Walnut was established in 1871. Originally named "Walnut Creek" because of a lone Walnut tree that stood beside a creek of the same name, this little town quickly became a bustling trade center with the Rock Island Railroad, livery stables, The Walnut House Hotel, and the Walnut Flour Mill which shipped much of its product to Europe.
The downtown area, after fires claimed both sides of the business district, was rebuilt in brick in the late 1800s; those structures remain and in some cases still carry the same type of merchandise as they did a century ago.
Today these buildings are filled with antiques and specialty shops. In addition, you will find a bakery and other businesses--each with its own unique character. Rolling Hills Bank & Trust is Walnut's only building on the National Register of Historic Places. Once a hub for entertainment, the Walnut Opera House, built in 1899, still stands on Antique City Drive today.