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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Illinois.

Like many other states, Illinois doesn’t garner a lot of verbiage in ghost town literature.  Yet in this extremely historic state is loaded with the objects of our affection, to a surprising degree.  Illinois was home to many Native American tribes far before the Europeans “discovered” and settled it in the late 1600s.  The first town actually established was Cahokia in 1699.  Settlement was slow at first, and in 1717 the future state became a part of French Louisiana, but in 1763 was awarded to the British after the French & Indian Wars ended.  That occupancy was short-lived as American General George Rogers Clark took it from the British in 1778 during the Revolutionary War.


After the war ended, settlement began in earnest, and in 1809 it became a territory, followed by statehood as the 21st state in 1818.  Through the 19th Century towns erupted across the landscape, and many times they died being replaced by newer, more conveniently located settlements. 


The military, railroads, river traffic, farming and the mining industry all contributed their share to communities, many of which either disappeared or were abandoned.


The state’s phenomenal growth cycle is easily charted through by population figures.  In 1800, 2458 people lived here.  By 1840 that had grown to 476,183!  Only 20 years later (1860) the population reached 1.7 million.  It hasn’t looked back since.


From tiny little farm towns or railroad stations/shipping points to the nation’s 3rd largest city, Chicago, this surprisingly rural state is blessed with many hundreds of ghost towns of all ilk.


If you know of any ghost towns in the Land of Lincoln that are not listed here, or know the current status of towns listed with little information, please contact us.  What is listed here is just a tiny portion of what I have in my files.


HELP!  (NEW FEATURE) Please check here to find a list of ghost towns that various contacts are looking for.  IF you have any information on these places please e-mail me and I can respond back to those looking for info on these ghosts.



Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.







Cook Co.

Located 30 miles southwest of Chicago and three miles south of Orland Park.  It was originally established as a Wabash Line Railroad station in 1891 (possibly as early as 1881).  In 1910 Alpine was at its peak. In 1912 fire destroyed the store and two saloons, putting the town in a tailspin and by WWII it was a vacant site. 


According to an E-mail rec’d Jun 24, 2009, “Alpine has risen.  It's now a subdivision with the same streets and street names”


See our Alpine page for more details.

LaSalle Co.

This old railroad town is located along the Burlington-Northern Railroad about a quarter mile east of where the tracks cross SH 23 (E 18th Rd., at a point a mile north of the junction of SH 23/CR (County Route) 22, seven miles west-northwest of Sheridan and six miles southeast of Earlville.


·        NW¼ Sec 31, T36N, R4E, 3rd Principal Meridian (PM), Adams Township (Twp)

·        Latitude: 41.5555866 / 41° 33’ 20” N

·        Longitude: -88.8111891 / 88° 48’ 40” W 


McLean Co.

This old railroad stop is located on a road paralleling the railroad, and I-55 (old route 66), four miles southwest of Chenoa.  The GNIS aerial photo shows what appears to be a couple of warehouse-looking structures along the east side of the railroad.


·        SW¼ of the SW¼ of the NW¼ Sec 27, T26N, R4E, 3rd PM, ChenoaTwp

·        Latitude: 40.6908680 / 40° 41’ 27” N

·        Longitude: -88.7542319 / 88° 45’ 15” W 


GNIS also lists a historical school for Ballard.  It shows the site about a half mile southwest of the railroad stop, on the west side of I-55 just north of an unconnected overpass and just northeast of the cell tower and pond.  Nothing is visible on the aerial photo.



·        SWCorner (SWC) of the SE¼ of the SE¼ Sec 28, T26N, R4E, 3rd PM, Chenoa Twp

·        Latitude: 40.683458 / 40° 41’ 01” N

·        Longitude: -88.7603433 / 88° 45’ 37” W 


La Salle Co.

Located at the junction of N 38th Road and the former railroad grade just south of the section line about a half mile east of US 52, at a point one mile north of the junction of US 52/SH 251.  It is about 1.5 miles northwest of Troy Grove, four miles south of Mendota, four miles west of I-39 at Exit 66.  GNIS aerial photo shows nothing at the site on either side of the section line road.


·        Center of N section line Sec 28, Ctr of S section line Sec 21, T35N, R1E, 3rd PM, Troy Grove Twp

·        Latitude: 41.4841997 / 41° 29’ 03” N

·        Longitude: -89.1173057 / 89° 07’ 02” W 


Marshall Co.

Located on old railroad junction a half mile north of SH 17, between 2500 E and 2600 E, four miles east of Varna, three miles northwest of Toluca.  There is nothing visible besides the railroad grade scars on the GNIS aerial photo.


·        Ctr Sec 30, T30N, R1E, 3rd PM, Evans Twp

·        Latitude: 40.0372561 / 40° 02’ 14” N

·        Longitude: -89.1536945 / 89° 09’ 13” W 


Champaign Co.

