Friday, May 20, 2016

Channel Cat Tales: Belgrade Landing

 Channel Cat Tales: Belgrade Landing   

The researchers love discovering places that used to exist in the County but have been forgotten. In their research on steamboats they kept finding references to Belgrade Landing. Not finding anyone who knew about this place they set out to find out where it was.  

The exact location of the Belgrade Landing is described in the 1914 Congressional series publication describing surveyed public benchmarks along the Wabash River established in 1911: 

Concrete slab and iron pipe on RB (railroad bridge) about 78.5 miles below Terre Haute Indiana, about 5 miles below Russellville Illinois, about .25 miles below formerly known as Belgrade Landing, on east side of Russellville – Vincennes main public road, about .75 miles below schoolhouse, about 125 feet southwest of house owned and occupied by WH Wathem, 2 feet inside of property line fence in line with fence separating barnyard and lawn latitude 38° 46’ +1404.2 longitude 87° 31’ +761.6 elevation bolt in slab 422.642, cap on pipe 426.688.

     Researchers now believe that the Belgrade Landing was located about ½ mile to the south of the Rising Sun schoolhouse. The Rising Sun School was located near the southwest corner of section 15, T4N, R10W. Thus the Belgrade Landing would have been on the sharp bend of the Wabash, as the direction of flow changed from Southwestwardly to eastwardly.

To further confirm this location, J King found the following in the January 16,1851 edition of the Vincennes Gazette. 

Bell Grade Farm situated on the Wabash River for Sale
This farm is situated in Lawrence County Illinois 6 miles north of Vincennes, on the state road, leading to Chicago, and contains near 500 acres of land, which is not surpassed by any in the state either for grain or grass, having both high and low Prairie. The low prairie land has a soil of from 12 to 15 feet in depth, the high land is exceedingly fertile, and lies level, some 10 or 15 feet above the highest water, which makes it a desirable situation. Being on the first bench of high land in Allison prairie, it commands a fine view of the river and surrounding County, and is the principal depot for grain shipped from the center of the Prairie.

There is not in the state a farm better adapted to the raising of stock or grain then this, there being an abundant range, which is surpassed by none in Western Illinois. 300 acres of land is finally set in  bluegrass, the pasturage of which to a stock raiser, it’s worth from 4 to 5 dollars per acre, each year. There is in cultivation, of upland, 100 acres, with a dwelling house, barn, stables, outhouses etc. For terms inquire of R Y Carrington, Vincennes or the subscriber upon the premises by letter. J. G. Long. Lawrence County Illinois by May 20, 1852. 

Section of an old map showing the big bend in the Wabash River. Note W Walthem was still the owner of  some land in the area.