Collinsville is the self-proclaimed “Horseradish Capital of the World”, and sponsors an annual Horseradish Fest. The area is said to produce 85% of the world’s horseradish, of such high quality that Germany and China (key users of the herb) import it for gourmet use. Known for having a large ethnic Italian population, Collinsville hosts an annual Italian Fest in the Fall.
Collinsville was originally settled by the Cook family and by a group of German American settlers who arrived by Conestoga wagon in 1812, from Pennsylvania, and who founded the Holy Cross Lutheran Church. They also had a hardware store, though they were mainly farmers. Within five or six years, a number of other settlers had arrived and began to perform the legal work required to form a town on the site. These original settlers are all buried in the Cook Cemetery or the Old Lutheran Cemetery. Other early settlers are buried in the Old German Cemetery near Sugarloaf Road near Maryville, Illinois.