“I have come across a cover (stamped envelope) dated 1889 for Dillsburgh, Illinois.  It says this was a ghost town in Champaign, Co.  Do you have any info for it?” 


Contributed by Jerry Vitton, September 16, 2008


Dillsburg is listed by Rand McNally as a rural community in the northeastern part of the county northeast of Urbana.  No post office is listed from at least 1986 through current.  GNIS also lists Dillsburgh and Harwood as variant names.  It is on the old railroad grade, three miles east of Rantoul and a quarter mile north of US 136 (CR 3000 N).  A number of buildings and grain elevators are visible on the GNIS aerial photo.  (GBS)


·        E section line of SE¼ Sec 32 and W section line of SW¼ Sec 33, T22N, R10E, 3rd PM, HarwoodTwp

·        Latitude: 40.3164233 / 40° 18’ 59” N

·        Longitude: -88.0794854 / 88° 04’ 46” W 


McLean Co.

On N 3360 East Road (CR 13), five miles south of Weston, probably at the west end of the east-west section line jog where it intersects with E 2600 North Road and where Rooks Creek crosses the road.  Weston is on US 24, five miles east of Chenoa and six miles east of the junction of I-55/US 24. 


·        South line of SW¼ Sec 35, T26N, R5E, 3rd PM, Yates Twp

·        North line of NE¼ Sec 3, T25N, R5E, 3rd PM, Lawndale Twp

·        Latitude: 40.67020 / 40° 40’ 13” N (APPROXIMATE)

·        Longitude: -88.61960 / 88° 37’ 10” W (APPROX)


Joe Daviess Co.

This historic old lead mining town is NOT a ghost town in the traditional sense, but is a WELL-populated (3429 people in 2010), well-tended, and a very active small city.  BUT that is way less than the 14,000 folks that once lived here, hence it being listed.  The beautiful brick buildings of this historic town dominate the rolling, tree-shaded countryside along the Galena River, making this is a must-see stop for anyone in the area.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.


·        SE¼ Sec 13, NE¼ Sec 24, T28N, R1W, 4th PM, West Galena Twp

·        SW¼ Sec 17, NW¼ Sec 20, T28N, R1E, 4th PM, West Galena Twp

·        Latitude: 42.4152856 / 42° 24’ 55” N

·        Longitude: -90.4292946 / 90° 25’ 45” W 


Bureau Co.

Located on the south side of the junction of 2320 St E/2300 Ave N, three miles north of Dover, on a tributary to Big Bureau Creek.  The GNIS aerial photo shows a farm at that location.


·        NEC of the NW¼, NWC of the NE¼ of the NW¼ Sec 12, T17N, R9E, 3rd PM, DoverTwp

·        Latitude: 41.4803129 / 41° 28’ 49” N

·        Longitude: -89.4084244 / 89° 24’ 30” W 


Lee Co.

On US 52/railroad, between their crossing of Bureau Creek (N) and Pike Creek (S), a half mile northwest of the county line, 4.5 miles northwest of Mendota.


·        SW¼ of the SE¼ Sec 25, T19N, R1W, 3rd PM, SubletteTwp

·        Latitude: 41.6003104 / 41° 36’ 01” N

·        Longitude: -89.1736991 / 89° 10’ 25” W 


DeKalb Co.

Five miles north of Earlville (LaSalle Co.), on Earlville Road, which runs along the western county line.  Probably a mile north of Radley (Lee Co.).


·        POSSIBLY SW¼ Sec 19, T37N, R3E, 3rd PM, Paw PawTwp




Kendall Co.

Located on the east side of Little Rock Creek, on Galena Road (CR 9), west of the junction with Little Rock Road (CR 12), 4.3 miles northwest of Plano and about 12 AIR miles west-southwest of Aurora, in the northwestern corner of the county.  The GNIS aerial photo shows a fairly good sized community stretching about a half mile between Little Rock Road and the creek.


·        N-Ctr Sec 5, T37N, R6E, 3rd PM, Little RockTwp

·        Latitude: 41.7175296 / 41° 43’ 03” N

·        Longitude: -88.5761882 / 88° 34’ 34” W


Woodford Co.

This former railroad junction community is located on the east side of SH 251 at the junction with CR 1950N, two miles south of Minonk and two miles north of Woodford, just east of and paralleling I-39


·        E-Ctr Sec 19, T28N, R2E, 3rd PM, MinonkTwp

·        Latitude: 40.8749745  APPROX

·        Longitude: -89.0309733 APPROX


Livingston Co.

Located where N 975 Rd E crosses the Conrail Railroad tracks five AIR miles southeast of Streator and just a half mile south of the county line and a half mile north of CR 14.  The GNIS aerial photo shows a cluster of grain elevators on the southwest corner of that crossing.


