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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Illinois

2.4 miles (3.9 km) W of Brownstown, Fayette, IL, USA
Approx. altitude: 157 m (515 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 39°S 91°E

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: looking south from the confluence #3: looking east toward the confluence in the woods #4: tent caterpillars building in a tree #5: GPS

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  39°N 89°W  

#1: looking east from the confluence

(visited by Rick Smeltzer and Anna Smeltzer)

27-Apr-2001 -- Visited by Rick and Anna Smeltzer

27-April-2001 – It’s a beautiful spring day and the farmers were all planting their crops along interstate 70 in Illinois. This confluence, 39 north 89 west is located near Vandalia, Illinois, the county seat of Fayette County in the heart of south central Illinois's farm country.

The first capital of Illinois was in the village of Kaskaskia (see 38N 090W), a settlement located along the Mississippi River which was one of the first permanent towns in the state. In the early 1800’s it would be wiped out by a flood.

After debating about moving the capital, the legislature finally decided on a spot to the north along the Kaskaskia River and called it Vandalia. A two-story state house was constructed for less than $5000 and in 1820 the Second General Assembly first convened. Almost three years later, the original building burned down and a new structure was erected in its place. This building still stands today, although the capital of the state was move d to a more centrally located Springfield in 1837.

One of the early legislators who worked in the cramped state house at Vandalia was a young man named Abraham Lincoln. It was in this building that he made one of his first speeches against slavery.

Vandalia was the terminus of the National Road (US40), which began in Cumberland, Maryland. Authorized during Thomas Jefferson's administration, the National Road was the first highway built with Federal funds.

We obtained permission from the tenant to photograph the confluence. The confluence is located in a small woods about one thousand feet from a county road along Camp Creek.

Photographs one and two are looking east and south respectively from the confluence. Picture three is looking west from a field we crossed to the woods where the confluence is located. Picture four is of an interesting tree with tent caterpillars built in it. Picture five is the obligatory GPS receiver.


 All pictures
#1: looking east from the confluence
#2: looking south from the confluence
#3: looking east toward the confluence in the woods
#4: tent caterpillars building in a tree
#5: GPS
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)