The Town that Vanished.

Husband, Kiddo, and I went camping on this holiday weekend like millions of Americans do. We love camping, and have camped from the waterfalls at the west side of Illinois to the Smoky Mountains to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I'm always on the lookout for history, so when we figured out we were headed to the northwestern side of Illinois, I did what I do -- I googled.

And I discovered Millville.

Millville was a town in the middle of what is now Apple River Canyon State Park. It was a bustling mill town and prospered thanks to its location on the Chicago to Galena stagecoach route, but then the railroad came by four miles north -- and then, in 1892, a flood washed away all that was left of the dwindling town. Now it's nothing but a historical marker on a rock ("Big Rock") in the middle of a beautiful area used for fishing and picnics.

See the big rock in the middle? That's Big Rock, where the marker is located. The Apple River circles this entire area.

See the big rock in the middle? That's Big Rock, where the marker is located. The Apple River circles this entire area.

This map was drawn by a surviving resident in  1897, and is most of what is known about the town of Millville.

This map was drawn by a surviving resident in  1897, and is most of what is known about the town of Millville.

We hiked a few trails around the area, and they were beautiful. I came away from Millville inspired to write something about the place that once was, so let's see what comes of that!

For more information on Millville...