·        NEC of the SE¼ Sec 3, T30N, R4E, 3rd PM, NewtownTwp

·        Latitude: 41.0983666 / 41° 05’ 54” N

·        Longitude: -88.7422925 / 88° 44’ 32” W 


Livingston Co.

Located on a former railroad grade/on East 3100 N Road a half mile southwest of the junction of CR 6 (North 2000 E Road) / SH 17 (E 3200 N Road), 6.8 miles west of Dwight.  The Nevada Cemetery is located about a half mile southeast, just north of the junction of N 2000 Rd E/E 3100 Rd N, on the west side of 2000 Rd E.  The GNIS aerial photo shows what appears to be some large agricultural buildings and a farm at the site.  The cemetery is a green rectangle of trees on the edge of plowed fields.


·        E-Ctr Sec 8, T30N, R6E, 3rd PM, NevadaTwp

·        Latitude: 41.0858658 / 41° 05’ 09” N

·        Longitude: -88.5514518 / 88° 33’ 05” W 



·        SEC of the SE¼ of the SE¼ Sec 8, T30N, R6E, 3rd PM, NevadaTwp

·        Latitude: 41.0800324 / 41° 04’ 48” N

·        Longitude: -88.5475626 / 88° 32’ 51” W 


Gallatin Co.

Only 188 people still live in this nearly abandoned Ohio River side town, most having relocated to higher ground three miles to the northwest, after the devastating floods of 1937.  It was originally established as Shawneetown in the late 1700s after the Revolution, and by the early 1800s was a bustling small city.  In 2000, the census counted 100 households living in the village’s 146 housing units.  The old Bank of Illinois, built in 1840 is still standing and is a historic site, but in 2011 was closed to the public.  It is located just north of the Illinois SH 13/Kentucky SH 56 bridge over the Ohio River, nine miles southwest of the junction of IL/IN/KY.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.


·        Ctr of east section line Sec 31, W½ Sec 32, T9S, R10E, 3rd PM, Shawnee Twp

·        Latitude: 37.6969906 / 37° 41’ 49” N

·        Longitude: -88.1367006 / 88° 08’ 12” W 


Lee Co.

Located on the railroad grade, just 650 feet west of the junction of Earlville Road/Gates Road (w to Lee Co.) & Radley Road (E to DeKalb Co.), four miles north of Earlville, on county line, in the extreme southeast corner of county.  From the GNIS aerial photo, there is a farm visible on the south side of Gates Road, but what appears to be foundation outlines are also visible.  370’ to the north, on the west side of the railroad grade, is another area that looks like a foundation outline.


·        SE¼ of the NE¼ Sec 36, T37N, R2E, 3rd PM, WyomingTwp

·        Latitude: 41.6378083 / 41° 38’ 16” N

·        Longitude: -88.9411955 / 88° 56’ 28” W 


Livingston Co.

Located where the old railroad grade crosses N 800 Rd E, about 0.4 miles south of CR 14, four AIR miles southeast of Streator.  The school was located 0.75 miles northwest, 490 feet south of E 3200 Rd N.  The GNIS aerial photo shows a pair of farms on either side of the road and just south of the creek at the site. The school site is in the middle of a plowed field.


·        Ctr of the S½ of the section line between NE¼ of Sec 8 and the NW¼ of 9, T30N, R4E, 3rd PM, NewtownTwp

·        Latitude: 41.0847554 / 41° 05’ 05” N

·        Longitude: -88.7750712 / 88° 46’ 30” W 



·        W-Ctr of the NE¼ of the NW¼ Sec 8, T30N, R4E, 3rd PM, NewtownTwp

·        Latitude: 41.0897555 / 41° 05’ 23” N

·        Longitude: -88.7889607 / 88° 47’ 20” W 


Woodford Co.

Located on CR 1950/old railroad grade, a half mile north of SH 116, 1.5 miles west of the county line, miles southeast of Minonk, four miles east of I-39 at Minonk Junction.  GNIS aerial photo shows a large cluster of grain elevators.


·        Dead Ctr Sec 23, T28N, R2E, 3rd PM, MinonkTwp

·        Latitude: 40.8764224 / 40° 52’ 35” N

·        Longitude: -88.9603524 / 88° 57’ 37” W 


Livingston Co.

Located where N 2100 Rd E crosses the Conrail Railroad line, a half mile south of the county line and a half mile north of SH 17, 5.3 miles west of Dwight.  A cluster of grain elevators shows on the northeast corner of the crossing, along with what appears to be a house and several foundations to the north of the elevators.


