A Trip to Cairo, Illinois - Abandoned
Spurred on by an impromptu excursion to photograph the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge that partially collapsed on January 26 in western Kentucky, I decided to visit a part of the state that I had not yet fully explored. From Owensboro to Paducah, from the isolated Land Between the Lakes to dense streetscapes, I toured the back roads in hopes of finding something new to write about and to photograph.
Why not visit the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers? It was only an hour drive from Paducah. After crossing into Illinois from Kentucky, I came to Cairo. Located in Alexander County, Cairo is the southernmost city in Illinois and is situated at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Surrounded by levees, the land that Cairo would later rise from was not thought highly of in the mid 1800s, with Charles Dickens calling the land a “dismal swamp.” Despite this, bonds were sold to complete improvements at the site, which included a levee, dry dock and shipyard. A railroad was later completed to the town.