Griggsville Landing, Illinois facts for kids

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Griggsville Landing, also known as Phillips Landing or Phillips Ferry, was located in Flint Township, just south of Valley City, Illinois. It is a former town site on the Illinois River in Pike County. The town was a steamboat stop which began sometime in the 1830s. There was a lime kiln there that was part of a commercial lime operation prior to post-Civil War industrial intensification in the lime industry. The town at Griggsville Landing was home to a boat yard, a grist mill and a hotel in addition to the Griggsville Landing Lime Kiln, built around 1850, which is still standing as of 2007. The town was eventually abandoned, rendering it a ghost town.

History

Early history

Griggsville Landing
Griggsville Landing, 1913

Pike County, Illinois was surveyed by the United States government in 1817–1819.:43 In 1822, Garrett Van Dusen, the second settler in Flint Township,:80 started a ferry using a canoe, ferrying footmen and swimming horses.:56 Judge William Thomas of Jacksonville, in an 1873 letter, recalled crossing the river here in September 1827: Template:" Van Deusen later sold the ferry and land claim to Nimrod Phillips.:56 By 1832, the site was referred to as Phillips' Ferry.:53 It was used by Hyrum Smith and his family during the Mormon migration to Missouri.

The site became known as Phillipsburg, then Griggsville Landing, then the landing for Valley City; in 1906, the book Past and Present of Pike County, Illinois, giving this sequence of names, notes that "Valley City is the only town in the township and is on the Wabash Railroad.":80 The same book refers to "Phillips' ferry, the present site of Valley City.":168

At Valley City, William Windsor (March 4, 1822 – March 12, 1885) ran a horse-powered ferry, and later a steam ferry.:483

The town was a steamboat stop which began sometime in the 1830s. There was a lime kiln there that was part of a commercial lime operation prior to post-Civil War industrial intensification in the lime industry. The town at Griggsville Landing was home to a boat yard, a grist mill and a hotel in addition to the Griggsville Landing Lime Kiln, built around 1850, which is still standing as of 2007.

Levees

The town was eventually abandoned, rendering it a ghost town due in part because, by Congressional mandate, the United States Army Corps of Engineers constructed levees along the Illinois River leading to flooding of lower elevation settlements along the river. The annual floods as a result of the levees wreaked havoc on Valley City leading to decimation of the town's businesses, abandonment of homes, and the eventual death of the town.

Prior to the levees, Valley City was a vibrant river town with an economy based on commercial fishing, transportation of agricultural products such as hogs packed in oak barrels, apples, and cattle to markets in St. Louis and New Orleans, and a host of small businesses including an ice house that harvested ice from the Illinois River each winter packing it in sawdust and delivering ice to residents of Griggsville some four miles west. Sometime in the late 1990s, the last major plant in Valley City, the Tate Cheese Company, closed its doors for good. After Tate Cheese Company abandoned the processing plant in Valley City there was less interest in the remaining buildings adjacent to the plant. People began to permanently abandon their homes after the Great Flood of 1993 that devastated many homes across the Midwest.

Geography

Griggsville Landing was located at 39°41′49″N 90°38′51″W / 39.69694°N 90.6475°W / 39.69694; -90.6475Coordinates: 39°41′49″N 90°38′51″W / 39.69694°N 90.6475°W / 39.69694; -90.6475.


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