Southern Illinois: Wikis


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Southern Illinois. Red; Metro-East region, Blue: East-Central Southern Illinois, Dark Green; West-Central Southern Illinois, Light Green; Southwest Illinois, Purple; Southeast Illinois.

Southern Illinois also known as "Little Egypt" is the extreme southern region of Illinois. With the area code 618, the southern part of Illinois is geographically, culturally, and economically different from the rest of the state. Settled by migrants from the Upland South, historically it was more affiliated with the southern agricultural economy and rural culture. Southern Illinois is culturally affiliated with Western Kentucky, Southwestern Indiana, and Eastern Missouri.

Southern Illinois largest culturally influential cities include, St. Louis, Missouri, Evansville, Indiana, Paducah, Kentucky, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Belleville, Illinois, Marion, Illinois and Carbondale, Illinois.

The area has a population of around 1.2 million people[1], living mostly in rural towns and cities separated by extensive farmland and the Shawnee National Forest. Another area of denser population also resides in the Metro-East, which is suburban towns and small cities east of St. Louis, Missouri.



Early history

The earliest inhabitants of Illinois were thought to have arrived about 12,000 B.C. They were hunter-gatherers, but developed a primitive system of agriculture and eventually built rather complex urban areas that included earthen mounds. Their culture seems to have died out around 1400-1500 AD.[2]

The Illini Indian tribes, after whom the state is named, and other Indian tribes arrived in Illinois around 1500 AD. Archeologists are not certain if these Indians are were related to the previous inhabitants. They left behind all manner of artifact including burial sites, burned-out campfires along the bases of bluffs, pottery, flints, implements, and weapons. Interesting structures which were built by Indian tribes are known as stone forts or pounds. Visitors can see a stone fort built in Giant City State Park near Makanda. At least eight other structures are known in the region.[2]

The French were the first Europeans to reach Illinois in about 1673. When they arrived, the Indians welcomed them. It was French explorers who gave Illinois its name by referring to the land where the Illini Indians lived as the Illinois. They explored the Mississippi River, establishing outposts and seeking a route to the Pacific Ocean and the Orient. Because of increasing Indian unrest and warfare in Northern Illinois, the French concentrated on building outposts in the southern part. The earliest European settlers in Southern Illinois concentrated along the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers at the southern end of the state. Their settlements became important way stations and supply depots between Canada and ports on the lower Mississippi River. Important early outposts in Southern Illinois were located at Old Shawneetown and Fort Massac on the Ohio River. The English ruled the Lower Great Lakes region after defeating the French in the French and Indian War and with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Their rule of this area was short lived.[2]

Arrival of White settlers

The Bank of Illinois, built in 1839-1841, shown in 1937

Non-French speaking settlers were slow to arrive in Illinois probably less than 2,000 non-Indians lived in Illinois in 1800. But soon thereafter many more settlers came from the backwoods areas of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. These early settlers were of English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent.[2]

In 1787, the federal government included Illinois in the Northwest Ordinance which included Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Illinois became a part of the Indiana Territory in 1800. Illinois settlers wanted more control over their own affairs and Illinois became a separate territory in 1809. In 1811 or 1812 the New Madrid earthquake struck the region as one of the largest successions of earthquakes, including the most intensive ever indirectly inferred (not recorded) in the contiguous United States.[2]

The first bank to be chartered in Illinois was located at Old Shawneetown in 1816. The first building used solely to house a bank in Illinois was built in 1840 in Old Shawneetown and was used until the 1920s. The Old Shawneetown State Bank has been restored as an historical site. Cotton and tobacco were grown in the extreme southern region of Illinois. Cotton was grown mostly for the home weaver, but during the Civil War enough cotton was grown for export since a regular supply of cotton from the South was not available. Enough tobacco was grown to make it a profitable crop for export. Cotton and tobacco are no longer grown for export in the region.[2]

