In February 2009, I was passing through southern Illinois and wanted to stop by and see Old Shawneetown and part of Gallatin County, Illinois where my ancestors had resided in the 1840s-1860s. I took several pictures, links to which are provided below. As you can tell, there is not much development in the area and much of the land probably hasn’t changed too much from the 19th century. Old Shawneetown, on the banks of the Ohio, was devastated by a great flood in 1937 and a new town of Shawneetown was built on a bluff about 3 miles west of Old Shawneetown. One of the more interesting structures in Old Shawneetown is the old Bank of Illinois building that was built from 1839-1841.
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and Cemetery are located at the corner of Big Hill Rd. (Co. Rd. 3) and Ponds Church Rd. The first Catholic Church was built near this site in 1848 or 1849 and the cemetery was established about the same time. Most early Catholic settlers of the Pond Settlement area – families such as the Hickeys, Maloneys, Lawlers, Dailys, and Keanes – are buried there. The first Irish Catholic settler in Gallatin County was John Lawler, father of Civil War Union General Michael Kelly Lawler, who arrived in 1816. John Lawler is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery.