Potomac, Illinois

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Potomac is a village in Vermilion County, Illinois, United States. It is part of the 'Danville, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area'. The population was 681 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

The town was originally named Marysville after the wives of the two founders, John Smith (a grocer) and Isaac Meneley (a blacksmith), who started businesses here in 1840. However, the Post Office found that mail was getting confused with mail for Myersville, ten miles to the east, and the name was changed to Potomac (although residents resented this and didn't accept the change for decades).

Potomac prospered into the late 20th century, with a population peaking at 900 during the 1970 census, due in part to its location along US Route 136, one of the primary East-West highways crossing the state of Illinois. The opening of Interstate 74 reduced the amount of travel through Potomac, leading to a rapid decline in the number of service stations, restaurants and small businesses in the downtown area in the early 1970s. In the early 1990s a fire destroyed several downtown buildings on the north side of Route 136, dramatically altering the appearance of the community.

Potomac is known for its Artesian wells, and its local High School teams were known as the "Potomac Artesians" until area secondary school consolidation in the late 1980s. One of these wells spouted an 8-inch stream of water 32 feet into the air until the 1930s. Presently 3 wells operate in open areas, one located in the downtown area, another on the Southeast edge of the community, and another in West Side Park, on the west edge of town area where Fourth of July celebrations were once held, locally referred to as "The Jubilee", in conjunction with an annual Horse Show.[2]

Geography

Potomac is located at 40°18′23″N 87°48′0″W / 40.30639°N 87.8°W / 40.30639; -87.8 (40.306351, -87.799987)[3], about 18 miles northwest of the county seat of Danville. U.S. Route 136 passes east-west through town. The Middle Fork of the Vermilion River passes just south of the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 681 people, 252 households, and 191 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,408.5 people per square mile (547.8/km²). There were 277 housing units at an average density of 572.9/sq mi (222.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.21% White, 0.29% Native American, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 1.62% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.20% of the population.

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