The funds are to be used for engineering work and a historic structures report. Added to the $150,000 of state funding already announced for a historic structures report, this will allow the agency to likely conduct archeaological surveys and possibly engineering work on visitor services such as restrooms.
IHPA officials asked me for help on this grant last fall both in gathering letters of support as well as helping find the links to the site and transportation issue. While the main link is the site's recognized status as one of the last, if not the last, station on the Reverse Underground Railroad still standing.
Other links included John Crenshaw's role as a road supervisor for the 19th Century version of Route 13 between Shawneetown and Eldorado, as well as his role as a contractor in the first effort to build a railroad between those two towns in the late 1830s.
Overall, almost $2.9 million in grants are headed to Southern Illinois.
Other projects include the following:
- Cairo - Confluence Tourist Welcome Center at Fort Defiance (I think this would be in the old Toll House) - $673,000.
- Chester - Tourist Welcome Center in Segar Park near the Mississippi River bridge. This is something needed with the opening of the World Shooting Sports Center at Sparta later this year - 385,000.
- Saline County - Engineering work for extension of the Tunnel Hill State Bike Trail from Harrisburg to Eldorado to eventually connect the city-owned bike trails in Harrisburg and Eldorado - $110,000.
- Metrpolis - Brookport - Engineering work for the proposed George Rogers Clark Discovery Trail between Metropolis and Brookport to follow an old railroad grade between the two towns that also crosses through Fort Massac State Park - $354,000.
- Mount Vernon - Downtown streetscape improvements - $500,000.
- Rosiclare - Downtown streetscape improvements - $50,000.
- West Frankfort - Downtown streetscape improvements - $427,000.