Havana is located in central Illinois in Mason County (of which it is the county seat) about 40 miles northwest of Springfield and 35 miles southwest of Peoria along U.S. Highway 136 on the banks of the Illinois River 5 miles south of Chautauqua Lake.
The town was incorporated in 1848 after first being platted in 1827. The first Europeans to see the area were Louis Joliet and Pere (Father) Jacques Marquette.
The area is blessed with several nature preserves including Chautauqua NWR and Sand Ridge State Forest. In addition, Havana is in the middle of a major flyway for migratory birds and allowed area hunters to supply fine Chicago restaurants with a rich harvest of waterfowl in the early 1900s.
For trivia buffs: Gangster Al Capone developed floating casinos on the river but the 14 gambling parlors were closed down by state troopers in a Halloween, 1953, raid.