Royal Lakes, Illinois

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Royal Lakes is a village in Macoupin County, Illinois, United States. The population was 190 at the 2000 census. A July 1, 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 184.[1]



Royal Lakes is located at 39°6′45″N 89°57′43″W / 39.1125°N 89.96194°W / 39.1125; -89.96194 (39.112532, -89.961892)[2] in Hillyard Township in southern Macoupin County. Royal Lakes lies at the southwestern corner of two intersecting roads, Illinois Route 16 and Illinois Route 159. The nearest large cities are St. Louis, approximately 50 miles (80 km) to the southwest and Springfield, around 60 miles (97 km) northeast of the village.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²), of which, 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (9.80%) is water.


Three small lakes – Meshach, Shad, and Shadrach – are located within the village of Royal Lakes.[3]

  • Meshach Lake is located in the east central portion of Royal Lakes. With an average depth of between nine and twelve feet, it is the deepest of the three lakes.
  • Shad Lake covers approximately 1.5 acres (6,100 m2) with a maximum depth of two feet.
  • Shadrach Lake is located north of Magnolia Drive and west of North Dogwood Drive. Its depth ranges from five to eight feet.


The site that would eventually become Royal Lakes was purchased by a Chicago developer in 1956.[4][5] The 320-acre (1.3 km2) tract was to be developed as a resort-style community. Three small lakes – Meshach, Shad, and Shadrach – were constructed for recreational purposes and the remaining land was divided into 2,435 lots, each measuring 25 feet (7.6 m)-by-125 feet.[6] Royal Lakes was marketed as an affordable resort location in a rural setting. The community was heavily promoted in the predominantly African American neighborhoods of St. Louis and East St. Louis.[6] In 1957, the first families moved into Royal Lakes. A communities church was organized in 1961 and the congregation moved into a permanent building seven years later.

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