Walnut Hill, Illinois

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Walnut Hill is a village in Marion County, Illinois, United States. The population was 109 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Walnut Hill is located at 38°28′39″N 89°2′44″W / 38.4775°N 89.04556°W / 38.4775; -89.04556 (38.477541, -89.045513).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²), all of it land.

Walnut Hill is located near the southern boundary of Marion County, next to Jefferson County. The county boundary is the baseline of the Third Principal Meridian, also called the Centralia Baseline. The survey of this area was begun as early as 1804.

To the north of Walnut Hill is Raccoon Creek, a tributary of the Kaskaskia River. To the south is the Big Muddy River, a small creek at the northernmost limit of its watershed. Walnut Hill is thus on the Kaskaskia/Big Muddy divide. That divide is a ridge that formed a natural, pioneer highway from Sparta to Kell, perhaps properly called the "Highway to Kell".

History

Walnut Hill was at one time the intersection of two of the main roads in Illinois: the George Rogers Clark Trace, and the Yadda Road.

The original capital of Illinois was at Kaskaskia. The overland route from Kaskaskia to the interior of the State followed the Kaskaskia/Big Muddy divide, which went through Walnut Hill. George Rogers Clark marched through Walnut Hill in February, 1779 in his march from Fort Kaskaskia to Fort Vincennes, which resulted in the conquest of Illinois by the army of Virginia.

Traces of the Kaskaskia/Vincennes road can be seen in several short stretches of road in northwestern Jefferson County, which point toward Walnut Hill, ignoring the surveyed Section boundaries. Northeast of Walnut Hill, the Kell Road is a winding, pioneer road up to its intersection with Interstate 57, from which it follows the modern Section lines to Kell.

Walnut Hill was also on the Goshen Road, an early road across Illinois, from Shawneetown to the Goshen Settlement near Glen Carbon. Remnants of the Goshen Road can be seen in short segments of pioneer road between Dix and Walnut Hill. It is possible that construction of the railroad tracks from Dix to Walnut Hill obliterated much of the original Goshen road.

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