19th century turbulence

Contemporary woodcut of the New Madrid Earthquake.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln ran for the U.S. Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. A debate was held in seven towns in Illinois, one being near Jonesboro. Many of the people living in Southern Illinois were first or second-generation Southerners and since the region was loyal to the Democratic Party (which opposed the war), the American Civil War caused mixed loyalties in this region. Cairo, Illinois, at the southern tip where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi, was of strategic importance. On either side of the rivers were states which were sympathetic and supplied troops to the Confederate States Army. Cairo also served as a staging area for Union Army expeditions into the then-border states of Missouri and Kentucky, and Confederate states of Tennessee and Mississippi. A feud between families in Williamson County, called the Bloody Vendetta, lasted nearly ten years and was responsible for many deaths. In all, there were 495 assaults with a deadly weapon and 285 murders in Williamson County between 1839 and 1876. This was very unusual as crime was virtually non-existent in Illinois during its frontier years prior to this period of lawlessness.[2]

Rise and fall during the 20th century

1940 Oil field near Salem, Illinois

Coal mining became an important industry in Southern Illinois at the turn of the century. With cities such as Harrisburg prospering with populations of 16,000 people during the 1920s.[3] Union miners all over the nation went on strike in 1922, during this phase 20 people were killed during a riot in Herrin located in Williamson County, it was called the Herrin Massacre. Williamson County was known as Bloody Williamson for years to come. [2]

The Shelton Brothers Gang and Charles Birger gangs operated in Southern Illinois in the 1920s. Shoot-outs between these and other rival gangsters and between law enforcement officers were common. After being convicted of ordering the murder of the mayor of West City, the leader of the Birger gang, Charlie Birger, was condemned to be hanged in 1928. In 1925 the Tri-State Tornado was the deadliest on record, devastating the city of Murphysboro killing 234, the most in a single city in U.S. history.[2]

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s caused coal miners to lose their jobs when mine after mine closed. Farmers could not sell their crops and lost their land, families defaulted on their home mortgage loans, and young people from the region began leaving for the cities to find work and a better life. After World War II job growth rose within the region, but unemployment continued to impact the region for decades afterward.[2] When the Clean Air Act of 1990 forced many utility companies in the United states to switch to low-sulfur coal, the Southern Illinois region took another strong economic downturn.[4] Agriculture has become the main economic drive for the Southern Illinois region ever since.

Origin of "Little Egypt" name

Southern Illinois is also known as "Little Egypt".

Some historians say the nickname "Egypt" arose in the 1830s, when poor harvests in the north of the state drove people to Southern Illinois to buy grain. Others say that the similarity of the land of the great Mississippi and Ohio River valleys were like that of Egypt’s Nile delta. According to Hubbs, the nickname may date back to 1818, when a huge tract of land was purchased at the confluence of the rivers and its developers named it Cairo (pronounced /ˈkɛəroʊ/) Today, the town of Cairo still stands on the peninsula where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi.

Other settlements in that area were also given names with Egyptian, Greek or Middle Eastern origins: The Southern Illinois University Salukis sports teams and towns such as Thebes, Dongola, Palestine, Lebanon, New Athens (pronounced /njuː ˈeɪθənz/), Sparta, and Karnak show the influence of classical culture as towns were founded. (Greek names were also related to the contemporary national pride in the new republic of the early 19th century, and were given to towns throughout the Midwest.) Egyptian names were concentrated in towns of Little Egypt but also appeared in towns further south. For instance, about one hundred miles south of Cairo, along the Mississippi, lies Memphis, Tennessee, named after the Egyptian city on the Nile.

Although Illinois was a free state prior to the American Civil War, in Little Egypt some residents still owned slaves. Illinois law generally forbade bringing slaves into Illinois, but a special exemption was given to the salt works near Equality.[citation needed] In addition, an exception was made for slaveholders who held long-term indentured servants or descendants of slaves in the area before statehood.

The nicknames for this region also arose from the settlement factors that brought political tensions prior to and during the American Civil War, as regions of the state allied differently with North and South. Because southern Illinois was settled by southerners, they maintained a sympathy for many issues of their former states. They supported the continuation of slavery. They voted Democratic, when the northern part of the state was supporting Republicans. The meaning comes across in this quote from the 1858 campaign of Douglas and Abraham Lincoln:

"In 1858, debating in northern Illinois, Douglas had threatened Lincoln by asserting that he would 'trot him down to Egypt' and there challenge him to repeat his antislavery views before a hostile crowd. The audience understood Douglas: overwhelming proslavery sentiment and Democratic unanimity in Egypt had led to the nickname."[5]