·        SWC of the NW¼ Sec 3, T30N, R6E, 3rd PM, NevadaTwp

·        Latitude: 41.1008658 / 41° 06’ 03” N

·        Longitude: -88.5275627 / 88° 31’ 39” W 


LaSalle Co.

Located on CR 8 (N 2401st Rd), just north of the Vermilion River, ¾ mile east of the junction with SH 178 (E 8th Rd), 11 AIR miles northwest of Streator and 7.1 AIR miles southeast of the junction of I-80/39, a mile northeast of Lowell.


·        S½ of the NE¼ Sec 9, T32N, R2E, 3rd PM, Deer Park Twp

·        Latitude: 41.2594794 / 41° 15’ 34” N

·       Longitude: -88.9956363 / 88° 59’ 44” W 


Livingston Co.

Located on the southeast corner of E 1200 Rd N/N 500 Rd E, four miles north of, then two miles east of Gridley (McLean Co.), two miles north of the south county line and five miles east of the west county line.


·        SWC Sec 13, SEC Sec 14, NEC Sec 23, NWC Sec 24, T27N, R3E, 3rd PM, WaldoTwp

·        Latitude: 40.7980899 / 40° 47’ 53” N

·        Longitude: -88.8325680 / 88° 49’ 57” W 


Kendall Co.

This historic old post office and town is located at the junction of White Willow Road (CR 18)/Church Road, ten AIR miles west of the junction of I55/80, a mile north of the county line and two miles east of Central, which is on SH 47 a mile north of the county line in the center of the southern line. The post office was established in 1863 as White Willow Post Office.  In 1895 it was renamed Whitewillow, and discontinued in 1908.  It also went by the name of Ohio Farm Post Office.  The site of the school was located on the east side of Church Road, about 100’ north of the junction with CRH 18.  The aerial photo shows a farm at that location now.




·        SWC Sec 25, SEC Sec 26, NEC Sec 35, NWC Sec 36, T35N, R7E, 3rd PM, LisbonTwp

·        Latitude: 41.4747529 / 41° 28’ 29” N

·        Longitude: -88.3847899 / 88° 23’ 05” W



·        SWC Sec 25, T35N, R7E, 3rd PM, LisbonTwp

·        Latitude: 41.4750307 / 41° 28’ 30” N

·        Longitude: -88.3847899 / 88° 23’ 05” W


Woodford Co.

“There was a town known as Woodford that is now supposed to be haunted.  The Spires Elevator is all that is there.  It is located in Woodford County, east of Interstate 39 about five miles, and about one or two miles north of 116. It is about 30-40 miles north of Bloomington.”

Contributed by "whites", September 18, 2008


Woodford is listed by Rand McNally as a rural community, and is shown on the map in the southwestern corner of Minonk Township, in the far northeastern corner of the county.  GNIS shows it on SH 251, 0.4 miles south of junction w/ SH 116 which is southeast of I-39’s “Interchange” 22, 3.8 miles south of Minonk and 0.4 miles east of I-39.  The GNIS aerial photo shows a cluster of grain elevators and other buildings on the site.


Spires appears to be a separate location, four miles to the northeast. SEE ABOVE.   (GBS)


·        Ctr E section line Sec 31, T28N, R2E, 3rd PM, MinonkTwp

·        Latitude: 40.8467007 / 40° 50’ 48” N

·        Longitude: -89.0281320 / 89° 01’ 41” W 


Woodford Co.

On CR 2, four miles west of I-39 at Minonk.  That location has just a few scattered farms visible on the GNIS aerial photo.  The topo also indicates a landing strip (Davison Landing Strip) on the north side of the road, two miles east of the cemetery.


The town is not shown on GNIS, but a cemetery (Davison/Yankeetown Cemetery) is located on the south side of CR 2200 N, 0.35 miles west of CR 2000E, and 1.25 miles west of the junction of CR 2200N/SH 117 (CR 2100E), seven miles west of Minonk and a mile south of the county line.




·        N-Ctr line of the NW¼ of the NE¼ Sec 12, T28N, R1W, 3rd PM, LinnTwp

·        Latitude: 40.9114233 / 40° 54’ 41” N

·        Longitude: -89.1675824 / 89° 10’ 03” W 



MIDWEST GAZETTEER:  This is a database of 2,815 place names in the Midwest, past and present.  It focuses on Southeast Missouri, but also features cities, towns, villages, and wide spots in the road for northeast Arkansas and Southern Illinois.





Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America.

Gary B. Speck Publications is in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of “STATE”

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!


For more information on the ghost towns of ILLINOIS, contact us at

Ghost Town USA.


E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line. THANK YOU!  :o)



These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in ILLINOIS above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.


If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

When you are exploring the ghost towns of ILLINOIS, please abide by the Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.




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FIRST POSTED:  June 1999

LAST UPDATED: April 21, 2014




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