Alexander, Madison , Pulaski

  St. Clair 




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One of the oldest settlements in Illinois named for a chain of rocks stretching six miles along the Ohio River. This chain presented navigational dangers to river traffic.

River men called the area "The Nation" in the 1700's. The name was used well into the late 1800's.

Grand Chain referred to four areas. One was Grand Chain Landing which is now referred to as Haynes Landing. A wharf boat at the landing in earlier days served as General Store and ticket agency for river boat travellers. Due to the growth of the population and difficulty making it to the river to shop at the wharf boars during inclimate weather caused the settlers to move three miles inland.

The polling place was located at the "old Tucker home in Sec. 28, township 14 south, range 2 east. The town grew and prospered until the Cairo and Vicennes Railroad was finished December 16, 1872.

Businessmen later decided to find a new town site. Two different groups submitted plats for these sites.

On October 18, 1872 one of these plats became known as Grand Chain. On October 31, 1872 the other plat was called New Grand Chain

James Bartleson the last postmaster at Grand Chain relinquished the post office keys and mailbags to "W.C. Armstrong, P.M. at New Grand Chain on August 23, 1875".

After the death of businessman James Martin Gaunt and surrendering of the post office, Grand Chain slowly faded away. But I am sure to a lot of people such as myself who descended from the area, it will always be Grand Chain in our hearts and minds.

The first school was a two room log house behind Grand Chain Masonic Cemetery.


 Directions to Grand Chain

If you can add more history to this document, or if you have a webpage that is related please send me an e-mail message.


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Placed online: 13 September 1999 | Updated: 7 May 2001
searchers have visited since 13 September 1999

Questions or comments: 
Deb Davis

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