In the fall of 1861, Democrats surprisingly took a majority of seats in the state legislature. They worked to pass provisions of a new constitution, an initiative begun in 1860. They proposed reapportionment so the southern region's less populous counties would have representation equal to those in the north, which was growing more rapidly. Northern Illinois residents worried about the state coming under the political will of the southern minority. "Shall the manufacturing, agricultural and commercial interests of northern Illinois be put into Egyptian bondage?" wondered the Aurora Beacon."[6]

In addition, southern Illinois became the center of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secret group devoted to supporting the Confederacy. With concern rising about armed southern sympathizers, in August 1862, US Marshal David Phillips arrested several Democrats who allegedly belonged to the Knights, including men in respectable positions: Congressmen, state representatives, and judges. One was Circuit Judge Andrew Duff. They were sent to Washington, DC, where they were held for 68 days before release, but they were never charged. Democrats won across the state in the fall election. [5]

After the war, other reasons were proposed for the nickname. Political divisions continued in the state. In the later 19th century, the central and southern agricultural areas joined the Populist Movement. Chicago and the industrial North aligned with similar areas and continued Republican.[7]

In 1871 Judge Andrew Duff wrote an article in which he ignored the war years and preceding political divisions. He claimed the name of Egypt related to Southern Illinois’ role in supplying grain to northern and central Illinois following the "Winter of the Deep Snow" in 1830–31. Following a long winter and late spring, Upper Illinois lost much of its harvest in an early September frost. Southern Illinois's weather gave it good crops, so it could ship grain and corn north. The nickname supposedly arose from similarities of the events to the well-known Bible story of Jacob’s sons going to Egypt for grain to survive a famine.[8]

Belly dancer Farida Mazar Spyropoulos' appearance as "Little Egypt" at the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago brought notoriety to the name, but she had no connection to the Illinois region.


Illinois has been partially covered at times by continental ice sheets. Specifically, Southern Illinois was only partially covered by continental ice sheet during the Illinoian Stage and not at all during the Wisconsin Stage. Thus, the geography of Southern Illinois is considerably more hilly and rocky than central or northern Illinois. Areas of Southern Illinois are more similar to the Ozarks than to central or northern Illinois.

Additionally, the rich farm land of northern and central Illinois is generally not found in Southern Illinois. Significant exceptions are the American Bottom along the Mississippi River and the alluvial soils of the Gulf Coastal Plain or Delta, a large region which has its northernmost extent in the two river valleys of Southern Illinois. The Mississippi Delta reaches north from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and ends near Thebes in Alexander County.

The region's other major river, the Ohio River, winds generally southwest, past Shawneetown, Cave-in-Rock, Elizabethtown, and Golconda. Its waters join the Mississippi at Cairo. In ancient times, the Ohio is thought to have flowed a more northerly course through Pope and Pulaski counties. It carved a broad valley there, fit for a major river. But today the underfit Bay Creek and Cache River occupy those valleys.

The hills of Little Egypt can be divided into two areas. The western area, more closely related to the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, is chiefly in southern Jackson, Union, northern Alexander and Johnson counties. The eastern area, more closely related to the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone, is mostly in northern Pope, southern Saline, Gallatin, eastern Johnson and southern Williamson counties. The Shawnee National Forest covers a large territory, including seven wilderness areas: Garden of the Gods, Bay Creek, Clear Springs, Bald Knob, Burden Falls, Lusk Creek, and Panthers Den.[9]

Of southern Illinois' rivers, only the Mississippi and the Ohio are navigable for modern commerce. The Big Muddy River, Marys River, Saline River and Cache River run their courses in deep southern Illinois. The Kaskaskia River and Wabash River are nearby.


Metro East

Mostly populated Region, it is the Illinois side of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area. Noted area's are Cahokia Mounds, the American Bottom, and historically turbulent East St. Louis.

Edwardsville, Illinois, Population:24,047
  • Population: 687,856[1]


Principal cities

East-Central Southern Illinois

Mount Carmel, Illinois entrance sign

Located on the Wabash River, East-Central Southern Illinois is noted by the town of Salem, the birthplace of William Jennings Bryan, the G. I. Bill of Rights and Miracle Whip salad dressing. It is also the location of the 2008 Illinois earthquake near Albion, and partially included in the Wabash Valley region.

