is composed of about 100 acres. The park has a 2.25-mile paved walking trail, modern playground equipment and three large lakes that are open for fishing. A fishing license is required at the park. There is also a handicap-fishing pier on one of the lakes and a dog park with three fenced in yards.

Two covered pavilions are available for group picnic use. The pavilions have running water and electricity, barbeque pits and restrooms nearby. These pavilions can be reserved for a nominal fee.

William Zimmer Memorial Park – Rogers Street
The William Zimmer Memorial Park contains a modern playground, a handicap accessible swing, a restroom and two covered pavilions that is available for group picnic use. The pavilions have running water and electricity and a barbecue pit nearby. The pavilions can be reserved for a nominal fee.

– Written by Sarah Deutch, City of Waterloo

Local Golf Courses

Annbriar Golf Course
1524 Birdie Ln. • (618) 939-4653

Acorns Golf Links
3933 Ahne Rd. • (618) 939-7800

Mystic Oak Golf Course
643 Ridge Rd. • (618) 939-4646

Waterloo Country Club
(must have membership)
131 Country Club Ln.
(618) 939-9810

Monroe County YMCA
9514 Caring Way, Columbia
(618) 281-9622

Waterloo Sports Association
(618) 939-9925

Waterloo Sportsman’s Club
(must have membership)
4903 Sportsmans Rd.
(618) 458-9927

Culture and Entertainment

With multiple historical sites and two museums, Waterloo is a fabulous source of information from days gone by. The musical and acting talents are numerous as well, with an abundant amount of activities to entertain all ages.

Waterloo is part of the historic Kaskaskia Cahokia Trail, Illinois’ first road. The 60-mile corridor connects visitors with many opportunities to discover the region’s diverse history. The trail begins in Randolph County at Prairie du Rocher, winding through Monroe County and ending at St. Clair County.

Kaskaskia Trail Chorus

Kaskaskia Trail Chorus is a membership organization of singers, who meet regularly to practice, perform, socialize and have fun. The main purpose of the Kaskaskia Trail Chorus is to get out and sing for our community.

Waterloo Municipal Band

On the Monroe County courthouse lawn in Waterloo, on any summer Tuesday night you can find a true touch of Americana as the conductor strikes up the Waterloo Municipal Band for another concert. Its repertoire includes marches, show tunes, standards, some light classical selections and a little rock ‘n’ roll! In keeping with the German heritage of the community, the band also indulges the crowd with an occasional polka. In addition to the regular Tuesday concerts throughout the summer, the band participates in local Memorial Day, festival events and holiday celebrations.

Concerts are held every Tuesday evening, from 8 to 9 p.m., June through August at the Monroe County Courthouse Bandstand. Admission is free.

MASC Community Theater

A community theater located in the Historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Waterloo. Serving Southern Illinois and the greater St. Louis metro area, MASC produces five shows a year with the purpose of bringing enjoyable and affordable live theater to the area’s residents.

Monroe County Arts Alliance

The Monroe County Arts Alliance is made up of community arts organizations throughout the county that are interested in uniting, networking and combining resources to promote the wide variety of arts activities that currently exist in the county, as well as to promote interest in creating new activities and events.

Monroe County Historical Society

Tour the historic Bellefontaine House, located at 700 S. Church St., open April through September. Tours are available on Sundays, from 1 to 3 p.m. Closed on Mother’s and Father’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day weekends.

Monroe County History Museum

The History Museum of Monroe County in Waterloo offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience history through a variety of permanent displays and changing exhibits. Tours to the history museum are always welcome, any day of the week. To schedule an appointment, call (618) 939-5008 or visit the website Located at 724 Elaine Dr., Waterloo.

Peterstown Heritage Society

Constructed from early 1800s to 1830, Peterstown House was built as a stagecoach stop and today it stands as a testament of time and as a tribute to the rich and vibrant history of Waterloo. The Peterstown House museum opened in 1973 and took years of painstaking work to restore it to what visitors see today. The museum is located at 275 N. Main St., Waterloo, and is open on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Waterloo Quadrille Square Dancers
Square Dancing enthusiasts. For more information, contact Don Schilling.
RMC Waterloo Cinema 8
113 Plaza Dr., Waterloo

Annual Festivals and Events

First Saturday in May

Downtown Concert Series
Monthly – May thru October

Waterloo Municipal Band Concert
June thru August – Tuesday evenings, 8-9 p.m.

Optimist Club Car Show
First Sunday in June

Porta Westfalica Festival & Parade
Third Tuesday in June

Annual Monroe County Fair
July – Usually held during the last week of July

Waterloo Homecoming & Parade
Fourth Weekend in August

Pumpkin Fest
Second Saturday in October

Trunk or Treat
Main Street Courthouse Square – Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m.

