Near Cairo in Alexander County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The area's commercial potential again captured the imagination of Illinois leaders and eastern investors in the 1830's. New city promoters incorporated the Cairo City and Canal Company and made elaborate plans for levees, canals, factories, and warehouses. The first levees failed to hold back the rampaging rivers, and financial difficulties slowed the commercial boom. Company policy to lease, not sell, city lots also retarded expansion. With the first sale of lots in 1853 and the completion of the Illinois Central Railroad from Chicago to Cairo late in 1854, the city began to prosper.
When the Civil War began, both Northern and Southern strategists recognized the military importance of Cairo. On April 22, 1861, ten days after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, troops arrived to hold Cairo for the Union. They established camps on the land
Erected 1964 by Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Illinois State Historical Society marker series.
Location. 36° 59.251′ N, 89° 9.02′ W. Marker is near Cairo, Illinois, in Alexander County. Marker is at the intersection of Washington Avenue (U.S. 60/62) and Fort Defiance Road, on the right when traveling north on Washington Avenue. Touch for map. Located at the entrance to Fort Defiance Park, in a parking area for the State Highway Patrol office. Marker is in this post office area: Cairo IL 62914, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lewis & Clark (within shouting distance of this marker); Historical Survey Marker (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis and Clark in Illinois (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ohio River Bridge (about 400 feet away, measured in The Beginning of the Third Principal Meridian (approx. half a mile away); The Meeting of the Rivers (approx. 0.6 miles away); "Proceeding On" (approx. 0.6 miles away); Duncan Cannon (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cairo.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,283 times since then and 123 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 27, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.