Sister Cities Of Columbia
For many centuries, the area that is today Columbia was inhabited by Native Americans related to the mound builders of nearby Cahokia. The first white settlers to come to the area were Frenchmen in the mid-1600s who named the area in which Columbia was founded L’Aigle, French for The Eagle.

Located on the Kaskaskia Trace, Columbia became an attractive stopping- off point for pioneers and immigrants.

In 1820, developer Louis Nolan laid out the lots for what would become Columbia along the eastern banks of the Mississippi River.

German immigrants, in particular, were attracted to Columbia and many from the Gedern region of Germany took up permanent residence. Germans began immigrating to the area around 1833, with the majority coming in the 1840s. Land agents had traveled to Germany to sell land to emigrating Germans. The ground was not expensive, harvests were rich, and the climate was perfect for growing grain. German thrift, tenacity and industriousness changed the character of Columbia from a pioneer settlement to a thriving community.

In 1859, Columbia was incorporated as a town as a result of the growth from German immigration. In 1868, the first railroad tracks were laid in Columbia, and the town continued to grow and develop. In 1927, Columbia became a city.

For the past 150 years, Columbia has grown and prospered. The 10,000+ residents enjoy all the convienences of a modern city and yet are minutes away from quiet farmlands.

(Credit - Columbia, IL Website)