Illinois January 06, 2017
The Truly Grim Reality Of 8 Deserted Ghost Towns In Illinois
Illinois has thriving towns both large and small, but we aren’t immune to our fair share of ghost towns. There are many places that have become abandoned over the years for one reason or another, and some of their stories are truly heartbreaking. Here are just a few of the deserted towns in Illinois:
1. Cardiff (41.0517° N, 88.2873° W)
Founded in 1899, this former coal mining town experienced rapid growth in its early days. Following accidents that ultimately killed 18 men, the mine closed in 1912, causing the quick demise of the settlement.
2. Griggsville Landing (39°41′49″N, 90°38′51″W)
The United States Army Corps of Engineers constructed levees near the town along the Illinois River, causing annual flooding. The floods destroyed the town over the years, forcing businesses to shutter and homes to be abandoned.
(3.25 miles west of Murphysboro, 0.75 miles south of Illinois Route 149)
The former county seat of Jackson County, this town experienced lots of bad luck. When the courthouse burned to the ground in 1843, the town lost the county seat, and then it was largely abandoned after terrible flooding.
4. Vishnu Springs (40.431987°N, 90.893746°W)
The springs in the town were said to have the ability to heal ailments, making it a hotspot in the early 1900s. The Capitol Hotel was built to lodge the crowds that came to visit. When the original owner left, the resort town began its demise, becoming completely abandoned by the 1920s.
5. Wanborough (38°22′43″N, 88°5′30″W)
This village was founded by an English settler in 1818. Unfortunately, he drowned just a few years later, and that combined with competition from surrounding towns caused the town to vanish.
6. Benjaminville (40.476500°N, 88.80611°W)
Founded by Quaker families in 1856, Benjaminville attracted Quakers with its churches and other businesses. But, when new railroads bypassed the town, residents and businesses began to move closer to transportation. All that is left of the town is an old meeting house.
7. Kaskaskia (37°55′17″N, 89°54′59″W)
Kaskaskia was an important French colonial town with a peak population of over 7,000 residents. In 1881, the town was destroyed when the Mississippi River shifted to a new channel. The townspeople rebuilt, but had to be evacuated during the Great Flood of 1993. Now, just nine people live there.
8. Clayville (39.8667° N, 89.8971° W)
With its heyday in the 1830s and 40s, life in this town centered around a successful tavern that served stagecoach travelers. The town faltered with the rise of railroads. Even when the roads were paved and became Route 125, things continued to go downhill and the area was abandoned.
Have you visited any of these ghost towns? Let us know in the comments.