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Old 04-18-2008, 09:29 PM
 
9 posts, read 32,255 times
Reputation: 10
It's West Frankfort, not Frankfurt.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:17 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,606 times
Reputation: 10
Default As a SOUTHERN ILLINOIS girl....

... I kinda take offense at some of these posts.

I'm in Harrisburg (23 miles off of the interstate) and love the rural woodsy area... but I don't want anyone to take that to mean I am a country bumpkin. Southern Illinois is really coming into its own as of late. Marion has doubled in size since my childhood, Harrisburg (despite the recent flood that took out half the town) is thriving, and there are even good things to be said about Eldorado. (It's a tiny little town outside of Harrisburg.)

Even though you don't intend to have Larry the Cable Guy on every corner, you do intend to show how "quaint" the area is... though it isn't just that!
We have theatres... we have a minor league baseball team... we have a booming coal mining economy... and we have some of the most amazing hiking/horseback trails ANYWHERE!

Oh... And to those of you who call Springfield "downstate" ... That's NOT downstate. That's a long frickin' way North!!

If what you are looking for is downtrodden and quaint, go to Cairo. They not only embrace the "Little Egypt" (Which is EVERYWHERE between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers (hence the comparison!)) but they are also a tiny ghost town that used to be something. It's depressing really.

If you want information about the "good stuff" in Southern Illinois, let me know.
Oh... and a good source of information - [url=http://www.dailyregister.com]Harrisburg Daily Register Online - Front[/url] or [url=http://www.thesouthern.com]:: TheSouthern.com - Southern Illinois' Homepage ::[/url] Harrsiburg and Carbondale's newspapers, respectively.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: California
17 posts, read 46,934 times
Reputation: 13
Actually, I was not trying to paint a picture of "quaint" at all -- I was looking for a rural setting unblemished by strip-malls and Starbucks, somewhere near the river. I realize there's been progress, especially in the Marion area. Despite the posts which paint Southern Illinois as a gun-toting, squirrel-eating hillbilly heaven, I think it's a nice picture of Americana. We don't have that here in California.

Peace.
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:19 AM
 
4 posts, read 9,328 times
Reputation: 10
Southern Illinois is a rural, "Southern-ish," Bible-Belt area. Some people can appreciate the good qualities of areas with those characteristics, and some people will always assume those are derogatory adjectives. I wouldn't be overly concerned about it, because how people "see" areas like ours is deeply rooted in their values and worldview. Regular folks know a lot of nice "hicks."
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, the Iron City!!!
805 posts, read 2,003,427 times
Reputation: 232
Hey, Trixx....

Having lived in Harrisburg for almost ten years, I can tell you about the area. I spent alot of time travelling through it, and here's my slant on it, for good or ill:

Marion is a progressive city, who owes their boomtown status to I-57 (which Harrisburg voted against having, and then complained about not getting any business). It has the Prison which, before the Colorado Supermax, was the highest-level federal pen in the country.

Carbondale is still first and foremost, a college town, although it works hard to shed that image.

Harrisburg is a provincial-minded little place where you can either get a job in nursing, the prisons, forestry or . . . . well. . . . that's about it, unless you wanna' drive 45 minutes to the coal or flourspar mines.... Oh yeah - - Harrisburg has a Wal-mart and a Hardees, where the old folks still gather for breakfast... I called it "A great place to live, as long as you didn't have to depend on it for your living"... they couldn't even get together on tax breaks and incentives to lure Tyson Chicken, who had promised to turn everyone in town into chicken farmers and lower the almost 20% unemployment rate.... they went to Kentucky, instead...

Cairo is a thug-filled post-antebellum war zone best resembling the Bronx, circa 1991, and the most likely candidate to be fenced off by John McCain and turned into a leper colony....

Equality is still where the best parties happen, out on the gravels near Wamble Mountain...

One Horse Gap, Garden of the Gods and the Natural Rock Slide at Bell Smith Springs are some of the most beautiful areas you will ever see in your lifetime, no matter where you travel....

Benton is like Harrisburg, but with a federal gov't presence in it.... horrible traffic, though, for a town its size...

Old Shawneetown is still the best place to hoot-n-holler on a Saturday night, but Elizabethtown & Rosiclare can lay claim to a decent local pub nightlife, as well...

Anna-Jonesboro is a bedroom community full of the lawyers who work in Carbondale...

Eldorado still gets more business at Dairy Queen than anywhere else in town, on a weekend.....

Norris City is the fabled "Paw-Paw Patch" for marriage-worthy women of decent character.

Herrin has Herrinfest Italiano, and not much else, but there is a decent Italian heritage, locally...

Crab Orchard Lake is a PCB-filled Superfund site, and the fish that come from it usually have seven eyes and can sing Jimmy Buffet songs by heart, as you remove the hooks from their mouths....