Lions Club Share the Feast meal

Christmas on the Square
Thanksgiving Weekend

GLOW Holiday Lighted Parade
Saturday after Thanksgiving

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Thursday after Thanksgiving weekend

Waterloo Santa Float
Dec. 17-24

Sister Cities of Portaloo

The Sister Cities of Porta Loo, Waterloo, Illinois, and Partnerschaftsverein of Porta Westfalica, Germany, began their relationship on Oct. 2, 1980, when the mayor of the City of Waterloo announced the city would form a partnership with Porta Westfalica, West Germany. The announcement was the culmination of months of active promotion and planning by Waterloo’s Vera Kohlmeier and Porta Westfalica’s Helmut Macke.

From the very beginning, officials and citizens of both cities have visited their counterparts abroad, enjoying home visits. Every two years, an official visit takes place between the two cities. Since 1984, alternating large group visits between Waterloo and Porta Westfalica have occurred every two years with many other small group, friend and family visits in between.

The current membership of The Sister Cities of Porta Loo is 112 members, as of February 2017. The organization is governed by an elected nine-member board of directors, with one non-voting representative from the City of Waterloo’s city council, and one non-voting representative from Waterloo High School’s German club. Board meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Waterloo City Hall. Semi-annual general membership meetings are held on the second Tuesday of April and October.

The main emphasis of our friendship is the summer youth exchange. Each summer since 1984, students from Porta Westfalica and Waterloo have spent four to six weeks in each other’s city, hosted in the homes of local families, as part of an ongoing student exchange program. This program has resulted in countless friendships, frequent return visits on both sides, many siblings of both Waterloo and Porta families applying for the exchange visits and career and life decisions made by these students due to the travel opportunities afforded to them by the exchange

The main funding of The Sister Cities of Porta Loo for 2016-2017 came from the organization’s potato pancake stand at community area festivals. German potato pancakes are made from a recipe received from Porta Westfalica, using 10 pounds of potatoes for each batch. Three times a year, The Sister Cities of Porta Loo members man their stand at the Maeystown, Illinois, “Fruehlingsfest” the first Sunday in May, at the Waterloo “Portafest” on the third Tuesday in June and at the Maeystown, Illinois, “Oktoberfest” on the second Sunday in October. They also host a Trivia Night in September.

The Sister City partnership between Waterloo’s The Sister Cities of Porta Loo and Porta Westfalica’s Partnerschaftsverein has existed since 1980, growing and improving every year, but always keeping the intention of Vera Kohlmeier, Helmut Macke, and the Sister Cities idea in mind – “understanding through people-to-people contacts” and friendship among nations.

– Written by Debbie Cummins, Sister Cities member

Library and Education

One of the best places in Waterloo is the Morrison-Talbott Library, located at 215 Park St. The friendly staff offers help with a wide range of services available to residents of Waterloo and surrounding areas. A major service, in addition to thousands of items in the library itself, is the ability to order a wide variety of books, DVDs, audio books, magazines, Playaways and more, from over 500 libraries in our automation consortium. The library offers meeting and study rooms, public-use computers, wireless internet access, a library-sponsored book club, online catalog, computer databases, Cloud access for downloading e-books and timely programs on topics from wildlife research to estate planning and health improvement. Various activities at the library include craft classes, local-author book signings, trivia nights, movie nights and excellent children’s programs.

For those interested in tracing their ancestry, the library has an extensive collection of genealogy and local history materials, both in print and on microfilm. In addition, access to genealogical databases is provided in
house and on our website.

The children’s area offers materials for pre-readers, including board books and picture books. Beginning readers may choose from reading levels 1 to 4. Juvenile fiction and non-fiction, DVDs, puppets, puzzles, games, Legos and other items encourage learning, play and exploration. Children programs include Storytimes, Lego Club and movie days. Each summer a Reading Program is provided with reading incentives and engaging programs and activities for both children and adults.

Not to be missed is our bi-annual book sale offered in the spring and fall of each year.

Information on current library events is shown on the marquee out front; published in the Republic-Times; posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest; and on the library website: The staff can always be reached for help by phone, (618) 939-6232, or by email,

  • Morrison-Talbott Library | 215 Park St.
  • Creative Touch Cosmetology School | 234 E. Third St.
  • W.J. Zahnow Elementary School | 301 Hamacher St.
    (Grades K-1)
  • Rogers Elementary School | 200 N. Rogers St.
    (Grades 2-3)
  • Gardner Elementary School | #1 Ed Gardner Pl.
    (Grades 4-5)
  • Waterloo Junior High School | 200 Bellefontaine Dr.
    (Grades 6- 8)
  • Waterloo Senior High School | 505 E. Bulldog Blvd.
    (Grades 9-12)
  • SS Peter & Paul Catholic Grade School
    217 W. Third St.
  • Gibault Catholic High School | 501 Columbia Ave.
  • Sylvan Learning Center | 347 Covington Dr.
  • Monroe County CEO Program

The Monroe County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities program is a community partnership between local high school students and area businesses that transforms the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders. Class takes place five days a week, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. when school is in session. For more information about this tremendous program, visit

– Written by Elaine Steingrubey, Morrison-Talbott Library