It sits on the banks of the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers.
Because of its location it grew as an important river trade hub, it also served as a supply base for the Union troops during the Civil War.
This once thriving community hit their population high of 20,000 in 1907 but two factors would bring the decline.
The first blow to Cairo was the railroad. People were shipping things faster by rail than by water.
But perhaps the nail in Cairo's coffin was set in decades old racism.
Cairo is the same degree in latitude as Richmond Virginia which was the capital of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, so it is no surprise that Cairo was more influenced by southern culture than that of the north.
From the lynching of a black man named, Will James in 1909 to a civil rights struggle in 1969 which brought in the National Guard to keep order and the formation of a group called the Cairo United Front which led a decades long boycott of white owned businesses.
In Cairo, most of the businesses were owned by white people so this really crippled the economy of this river town. Population of Cairo now rests below 3000.
When walking the streets of Cairo one is faced with broken down and abandoned scenery. Liquor bottles, beer cans,and trash and the utter sadness of a dying town.
The bustling streets of downtown Cairo..
One of the many rows of abandoned businesses...
This building is Famous, seriously..just look at it..
Looking inside one of the buildings, a lot of the buildings included lots of stuff and also nature taking back over, these trees are growing inside of the building.
Another look at the trees..
Rotted out ceiling
I believe the Maytag Man left a long time ago..
Some of the buildings had a lot of detail in them
The sky was incredibly blue
The No Alcohol sign was a little weird considering almost every where you went in this town there were empty liquor bottles/beer bottles and cans
An old fridge and a misplaced hat
Looks like this Christmas party got out of hand..
I wonder who Duke is and why hes so good
Classing it up with some Schlitz
Traffic was out of control...
Bars to keep the people out
Lack of ceiling
It was the time of year for plants to bloom
Cairo...gateway to the south...
Brick streets and flood wall
Flood levels from over the years, this wall stretched across the entire town so the town would be protected from flooding
grass and brick
This looked like a squatters paradise
Destruction and Hope
My brothers would have killed for this when we were little
I opted to not go down the stairs...
tons and tons of stuff
At this point my 2 friends who were standing outside insisted that we leave because a truck had driven by a few times and the guys in the truck were whistling at them...
Fire Alarm on the outside of the building
The Last Hurrah
Front of the building
I have a lot more pictures to come...I hope you've enjoyed your first part of a Southern Illinois adventure