  • Population: 124,911[1]


Principal cities

West-Central Southern Illinois

Catholic Church in Kaskaskia.
Bald Knob Cross rises 111-feet above the Shawnee National Forest west of Alto Pass, Illinois.

Chester Illinois within West-Central Southern Illinois is noted as the "Home of Popeye", where many of the influences for the characters were located. Kaskaskia, the first state capital of Illinois is located near the Mississippi River. This area also contains the ending point of the Kaskaskia River near theFort Kaskaskia State Historic Site. Rend Lake is located in this area.

  • Population: 142,198[1]


Principal cities

Southwest Illinois

Marion town square clocktower.

Located within the western reaches of the Cache River, Southwest Illinois is the second most populated region. The region's most notable institution is the main campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, winner of the 1971 All-America City Award, finalist in the 2009 contest,[10][11] and the fastest growing city in Southern Illinois outside the Metro-East, Marion, Illinois. In the southern reaches of the region Alto Pass and Bald Knob Cross are located near the orchards. The large Crab Orchard lake is the largest in the region. Historic Cairo sits to at the far southern end near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

  • Population: 155,368[1]


Principal cities

Southeast Illinois

Harrisburg skyline. Harrisburg prospered with one of the largest Southern Illinois downtown districts during the 1920s and had a population of 16,000 people.

The least populated region, Southeast Illinois is marked by being within the Shawnee Hills and the Shawnee National Forest. The area includes many state parks such as Garden of the Gods. The historic town of Shawneetown is located on the Ohio River which is the eastern border of the region. The northern reaches of Southeast Illinois include the Harrisburg Coal field, which are roughly 200 sq miles of abandoned coal mines dating to the turn of the 20th century near Harrisburg, Illinois the largest city in the Southeast Illinois area. The Saline River forks through the region as well.

  • Population: 94,422[1]


Principal cities

Shawnee National Forest

Garden of the Gods Wilderness, overlooking the Shawnee National Forest

More than 270,000 acres (1100 km²) of Shawnee National Forest lie to the south of its gateway city Harrisburg. The Shawnee National Forest offers much to see and do. The national forest has 1,250 miles (2,010 km) of roadways, some 150 miles (240 km) of streams and frequent waterfalls, numerous ponds and lakes as large as 2,700 acres (11 km²) (some with swimming beaches), 13 campgrounds, many picnicking sites, and seven wilderness areas where trails are designed for hiking and horseback riding.[12]

Plant life is extremely diverse and ranges from sun-loving species to those that grow in dense shade. Tree cover dominates the publicly owned acreage, and is a significant component on privately owned lands. Oak-hickory is the predominant timber type, however, many other commercially important timber species also occupy significant acreages. More than 500 wildlife species can be found in the Forest, including 48 mammals, 237 birds, 52 reptiles, 57 amphibians, and 109 species of fish. There are seven federally listed threatened and endangered species that inhabit the Forest, as well as 33 species which are considered regionally sensitive, and 114 Forest-listed species.[13]

Seismic zones

Quakes in the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones over several decades.

Southern Illinois sits upon the verging point of two major fault systems, the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. In the 1970s after the 5.5 Richter magnitude scale 1968 Illinois earthquake, scientists realized that there was an unknown fault under Saline County, just north of Eldorado, Illinois. This fault is called the Cottage Grove Fault, a small tear in the Earth's rock, in the Southern Illinois Basin. Seismographic mapping completed by geologists reveal that monoclines, anticlines, and synclines are present within the region; these signs suggest deformation during the Paleozoic, coincident to strike-slip faulting nearby.[14]

A fault plane solution of the earthquake confirmed two nodal planes both striking north-south and dipping approximately 45 degrees to the east and to the west. This faulting suggests dip slip reverse motion, and to a horizontal east-west axis of confining stress. Although there are no confirmed faults in the immediate epicentral region, the motion indicated corresponds to that along the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone roughly 10 miles east of the region, responsible for the 2008 Illinois earthquake.[15] The rupture also occurred partially on the New Madrid Fault, responsible for the great New Madrid earthquakes in 1812, consisting of the most powerful earthquakes to hit the contiguous United States.[16]


Commuter rail

Southern Illinois at one time had an extensive network of railroads. Now the only commuter rail line left is the Amtrak, the US passenger rail system, provides service to Carbondale with three trains daily to and from Chicago, and one train daily to and from Memphis and New Orleans.

