It's one of the oldest parts of the state - historic southern Illinois off the Ohio River. Bringing settlers from the east, the communities along the Ohio were among the first permanent settlements in the region, before Illinois became a state.

For the early pioneers of Old Shawneetown, Illinois was on the edge of the American frontier. Settled in 1798, Old Shawneetown was established two years before Thomas Jeeferson became president.

But the heart of this historic area is beautiful Elizabethtown. Known as "E-town" among the locals, this colorful river town is a throwback to earlier days.

You can also visit a town with a dark past -Cave-In-Rock. For many years, infamous river pirates threatened vulnerable settlers as they came floating down the river. This was back in the days before law enforcement could extend to this wild part of the frontier.

The Grand Rose Hotel
92 main street
Elizabethtown, IL 62931
618-287-2872
www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/rose_hotel.htm

Shawnee Queen River Taxi
Reservations - toll-free - 1-877-667-6123
www.ridesmtd.com

River Rose Inn
1 Main Street
Elizabethtown, IL 62931
618-287-8811
www.riverroseinn.com

Pope County Historical Society
102 N. Columbus Avenue