Ghost Towns of Illinois (M-Z)

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Macoupin

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McVey

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Miles Station

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Mills Prairie

County: Edwards
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Latitude / Longitude: 38°30’15N 87°58’15W
Elevation: 427 ft (130 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
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Comments: Mills Prairie is a former settlement in Edwards County, Illinois, United States. Mills Prairie was 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of West Salem.
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Millsdale

County: Will
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Latitude / Longitude: 41°26’06N 88°09’51W
Elevation: 522 ft (159.1 m)
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Comments: Millsdale is an abandoned village located in Channahon Township, Will County, Illinois. In 1903, it had a population of 25.
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Current Status: In 1946, it had a population of 20. The Santa Fe Railway stopped at Millsdale Station.
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Millville

County: Jo Daviess
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Latitude / Longitude: 42°26’56N 90°03’05W
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Disestablished: Community Washed away completely 1892
Comments: Millville was initially established in 1835 along the northern Chicago-Galena stagecoach route, a roadway today known as the Stagecoach Trail. John R. Smith and the Burbridge family were responsible for the village’s first buildings and a sawmill was erected between 1835–36. It developed as an important rural service stop along that stagecoach route. Millville was significant in the early history of Jo Daviess County, serving as a civic and commercial hub from 1838–53. According to 1878’s The History of Jo Daviess County, Illinois the town itself was platted on April 14, 1846, within Rush Township by John R. Smith. The town’s fate was sealed by a June 1892 flood which reportedly swept away all of the town’s remaining buildings, leaving no trace of Millville in its wake. Heavy rains swelled the pond at the Cox Mill, ¼ mile from Millville, causing the mill dam to burst. The mill pond waters tore down Clear Creek and poured into the South Fork Apple River, rushing toward Millville. The town’s buildings, unable to withstand the deluge, were swept away by the violent river.
Remains: Millville is a defunct settlement in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, United States, located within the boundaries of Apple River Canyon State Park. Founded in 1835 and platted in 1846, the community was washed away completely by a flood in 1892.
Current Status: No visible remnants of its structures remain today. The site of Millville was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as the Millville Town Site in 2003.
Remarks: Metal detectors and artifact removal are not allowed, and the town site is protected by state and federal law.

Milton (Brown County)

County: Brown
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Comments: Milton is a former settlement in Brown County, Illinois, United States. Its precise location in the county is unknown.
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Morse

County: Stark
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Latitude / Longitude: 41°13’49N 89°38’42W
Elevation: 755 ft (230 m)
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Comments: Morse is an unincorporated community in Stark County, Illinois, United States, located 4 miles (6.4 km) north-northwest of Bradford. 1800 road north goes north of Morse.
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Old Evansville

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Old Westville

County: Vermilion
Zip Code: 61883
Latitude / Longitude: 40°2’36N 87°38’17W
Elevation: 669 ft (204 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1896
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Comments: Westville is a village in Georgetown Township, Vermilion County, Illinois, United States. It is part of the Danville, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Remains: The town was laid out in May 1873 by William P. and Elizabeth A. West, although it started out as a station on the Danville and Southwestern Railroad, and there had been settlements in this area prior to the platting. The first known settler was Moses Scott, who purchased land and built a structure in 1827. The post office was established on January 12, 1874. Telephone lines were first installed in 1900, and electricity arrived in 1901.
Current Status: The population was 3,175 at the 2000 census, and 2,972 in 2009.
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Orchard Place