Saluki Express provides another mass transit options. SIUC students, faculty and staff, as well as the Carbondale community, are encouraged to get on board. This convenient system offers eleven routes operating seven days a week while school is in session, and a "break route" operating while school is not in session.

MetroLink map Oct2008.svg

The St. Louis MetroLink is the light rail transit system in the Greater St. Louis area of Missouri and Illinois connecting the Metro-East to Downtown St. Louis. The entire system currently consists of two lines (Red Line and Blue Line) connecting Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Shrewsbury, MO with Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, IL through downtown St. Louis. The system features 37 stations and carries an average of 61,573 people each weekday.[17]


The Metro-East area near St. Louis has these additional highways:

Southern Illinois has 4 major interstates that connect with Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky. Depending on the definition of Little Egypt's boundaries, there are three interstates in the region. Interstate 57 is the main north-south highway through Southern Illinois. It runs through the center of the area. South of Marion is the western terminus of Interstate 24. It runs southeast, crossing into Paducah, Kentucky near Metropolis. South of its junction with Interstate 24, Interstate 57 bends to the southwest and crosses into Missouri near Illinois' southernmost point by Cairo. Interstate 64 runs east-west from St. Louis to southern Indiana. It is cosigned with Interstate 57 for a short stretch at Mt. Vernon. Interstate 57 is responsible for much of the growth found around the city of Marion.

Other highways

Bridges and ferries

Bridges and Ferries are an important feature in the Southern Illinois region, being it is surrounded on three sides by major rivers, the Ohio and Wabash rivers to the east and south, and the Mississippi River to the west.

Bridges for automobiles across the Wabash River into Indiana:

Bridges for automobiles across the Ohio River into Kentucky:

Bridges for automobiles across the Mississippi River into Missouri:

Bridges for automobiles across the Mississippi River in the St. Louis area:

A free ferry crosses the Ohio River at Cave-in-Rock. A toll ferry crosses the Mississippi at Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, near Chester, Illinois. Four other ferries operate in Calhoun County, which is north of Southern Illinois.


Out of state airports

  • Cape Girardeau Regional Airport‎

‎‎* Evansville Regional Airport


Colleges and universities

The Southern Illinois Salukis at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a popular sports team in the area.



Southern Illinois has historically been a conservative Democratic region. Even as the political parties have changed, Southern Illinois has consistently voted for Democratic candidates more times than not since 1818. Contrary to common perception, Democratic roots in Southern Illinois relate to the region's shared culture with the South, where the Democratic Party before the American Civil War and after Reconstruction was dominant until the 1960s. Democratic affiliations were strengthened during the Great Depression and Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration.

In the early months of the Civil War, some residents in Williamson County voted for secession from the Union. On April 15, 1861 the citizens of Marion passed a resolution calling for the division of Illinois and the secession of Southern Illinois. The resolution was soon repealed, but General Benjamin Prentiss left a company of men near Marion for defense as he passed by on his way to a garrison in Cairo. Despite some southern sympathizers, most young men in the region joined the Union Army,[23]

Similar to the realignment of conservative voters in Southern States since 1964, the voters in Southern Illinois have increasingly voted for Republicans at the federal level, while supporting Democratic candidates in state and local elections. In 1960 all but four Southern Illinois counties voted for Richard Nixon, as did a total of 92 of the state's 101 counties. John F. Kennedy's victory in the state came from the Chicago area. In the 1980 presidential election, Republican Ronald Reagan won all but two southern Illinois counties. In 1984 Reagan won all but four counties in southern Illinois. Democrat Bill Clinton, a Southern candidate, easily won the Southern Illinois region in both 1992 and 1996. In the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, Republican George W. Bush carried most of Southern Illinois. In 2008, native Illinoisan, Barack Obama won only four counties in Southern Illinois (Alexander, Gallatin, Jackson and Pulaski), further adding to its southern social conservative voting record.

