East St. Louis, Illinois

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East St. Louis is a city located in St. Clair County, Illinois, USA, directly across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 31,542, less than half its peak in 1950. Like many larger industrial cities, it has been severely affected by loss of jobs in the restructuring of the railroad industry and deindustrialization of the Rust Belt in the second half of the 20th century.

One of the highlights of the city's waterfront is the Gateway Geyser, the tallest fountain in the United States. Designed to complement the Gateway Arch across the river in St. Louis, it shoots water to a height of 630 feet (190 m), the same height as the Arch.



Native Americans long inhabited both sides of the Mississippi River at this point. The Mississippian culture rulers organized thousands of workers to construct villages and complex earthwork mounds at what later became St. Louis and East St. Louis, as well as the urban complex of Cahokia to the north of East St. Louis within present-day Collinsville, Illinois. Before the Civil War, settlers reported up to 50 mounds in the area that became East St. Louis, but most were lost to nineteenth-century development and later roadbuilding.

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