County: Cook
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Latitude / Longitude: 41°58’43N 87°54’17W
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Established: 1840s
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Comments: Orchard Place, Illinois was a small farming community in Cook County, Illinois, just west of Chicago. Settled by German immigrants in the 1840s, it was known as Farwell earlier in the 19th century. It became a stop on the Wisconsin Central Railroad in 1887 and received the name Orchard Place at that time. In 1942, Orchard Place was selected as the site of a new airbase and aircraft manufacturing facility, Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. After the Second World War, the city of Chicago bought the airport from the United States government and converted it into a commercial airport, Chicago Orchard Field, which opened in 1946.
Remains: At some point prior to 1950 much of the land in the adjacent community was subdivided into residential lots, and a network of initially unpaved streets was developed. This development covered most of the area bounded by Touhy Ave. on the North, (Des Plaines) River Road on the East, Devon Ave. and Higgins Rd. on the South, and Mannheim Rd. on the Westside (the airport lay to the Southwest of the Mannhiem/Devon intersection, more-or-less diagonally across that intersection from the Orchard Place community.) These de facto boundaries were altered slightly by the construction of the Northwest Tollway in the mid-1950s, forming a barrier separating it from the largely undeveloped southwestern corner of the area as well as the airport area in general. Orchard Place evolved into an unincorporated residential suburban area, with housing development proceeding piecemeal as individual lots were purchased by prospective homeowners and speculative builders.
Current Status: The community was annexed by a referendum to the City of Des Plaines in 1956. The airport was renamed in 1949 to O’Hare International Airport and has grown into the Chicago metropolitan area’s primary airport and a major North American transportation hub. Today, the former Orchard Place is the southernmost neighborhood of Des Plaines. The legacy of its original name persists in O’Hare’s airport code, (FAA LID: ORD), as well as in the name of Orchard Place Elementary School.
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Oxford

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Papsville

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Parker City

County: Johnson
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Latitude / Longitude: 37°34’3.76N 88°47’52.28W
Elevation: 585 ft (178 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1889
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Comments: Parker City, also known simply as Parker, is a former settlement in Johnson County, Illinois, United States. Parker City was west of New Burnside, south of Creal Springs, and founded at the crossings of the former Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis Railway and Marion to Brookport branch of the Illinois Central Railroad. The town was named after George Washington Parker, a former president of St. Louis, Alton, and Terre Haute Railroad, which was a predecessor to the Big Four.
Remains: At its peak, the town reached a population of nearly 300 but slowly began to decline in the 1920s. At one time, there were two hotels, two stores, a post office, dining rooms, and restaurants. Also, two barbershops were always full of customers.
Current Status: The Parker City Post Office opened for business December 28, 1889 and closed down October 31, 1941. There were approximately 40 houses in Parker City during its peak.
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Piankashawtown

County: Edwards
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Latitude / Longitude: 38°25’52N 88°05’45W
Elevation: 417 ft (127 m)
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Comments: Piankashawtown is a former settlement in Edwards County, Illinois, United States. Piankashawtown was 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Albion.
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Reeders

County: Macoupin
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Latitude / Longitude: 39° 18′ 20 N, 90° 2′ 27 W
Elevation: 581 ft (177m)
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Comments: Reader (also Reeders) is an unincorporated community in Western Mound Township, Macoupin County, Illinois, United States.
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Reeds Crossing

County: Boone
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Latitude / Longitude: 42°12’05N 88°47’55W
Elevation: 837 ft (255 m)
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Comments: Reeds Crossing is a former settlement in Spring Township, Boone County, Illinois, United States. Reeds Crossing was south of Belvidere and north of Herbert.
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Riverview

County: Kankakee
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Comments: The Riverview Historic District is a historic district in Kankakee, Illinois, United States. The 78.2-acre (31.6 ha) area around the Kankakee River is the oldest intact residential neighborhood in the city. It was originally settled by Emory Cobb, who used the land as pasture before deciding to erect a resort hotel. After the hotel burned down, the property was subdivided. The district includes 118 contributing buildings, including two Frank Lloyd Wright houses.
Remains: Kankakee, Illinois was founded in 1853 shortly after the Illinois Legislature approved the creation of Kankakee County; Kankakee was selected as the county seat. At this time the Illinois Central Railroad built a station, spurring rapid growth. By 1858, the population had swelled to 5,000. Early settler Lemuel Milk drained marshes in the area to create habitable space along the Kankakee River.
Current Status: The Riverview Historic District features 118 contributing properties among its 162 buildings.
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Rodden

County: Jo Daviess
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Latitude / Longitude: 42°19’41N 90°19’13W
Elevation: 670 ft (204 m)
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Comments: Rodden is an unincorporated community located in Elizabeth Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, United States.
Remains: Several markers still exist from the town’s past including roads and structures. Rodden Road, which intersects with U.S. Route 20, is still in use and can be found just east of the nearby Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. The abandoned Winston Tunnel is located several miles west of the town. Other markers include the Inn at Irish Hollow, which was partially converted from the old Rodden general store and Post Office.
Current Status: Old and newly built structures, residences and farms still exist in the area of Rodden. Most addresses use ZIP codes from nearby Galena, Elizabeth, and Hanover.
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Santa Fe Park