In the mining region of Southern Illinois and counties such as Franklin, Saline, Gallatin, Hardin, Perry, Union and Williamson, Democrats generally hold most local elected positions. Jackson County and Carbondale, home of the main campus of Southern Illinois University, tend to align with the national Democratic Party. For example, Jackson County was one of only fifteen in Illinois to support John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential Election. East St. Louis and the Metro-east area of Illinois, adjacent to St. Louis and included in the "downstate" or Southern Illinois region, also votes consistently for national Democrats.

In the 1998 gubernatorial election, Democrat Glenn Poshard won in every county in Southern Illinois over his Republican opponent, George Ryan. This was likely in part due to his being a native of Southern Illinois.

In the 2006 gubernatorial election, Southern Illinois played a decisive role in the reelection of Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich against Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka. The fact that two Southern Illinois politicians ran on third party tickets probably considerably helped Blagojevich's race.


There are two main centers of commerce for Southern Illinois. They consist of the of St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area (home to approximately 2.8 million people), and the Carbondale, Marion, Herrin, Harrisburg area (home to approximately 245,000 people).

The main agricultural products of Southern Illinois are crops such as corn, soybeans and apples. In recent years there has been development of wineries in the Shawnee Hills region.

Southern Illinois also has significant coal deposits; however, since the late 1980s, the coal industry has suffered significant decline due to the decreased demand for high sulfur coal, which causes more pollution. The collapse of the coal industry has had profound and lasting impact on the region's economy.

The Illinois oil basin is located mostly in Little Egypt. During the early 1940s and 1950s, Little Egypt had a modest oil boom in towns such as Carmi, McLeansboro, and Lawrenceville. Oil production reached more than 140 million barrels per year in the 1940s, but dropped to 10 million barrels per year by 1995. Oil wells in the region have relatively low yield and produce oil with a high sulfur content, making it expensive to process. There has been no significant drilling activity in the basin since the late 1970s.

Manufacturing in Southern Illinois is typically clustered in the largest towns of each county, with the people of smaller towns and villages often commuting to work in the factories. Many of these towns have a number of light factories and other industrial facilities in their industrial parks. Products include industrial electronics, minor electrical items, automobile parts, and packaging materials. Related services include large-scale printing as well as transportation and distribution of warehoused materials and goods. A high percentage of local jobs are in these light industries.


Culturally, Southern Illinois draws influences from the rest of Illinois but also from neighbouring Missouri and Upper Southern states like Kentucky and Tennessee. The immigration route from the east coast ran along the Ohio River, which joined settlements on both sides. In addition, the Cumberland River flowed northwest through Kentucky and Tennessee before joining the Ohio near Paducah, Kentucky, affording a migration route from the interior of those states. Thus, settlers who came to Southern Illinois were from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, with most of these being of Scots-Irish and North British descent, who formed the last major migration from the British Isles to the colonies before the Revolutionary War, and settled mostly in the backcountry. Some migrated further west into Missouri. A road between Golconda and Jonesboro carried settlers and commerce across Southern Illinois, as well as the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.[24]

Little Egypt exists at the confluence of the North Midland and South Midland dialects of American English. South Midland becomes more prominent as one approaches the Ohio River. The dialect change is not a continuum, but rather occurs in pockets, with certain towns and regions notably favoring one dialect over the other. This difference can be found between lifelong residents of the same town. No stigma is associated to either dialect within southern Illinois. According to David Hackett Fischer in his book Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways to America, the dialect of this region is Southern Highland. It was derived from the linguistics of the people of the Southern Appalachian region. This is consistent with the majority of the early settlers of this region migrating from the Upper South. The older term for this type of dialect was "Scotch-Irish" speech (the correct term today is Scots-Irish.)

