As railroads pushed through the countryside in the 19th century, they established stations every 5 to 7 miles so farmers would have easy access to the line. The Illinois Central Rail Road linked southern Illinois with the Great Lake port of Chicago.

Enterprising merchants and manufacturers established grain elevators, warehouses, and other businesses along the tracks. Railroad cars hauled grain, poultry, cream, and other products to the cities, returning with farm supplies, furniture, and other exotic but useful goods.

Railroad Siding, Tamaroa, Perry County © D. Gorton 2001
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