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Schoper

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Shasta

County: Alexander
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Latitude / Longitude: 37°07’54N 89°23’42W
Elevation: 331 ft (101 m)
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Comments: Shasta is a former settlement in Alexander County, Illinois, United States. Shasta was located along the Mississippi River northwest of Tankville.
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Stachnikville

County: Tazewell
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Comments: Stacknikville is a desolate ghost town in Tazewell County, Illinois, United States.
Remains: Once a thriving community of local coal miners, this town fell on hard times in the late 19th century.
Current Status: The only thing that still remains is the Hillman Street Barn. Much of the original town has been demolished for farming.
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Sugarville

County: Fulton
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Comments: Sugarville was a community near Put Creek in Joshua Township, Fulton County, Illinois.
Remains: The Geographic Names Information System lists it only as part of an alias for Moore Cemetery in Joshua Township. Skeeter Bonn (Junior Lewis Boughan) was born in Sugarville; he moved to Canton when he was 13. In the 1950s, he was a country music performer on several national radio shows, including the WLS National Barn Dance.
Current Status: It once had several houses, a blacksmith shop, and a general store. It no longer exists today.
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Sylvan

County: Cass
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Latitude / Longitude: 39°59’06N 90°04’16W
Elevation: 607 ft (185 m)
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Comments: Sylvan is a former settlement in Panther Creek Township, Cass County, Illinois, United States. Sylvan was southwest of Newmansville.
Remains: The town was populated during the mid-19th century by mostly Irish immigrants. Currently, there is one cemetery there
Current Status: Most that stand in this ghost town are old farmhouses. Today, Sylvan is located near Jim Edgar Park.
Remarks: A photo of this ghost town was briefly shown in the movie Silent Hill. In the film, the town was misspelled as “Sylvane”.

Tacaogane

County: Pulaski
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Comments: Tacaogane is a former settlement in Pulaski County, Illinois, United States. Its precise location in the county is unknown.
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Totten Prairie

County: Fulton
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Established: 1823
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Comments: Totten Prairie or Totten’s Prairie was a small settlement in Cass Township, Fulton County, Illinois, just to the southwest of the present Smithfield, Illinois. It was named after William Totten, who was the first to settle there in 1823.
Remains: The 1879 History of Fulton County, Illinois contains the following entry for William Totten: When the red man was sporting over the prairie of Illinois and when the wolves were prowling through the forests, William Totten placed his family and effects in a one-horse cart in Ohio and found his way to Kentucky, thence to Indiana, and finally to Fulton Co., wherein 1823 he settled on the well-known Totten’s Prairie. It would require a large volume to recount all the incidents of his frontier life in Fulton Co. Mr. Totten was remarkable for retaining peace with the Indians. When on the warpath they would visit him, trade and sport with him, and leave peaceably. He was the first settler in Cass township and settled on sec. 27. The widow of William Totten still lives on the old homestead with her son John Totten at the age of 84 years. John Totten followed the occupation of hunting for many years, raising such grain as was needed for family use. He was married in 1847 to Barbary Baughman. Their son, Michael P. Totten, was born in Fulton Co., Oct. 18, 1850; was educated in the common schools of this county; is a well-to-do farmer. Miss Almira, daughter of John Totten, is but 13 years of age and is a remarkably good scholar for her age. Mrs. Totten was educated in Ohio and came here with her parents in 1832. P. O., Smithfield.”
Current Status: A small cemetery, called Totten Cemetery or Old Totten’s Prairie Cemetery, still exists in that location.
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Tracy

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Comments: Tracy is a ghost town in Illinois, United States. According to the 1892 Map of the Illinois Central Railroad, Tracy was located just northwest of Buckingham and served as a major spur from the later.
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Tuscumbia

