The New Rating Guide to Life in America’s Small Cities rated Charleston-Mattoon 27th in its 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.
Abraham Lincoln Historic Sites
In the 1840s, Thomas Lincoln, the father of Abraham Lincoln, established his farm on the prairie in southern Coles County. The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site is located in Coles County where live interpretation of events from the 1840s are enacted throughout the year. The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site offers interpreters who portray the Lincoln family and their neighbors on a daily basis during the summer months. Daily activities common to an 1840s farm occur and visitors are invited to join the “work.”
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas held their fourth debate at a site which is now home to the Coles County Fair. A debate museum is located on the fairgrounds with regular activities and reenactment events.
Coles County’s Diverse Economic Base
The industrial, service, and commercial sectors have all found Coles County to be an ideal location for business. Centrally located in the nation and in the State of Illinois, Coles County boasts an airport, Class I rail service, state highways and Interstate 57. Manufacturers and large office operations continue to grow and add employees at a swift pace. Access to markets, access to institutions of higher education in the community, access to an award winning and growing regional health system, and access to a labor force with an above average labor productivity factor have all led to stable and growing businesses in the county.
Baseball Capital of the United States
Mattoon is known as the little league baseball capital of the United States. With over 175 organized teams, Mattoon hosts the Babe Ruth Bambino League World Series and the Babe Ruth Cal Ripken Baseball Division World Series among other tournaments all summer. National and international teams regularly compete in these tournaments with live action carried on nationally televised networks.
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. Bicycle and hiking trails are being added and improved at a rapid pace drawing visitors from all over the country for races and recreation around the lakes, trails, and state parks in the county. 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, Red, and White and Blue Days, are among 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.
Coles County offers a diverse faith based community for followers of all faiths and philosophies, including non-denominational organizations. A wide variety of belief systems are embedded into the county’s foundation. Many campus groups at Eastern Illinois University have been organized to provide additional opportunities for learning, worship and fellowship.
Journal Gazette-Times Courier serves the region.
Daily Eastern News: serves the campus and community of Eastern Illinois University
Locally operated radio stations
WEIC AM 1270
WHQQ FM 98.9
WLBH AM 1170 FM 96.9
WMCI FM 101.3
WWGO FM 92.1
WXET FM 107.9
All major networks with reception from six cities
WEIU TV from Eastern Illinois University
Consolidated Communications, Inc., one of the nation’s largest publicly traded telecommunications companies, is headquartered in Coles County and offers a wide range of services over its fiber-rich, technologically advanced IP-based network.
Summer – 77 degrees Fahrenheit
Winter – 31 degrees Fahrenheit
Rainfall – 39 inches
Snowfall – 17 inches