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Historic marker missing for more than a half century to be rededicated June 17

  • This historic marker went missing only a few years after it was erected in 1957 -- and in 2017 it was found.

    This historic marker went missing only a few years after it was erected in 1957 -- and in 2017 it was found.
    Courtesy of the Gallatin County Historical Society

Submitted by Christy Short, Gallatin County Historical Society
Posted on 6/6/2018, 1:00 AM

In 1816, Congress appropriated $8,000 to survey and build a road from Kaskaskia on the Mississippi to Shawneetown on the Ohio.

It became an important east-west thoroughfare for settlers entering the Illinois Territory. The Goshen Trail, which ran from Goshen settlement near Edwardsville to the Salines, near Equality, joined the Kaskaskia-Shawneetown Trail.

Since 1934, the Illinois State Historical Society has erected more than 500 historical markers statewide. Subjects of historical significance to Illinois are co-sponsored by local organizations and supporters. The Illinois State Historical Society coordinates the placement and management of historical markers throughout the state. This information sited from the ISHS website.

One of the Shawneetown-Kaskaskia Illinois State historical markers was originally dedicated and placed in Gallatin County in 1957, near Shawneetown. Within a few short years the marker came up missing and its whereabouts have been a mystery, until now.

In the fall of 2017 a Brown's Fertilizer employee was doing some metal detecting and discovered the historical marker in the Saline River Mudd Lake area. Realizing the importance of this marker, he contacted the Saline County Historical Society president Mark Motsinger and he later contacted the Gallatin County Historical Society's president Art Heath, who lives in Shawneetown.

After the marker was cleaned and inspected by Mr. Heath, he then contacted the Illinois State Historical Society to inform them of the recent find. Together, they have been coordinating efforts for a rededication ceremony.

The Societies are thankful and appreciates the rescue efforts of Aaron Rayborn, definitely a good find! That's what we call digging up the past!

The Historical Marker Re-Dedication ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. June 17, 2018 in Old Shawneetown at the corner of Washington and Main streets. The public is invited to attend.

• The Old Shawneetown historic banks are open for visitors/tourists from 1-4 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of the month through October. For more Illinois history go to or