National Register Listings in
Pulaski County, Illinois

The Chicago River was once so polluted that it caught on fire several times in the mid-20th century. The river was so polluted with chemicals and sewage that it was almost devoid of life. Today, the river has been cleaned up and is a popular spot for recreational activities like kayaking and boat tours.
Pulaski County, Illinois, located in the southernmost part of the state, has a rich and diverse history. The area that is now Pulaski County was initially home to Native American tribes such as the Illini and Shawnee. European exploration of the region began in the late 1600s, with French explorers and fur traders venturing into the area.

In the early 1800s, settlers began to migrate to the region, attracted by the fertile land and abundant resources. Pulaski County was officially established in 1843 and named after Polish General Casimir Pulaski, a hero of the American Revolutionary War. The county grew as more settlers arrived, and agriculture became the primary industry, with crops such as corn, wheat, and tobacco being cultivated.

During the Civil War, Pulaski County was strategically located near the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, making it a contested area between the Union and Confederate forces. The county was occupied by both sides at different times, and skirmishes between Union troops and Confederate guerrilla bands were not uncommon. The war significantly impacted the county, leading to economic decline and loss of life.

After the Civil War, Pulaski County slowly recovered and saw an increase in industrial development. Timber and coal mining became major industries, providing employment opportunities for the local population. The county also became a transportation hub, with the construction of railroads and the improvement of river transportation.

Today, Pulaski County continues to rely on agriculture and some industrial sectors for its economy. The county preserves its historical significance through various landmarks and historical sites, attracting visitors interested in learning about its past. Despite its economic challenges, Pulaski County remains a vibrant community with a strong connection to its history and the people who have shaped it.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Pulaski County, Illinois.

  • 1818: Pulaski County was established on March 3 as part of the Illinois Territory.
  • 1830s: European settlers arrived in the county, primarily from Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • 1840: The county's seat was established in Mound City.
  • 1843: Mound City became incorporated as a city.
  • 1861-1865: Pulaski County played a significant role in the American Civil War, with Fort Anderson serving as an important Union outpost.
  • 1874: Cairo, a city located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, became part of Pulaski County.
  • 1880s: The growth of the railroad brought economic development to the county.
  • 1927: The Ohio River flood caused extensive damage to Pulaski County.
  • 1950s-1960s: The construction of Interstate 57 through the county facilitated transportation and trade.
  • Today: Pulaski County is known for its natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and historical sites.