Well now, I think that just about covers it........ good luck with your script, and hopefully, you can bring some much-needed money into the area, because even with al the difficulties in the area, the people are basically good, hard-working people who have the misfortune of living under a provincial "old-money" government of good ol' boys who know less about business or community development than the average 7th grader in St. Louis...

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Old 05-27-2008, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Southern Illinois
9 posts, read 28,958 times
Reputation: 14
I have lived in southern illinois for the biggest part of my life. It is very rural, but that is its charm. I lived in st. louis for awhile and in Bloomington but always came back to good ole S.I. Some may perceive us as being hickey and stupid but that goes to show the mentality of some from the big city. I laughed when I read over the posts and the referals to Urbana and some other areas as "rural" and being in southern illinois. Those of us who live here kinda feel like the true SOUTHERN part is south of Mt Vernon, sometimes even more south. As for your script... not absolutely sure what you are looking for but if you want rural... either just north or south of carbondale is way better than east or west. As far as rolling hills and old barns you would want to look around the chester (between Rt 3 to Welge and into Steeleville), ava, campbell hill areas or south of Murphysboro on Route 127. Golconda, Elizabethtown and the whole south east area is beautiful too and also VERY rural. As for Piggly Wiggly... the last I knew of was in Steeleville but has been gone for a few years. There are Save a lot stores that are the "box" stores and Kroger and IGA as others have pointed out are the norm in most towns. Carbondale does have a schnucks, thats about as high class as it gets around here. Alot of towns still have their family owned markets that still cut the meat fresh daily... we are sooooo lucky! As for Carbondale being a bad area? I am not sure where that came from unless it was because of the negativity brought by the huge halloween bash they USED to have, but that was years ago and has since subsided. Carbondale does have a higher crime rate in comparison to other towns in the area but that is ONLY because it is a college town and has a higher population. I am sure the crime rate there compared to that of any city around chicago is WAY less. I guess I am just kinda partial to good ole southern illinois. It is an easier way of living in comparison I suppose.... when was the last time you sat at your kitchen table and watched the sun set into a gorgeous pink and blue sky, or went to your local wal mart and ran into 6 people you knew BEFORE even getting inside the store, or knew the name of the cashier at the local convenience store without looking at the nametag pinned to their shirt, or drove 3 towns away in 20 minutes ar less, or sat on your front porch and talked to your neighbor and wave at cars going by whether you knew em or not? Get it? Yea... we may do things a bit different down here but it is worth it. The slower pace and friendlier attitudes kinda grab you and pull you in. So for those who would like to pick on southern illinois... please don't until you have truely experienced it. Thanks! Good luck with that script!
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:30 PM
 
8,785 posts, read 2,295,311 times
Reputation: 9982
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrixxiSpumoni View Post
Despite the posts which paint Southern Illinois as a gun-toting, squirrel-eating hillbilly heaven, I think it's a nice picture of Americana.

Well now, I grew up eating squirrel, rabbit, deer meat. Along with beef and pork. Ain't nothing like fried squirrel with homemade gravy. mmgood. We own guns too. So I guess that makes me a "hillbilly" - it's all good!
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:18 AM
 
30 posts, read 117,618 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by shugie View Post
when was the last time you sat at your kitchen table and watched the sun set into a gorgeous pink and blue sky, or went to your local wal mart and ran into 6 people you knew BEFORE even getting inside the store, or knew the name of the cashier at the local convenience store without looking at the nametag pinned to their shirt, or drove 3 towns away in 20 minutes ar less, or sat on your front porch and talked to your neighbor and wave at cars going by whether you knew em or not? Get it?
Last night! I love Southern Illinois!
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:16 AM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,258 posts, read 11,441,516 times
Reputation: 7395
One must realize the difference between southern Illinois south of the Shelbyville Moraine and central Illinois north of it.

South of the moraine the country is generally more hilly, more forested and less fertile and was settled by southerners, mostly Kentuckians and Tennesseans. North of the moraine is the Grand Prarie; flat and fertile grasslands and settled mostly by New Englanders and people from upstate New York.

The implications are obvious.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:23 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,093 times
Reputation: 10
It should be easy to find a copy of "Ghost Towns of Southern Illinois" by Glenn Sneed. It will be an invaluable to your research. Also try to find some old IL gas station maps. I spent several years researching in old libraries and finding the towns, many of which have no distinguishing features. I have been to the site of the Shady Rest (nothing remains), and in Benton, there are the remnants of an interesting old sandstone motel, which is probably the site of "Pickle City"; a brothel, bar, et.c which was opened by a man from Belleville, IL by the name of George Ludwig. I had some pretty extensive notes, and talked with a lot of old timers around the area in hopes of writing an illustrated book, but I was working very hard at my job and things got misplaced, my photographer became hostile, et.c.
Hope this helps-Chuck
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