Sorento, Illinois

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Sorento, Illinois
Downtown Sorento, IL on 6-14-2014
Downtown Sorento, IL on 6-14-2014
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 38°59′57″N 89°34′26″W / 38.99917°N 89.57389°W / 38.99917; -89.57389Coordinates: 38°59′57″N 89°34′26″W / 38.99917°N 89.57389°W / 38.99917; -89.57389
CountryUnited States
TownshipShoal Creek
 • Total1.08 sq mi (2.8 km2)
 • Land1.06 sq mi (2.7 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
 • Total498
 • Estimate 
 • Density460/sq mi (180/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)217
FIPS code17-70525
Wikimedia CommonsSorento, Illinois

Sorento is a village in Bond County, Illinois, United States. The population was 498 at the 2010 census.[3] Sorento is part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area.[4] It is also considered part of the Metro East region of Illinois.


Sorento was founded as a village in 1882.[5] The town was laid out and platted on August 15, 1882 by August H. Scharf, a local farmer and businessman, and his father, William Scharf.[5] They named the town Sorento after Sorrento, Florida, a town they had once visited.[5] The town grew quickly and by the end of 1883 there were over 500 residents.[6]

The Sorento Coal Mine opened in 1883 and was in operation until March 31, 1914.[7]

Charles Lindbergh is known to have landed in fields just outside Sorento while preparing for his solo transatlantic flight.[8]

Jimmy Swaggart preached at the Sorento Assembly of God church in the early 1960s.[9]

Famed cave explorer Floyd Collins is known to have visited Sorento and explored caves in the region during the early 1900s.[10]


Sorento is home to the Sorento Elementary School which educates students ages pre-K through 8th grade. Sorento Elementary was a 2011 Blue Ribbon school, one of only 19 schools in Illinois and 304 in the entire United States.[11]


Sorento is located at 38°59′57″N 89°34′26″W / 38.99917°N 89.57389°W / 38.99917; -89.57389 (38.999264, -89.573809).[12]

According to the 2010 census, Sorento has a total area of 0.54 square miles (1.40 km2), all land.[13]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2018475[2]−4.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 601 people, 238 households, and 167 families residing in the village. Any official census figures are somewhat flawed and don't reflect the true population of the village. There are many Sorento residents who don't live within the official Sorento village limits. These individuals attend the Sorento school, use the village roads, and are served by Sorento emergency personnel. However, they are not listed in the official village population because they do not live within the official village limits. The population density was 1,110.5 people per square mile (429.7/km²). There were 255 housing units at an average density of 471.2 per square mile (182.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.17% White, 0.67% Native American, 0.33% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.00% of the population.

There were 238 households out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the village, the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $31,250, and the median income for a family was $32,125. Males had a median income of $28,889 versus $15,625 for females. The per capita income for the village was $13,167. About 11.4% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

Places of interest[edit]

Ripson Bridge was built in 1895. It is the last pony truss bridge in Bond County and is a local historical landmark that crosses Shoal Creek. Ripson Bridge is in the process of being named to the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is named after the owner of the property next to the bridge when it was built. The Sorento Homecoming Association is the caretaker of the bridge.

Gnawbone Campground is a local camp ground located on the old grounds of the Sorento Lake and Water Plant. Gnawbone is mainly used by seasonal campers (May–November), but there are a few one-night/weekend camp spots available.


An annual homecoming usually lasting for two days is held every summer normally during August.

A major arts and crafts festival known as the Sorento Fall Festival (formerly the Ripson Bridge Festival) is held in downtown Sorento each autumn, usually on the first Sunday in October. The event features live music throughout the day, children's games, an old-fashioned cake walk, and arts and craft vendors.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sorento village, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2013-03-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c Sorento Centennial Committee. (1982) "Founders". Sorento Centennial 1882-1982 (p 7).Sorento, IL: Sorento Homecoming Association.
  6. ^ Unknown. (1919, August 15). Sorento Founded in 1882. The Sorento Blade, p. 1.
  7. ^ Ingles, Clifford. (1982) "Sorento Coal Company". Sorento Centennial 1882-1982 (p 30).Sorento, IL: Sorento Homecoming Association.
  8. ^ Ingles, Clifford. (1992) "A Vanishing Time". History of Shoal Creek Volume III and Ripson Bridge. (pp. 28-30).Sorento, IL: Sorento Homecoming Association.
  9. ^ Varner, Billie. Personal Interview. 9 Sept. 2013.
  10. ^ Ingles, Clifford. Personal Interview. 4 Oct. 1989.
  11. ^ The Hillsoboro Journal-News online, Sept. 24, 2011.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  13. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.