County: Fulton
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Latitude / Longitude: 40° 24′ 49.05 N, 90° 18′ 8.84 W
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Established: March 2, 1837
Disestablished: 1855
Comments: Tuscumbia is a ghost town in Bernadotte Township, Fulton County, Illinois, the USA that sprang up in the township and was platted by Wade Hampton on 2 March 1837.
Remains: Illinois was experiencing rapid settlement during the time of the settlement, and the timeframe of Tuscumbia coincides with the career of Abraham Lincoln. In 1838, Lincoln visited the county seat Lewistown nine miles east of the Tuscumbia area extending the range of his law practice. A Lincoln-Douglas debate occurred in August 1858 in Lewistown.
Current Status: It consisted of 54 lots. It flourished for a while and had a school, but by 1855 was abandoned. A sign on County Road 14, known as the Bernadotte blacktop, nine miles west of Lewistown, Illinois, is the only remnant.
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Vishnu Springs

County: McDonough
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Latitude / Longitude: 40° 25′ 55.15 N, 90° 53′ 37.49 W
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Comments: Vishnu Springs is a ruined resort town located in a west-central McDonough County, Illinois river valley. Not much of the town remains today, however, a few buildings still exist. The townsite is located in Tennessee Township.
Remains: Throughout the 1880s groups as large as 2,000 people gathered in a western Illinois river valley to drink natural spring water that was said to have medicinal properties capable of solving a variety of physical and psychological ailments. Sometime in the 1880s, the land was named Vishnu Springs after the Hindu god Vishnu because of the supposed healing power of the water.
Current Status: Most of the town is gone today, however, the hotel still stands. Much of the hotel has been ruined by vandals and decay. The land was donated to Western Illinois University in 2003 as a wildlife refuge and a place for conservation and research. There are long-standing rumors that the land is haunted by the ghosts of those who once lived in the thriving town.
Remarks: Near the start of the 20th century, a man named Darius Hicks took steps to start a town and health resort on the land around Vishnu Springs. He divided the land owned by his family into plots and sold them for $30 each. The centerpiece of the town was a three-story hotel named the Capitol Hotel which was built to attract people seeking the health and spiritual effects of the spring. The town featured two stores: a blacksmith shop and a restaurant. Transportation was provided by horse and buggy from the nearby town of Colchester, Illinois. Later, Hicks added parks, a fishing pond, a racetrack, and a schoolhouse.

Wanborough

County: Edwards
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Latitude / Longitude: 38°22’43N 88°05’30W
Elevation: 489 ft (149 m)
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Comments: Wanborough is a former settlement in Edwards County, Illinois, United States. Wanborough was 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Albion.
Remains: The community was named after a Wanborough in England. In the spring of 1826 Wanborough was the location of a short-lived socialist colony established upon the model of Robert Owen.
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Weston (DuPage County)

County: Dupage
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Latitude / Longitude: 41°50’41.37N 88°13’24.6W
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Comments: Weston was a community in DuPage County, Illinois, United States, near Batavia and Warrenville. It was voted out of existence by its village board in order to provide a site for the National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), which was selected by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission on December 16, 1966.
Remains: Weston was predated by a 100 home subdivision named West Field, which was on the verge of growing in size due to a proposed development for 50,000 people. However, DuPage County sued developer William Riley in order to prevent the town from incorporating, basing their challenge upon a technicality, and further stated that as it had not properly incorporated that the town had no legal right to annex land for development. In April 1964, four months after the town’s initial unveiling, the project had collapsed and the developed had filed for bankruptcy, blaming the county’s lawsuit. Had construction proceeded as planned, the town would have contained the largest mall in North America, with some 2,000 stores within it. The town also was to have an airport, more than 11,000 homes, athletics fields, a town center, and even large man-made lakes.
Current Status: The former residences are currently being used as offices and residences for the international collaborators with Fermilab who are based with an academic institution. Most of the houses are still an “academic village”, and are still in use to this day.
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White Oak Springs

County: Brown
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Latitude / Longitude: 39°53’00N 90°49’02W
Elevation: 682 ft (208 m)
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Comments: White Oak Springs is a former settlement in Buckhorn Township, Brown County, Illinois, United States. White Oak Springs was northeast of Benville and north-northwest of Morrelville.
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