“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Golconda in Pope County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)


Lewis & Clark Expedition

— 1803-1806 —

Golconda Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, August 11, 2020
1. Golconda Marker
Inscription.  In 1796 Major James Vance Lusk, Revolutionary War veteran, and his wife Sarah, daughter of Gen. James McElwaine, led a party of 35 - half of them children - from Washaw, South Carolina to a site in Kentucky, opposite the mouth of Lusk Creek.

Lusk obtained a license from Kentucky, and operated a ferry until 1798 when he established an unlicensed business on the Illinois bank, in protest of Kentucky's slave status. He built a two-story house of keelboat timbers near the mouth of the creek which still bears his name. Known as the Ferry House or the Tavern House, it was visited by many important travelers. In 1803 Major Lusk died after completing a narrow road from Tennessee to Green's Ferry on the Mississippi.

In 1804 Sarah Lusk was granted a license by Gov. Wm. Henry Harrison of Indiana Territory. She operated the ferry and a store until 1805 when she married Thomas Ferguson, later a member of the First and Second Territorial Legislatures. Ferguson took control of the business and sold it in 1816.

In 1798 this was the only Illinois settlement between Kentucky and Kaskaskia. Records of 1807 show there were three
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small stores, one tavern, one saloon, and twenty dwellings. The name changed from Lusk's Ferry to Ferguson's Ferry, Sarahsville, and finally became Golconda in 1817.
Erected 2003 by The Illinois Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationIndustry & CommerceWaterways & VesselsWomen. In addition, it is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition series list.
Location. 37° 22.058′ N, 88° 28.943′ W. Marker is in Golconda, Illinois, in Pope County. Marker is on South Washington Street east of Water Street, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located close to the Ohio River levee. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 216 Columbus Ave, Golconda IL 62938, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lewis and Clark in Illinois (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sarah Lusk (about 600 feet away); John Thomas Davidson Cabin (approx. ¼ mile away); Alexander Hall Buel House (approx. ¼ mile away); Imagine the Scene (approx. one mile away in Kentucky); They Passed This Way (approx. one mile away in Kentucky);
Golconda Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, August 11, 2020
2. Golconda Marker
Ohio River is in the background.
McGilligan Creek (approx. 2.8 miles away in Kentucky); The Original Route (approx. 2.8 miles away in Kentucky). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Golconda.
More about this marker. Many, if not all, of the markers erected by the Illinois Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission in 2003 were placed with a silhouette art sculpture of Lewis & Clark. Originally, there was a sculpture placed next to it but in recent years it was removed for unknown reasons. A picture of the sculpture with the marker can be viewed here.
Golconda Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, August 11, 2020
3. Golconda Marker
Taken from the top of the levee
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 19, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 257 times since then and 81 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 19, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Dec. 1, 2023