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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Shawnee Tavern: 1937

Shawnee Tavern: 1937

April 1937. "The Posey Building of Shawneetown, Illinois, in which Abraham Lincoln and Robert Ingersoll had law offices." Now home to a newspaper and a bar. Photo by Russell Lee for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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Same hydrant

It looks like the hydrant in the old photo and the one in the Google street view are one and the same.

Ghosts of Old Shawneetown

When I lived in Southern Illinois in the 60s and 70s, most of the buildings along Main Street were still standing, although not in the best condition. I recall that most of them seemed to house a bar. Old Shawneetown was known as a hard-drinking very rough place. The denizens were commonly referred to as river rats. The decline began after the flood of 37 (which Russell Lee's photographs are documenting) and the Federal government paid to resettle the town on top of the bluff above the Ohio River, today known as New Shawneetown. Today there are only a couple of old downtown buildings still standing. One, the state bank building, shown recently in another Russell Lee shot, is an Illinois Historic site. The exterior is still in fairly good shape, or at least was when I last saw it about 4 or 5 years ago. The interior, unfortunately is crumbling lath and plaster and murals. You cannot go inside. The other major building still standing, on the levee side, is now a big regional biker bar called Hog Daddy's.

When was it torn down?

Does anyone know when or why it was torn down? Seems like such a historic building should have been preserved. Or maybe the flood took its toll on it. Is that the high water mark I see?

Gallatin Democrat

The newspaper is still being published:

Fred Murphy is the editor of the Gallatin Democrat.
Mailing address: PO Box 545, Shawneetown, IL 62984

There's no website for the paper though.

Old Shawneetown

According to Wikipedia, Shawneetown was heavily damaged by the Ohio River Flood of 1937, and the townsite was moved three miles inland and the town rebuilt. From the age of the buildings here, this must be what is now called Old Shawneetown (refer to the previous picture posted here for another building destroyed by the flood). The county seat is now in what is informally called New Shawneetown.

Wrong address

The Posey building was in Gallatin
597 Main St
Gallatin, IL 62984

[Gallatin is not a town, but rather a county in Illinois; the county seat is Shawneetown. 62984 is the ZIP Code for Shawneetown. -tterrace]


These steps are all that remain of the Posey Building.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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