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November 18, 2006

Course to explore sites between Cairo and Metropolis

SIUC, School of Architecture

Southern Illinois University will offer an internship this summer for those interested in history and/or architecture. "Preservation Summer 2006" is available to students from all majors and disciplines and Continuing Education participants to work on a team research project or to work independently on a related special project. The 8-week class will begin June 12, 2006 with research focusing on several regionally and nationally significant historic sites located along the Ohio River between Cairo and Metropolis in southern Illinois.

Areas of research include:

  • Blues venues in Cairo from the early 20th century
  • Underground Railway in Massac County from the 1840's-1860's
  • Ironclad Cincinnati at Mound City, from the post Civil War era
  • Cantonment Wilkinson Ville, circa 1801-1802
  • The barns of Union, Pulaski & Johnson counties 1800's-1900's
  • Fort Defiance, Camp Smith, Camp Harding, circa 1860-1865

Course research and site data-gathering activities will be organized around the number, interests, and skills of the participants and will build on information developed during the previous Preservation Summer classes.

Students will be introduced to the development history of southernmost Illinois and these featured sites. Participants will gain invaluable hands-on experience at the sites and through research at the Cairo Public Library, Metropolis Library, the U.S. Custom House Museum in Cairo, and the SIUC Morris Library Special Collections.

The course will meet once a week at SIUC beginning Monday, June 12, at 6:00 PM (Quigley 219) and other times at regional sites. Times will be determined by the participants and faculty. Travel at the student's own expense will be required.

To register for the course, contact Academic Advisor, Molly Edwards at (618) 453-1227.

Here's a sampling of what you will be researching:

Juchereau's Tannery - Va Bache

Reported to be located between the Post Creek Cut-Off at Grand Chain and America in Pulaski County, IL, this 1702-1704 French site was the first to be occupied by Europeans on the lower Ohio River, 55 years earlier than the original French Fort Massac (circa 1757-1764) which was later controlled by the British and then rebuilt and occupied by the Americans.

Further reading:

Cantonment Wilkenson Ville

For several years the largest military base in the new United States, Wilkinson Ville (circa 1801-1802) was built by General James Wilkinson on the lower Ohio river at the Grand Chain of Rocks as a training base- temporarily replacing Fort Massac a few miles upstream. Wilkinson was associated with Aaron Burr and the Great Conspiracy. Several men who served with Lewish & Clark had previously been stationed at Wilkinson Ville.

Further reading:

Mound City "Marine Ways"

Red Rover
USS Red Rover (1862-1865)
Line engraving after a drawing by Theodore R. Davis, published in "Harper's Weekly", January-June 1863, page 300, depicting a scene in the ward. Red Rover served as the U.S. Navy's hospital ship on the Western Rivers during the Civil War.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

This facility was part of a major inland rivers Union Navy shipbuilding, hospital, and supply facility durng the Civil War. Three of the nine ironclads,instrumental in the battle of Vicksburg and in turning the tide of the war, were constructed at this facility. During the Civil War, thousands of wounded were brought by ship (including the Red Rover, the first hospital ship in the U.S. Navy ), to the Mound City military hospital, one of the largest military hospitals in the west. The first nurses in the U.S. Navy, including many African-American women, served on the Red Rover.

Further reading:

Fort Defiance at Cairo & the Confluence

Fort Defiance was established in the first days of the Civil War to secure the Confluence of the Ohio River and the Mississippi for the North. While at Cairo and fort defiance, General Grant, assisted by Navy Admiral Foote, developed the strategy to divide the south.

Credit will be given for Historic Preservation ARC/ID 444 - Architectural Field Studies & History 496 - Internship.

Contact person:

Robert Swenson, Architect
Associate Professor - Architecture
Dr. Michael Batsinski, PhD History
402 Quigley Hall - MC4337
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-4772
Fax: 618-453-1129

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