Entertainment and performing arts


Southern Illinois has as of late been priding itself in tourism as a rural quaint area. There are many state parks in the area, benefiting from the scenery of the Shawnee National Forest. Also Southern Illinois is the oldest part of the state so there are many historical landmarks to be seen in the area, with countless historical markers dotting the counties.[25][26]


Wineries and orchards

Alto Pass Alto Vineyards Hedman Orchard & Vineyards/Peach Barn Inheritance Valley Vineyards Rendleman Orchards Farm Market Uncorked Tours Anna

  • Boyd's Orchards


  • Cache River Basin Vineyard & Winery


  • Flamm's Orchard & Fruits
  • Owl Creek Vineyard
  • Rustle Hill Winery
  • Starview Vineyards


  • Hogg Hollow Winery


  • Eastman Orchard and Fruit Market


  • Limestone Creek Winery


  • Blue Sky Vineyards


  • Bremer's Orchard


  • Shawnee Winery

Creal Springs

  • Bella Terra Winery
  • Windy Hill Vineyard & Winery



Prominent State Parks within the Shawnee Hills and Shawnee National Forest region Include:




Team Sport League Venue
Southern Illinois Miners Baseball Frontier League Rent One Park[30]
Southern Illinois Salukis Basketball, cross country, golf, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, football Missouri Valley Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference Several, including SIU Arena and McAndrew Stadium[31]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Smith, George (1997). History of Southern Illinois: Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests. Higginson Book Company. 
  3. ^ Schwieterman, Joseph (2002). When the railroad leaves town: American communities in the age of rail line abandonment. Truman State University. ISBN 0943549981. 
  4. ^ "Coal is a dirty word". Harrisburg Illinois Library. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  5. ^ a b Simon, John Y. (2006-04-07). "Judge Andrew D. Duff of Egypt". Springhouse Magazine Online. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  6. ^ Drew E. VandeCreek, "Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War", Illinois During the Civil War, 2002, Northern Illinois University Library, accessed 3 Jul 2008
  7. ^ Drew E. VandeCreek, "Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War", Illinois During the Civil War, 2002, Northern Illinois University Library, accessed 3 Jul 2008
  8. ^ Judge Andrew D. Duff, "Egypt" (23 Nov 1871 article from The Golconda Weekly), Springhouse Magazine Online, April 2006, accessed 3 Jul 2008
  9. ^ Shawnee National Forest, US Forest Service
  10. ^ National Civic League
  11. ^ All-America City: Past Winners
  12. ^ Selbert, Pamela (January 1, 1993). "Balancing act on the Shawnee". American Forests. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Shawnee National Forest". US Forest Service. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Seismic Reflection Investigation of the Cottage Grove Fault System, Southern Illinois Basin". Geological Society of America. 2002-04-04. Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  15. ^ Stauder, William; Nuttli, Otto W. (June 1970). "Seismic studies: South central Illinois earthquake of November 9, 1968". Bulletin of the Seismological Association of America 60 (2): 973–981. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  16. ^ Staff (1968-11-09). "Quake Damage Minor; Felt Over Wide Area in Midwest and East". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  17. ^ "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (FY 2008)" (PDF). Metro. 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  18. ^ Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2007). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Google Airports". 2009 accessdate=2009-05-16. 
  21. ^ "Google Airports". 2009 accessdate=2009-05-16. 
  22. ^ Southern Illinois Colleges search
  23. ^ "The Civil War and Late 19th Century", The History of Southern Illinois, Egyptian Area on Aging, Inc., 1996-2009, accessed 15 May 2009
  24. ^ "Trail of Tears", Illinois History
  25. ^
  26. ^ Waymarkers
  27. ^
  28. ^ Winery and Orchards of Southern Illinois
  29. ^ state parks
  30. ^
  31. ^

External links


  • Baker Brownell, The Other Illinois
  • Paul M. Angle, Bloody Williamson
  • "Egypt in Illinois", Chicago History (1965) 7(9), pp. 266–70.
  • Richard Jensen, Illinois: A History, (2001)
  • David Haskett Fisher, "Albions Seed: Four British Folkways to America (1989)

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Southern Illinois [1] is a region in the state of Illinois in the United States of America. It is primarily agricultural, like most of Illinois outside Chicagoland, but includes some attractive, rolling scenery that contrasts with the flatness of Central Illinois to its north.

  • Anna
  • Centralia
  • Godfrey
  • Mitchell
  • Mount Vernon


Little Grand Canyon, Cave-in-Rock, Shawnee Forest, Giant City, Johnson Falls,Bald Knob Cross, Shawnee hills Wine Trail, Jonesboro Linclon Park,

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