Pope County in Southern Illinois

image of Bell Smith Springs on a Sunny Day

Pope County

Is just one of the countries surrounding the Shawnee National Forest here in Southern Illinois.Image of Nathaniel Pope

The county got its name from Nathaniel Pope, born in Louisville Ky he became a lawyer, and from there practiced in Louisiana, following in his career he was appointed by James Madison in 1809 as Secretary of Illinois Territory, in 1818 it became the 21st state with Mr. Pope’s help.  more info



It’s first settlers were in 1798, coming across from Kentucky,Major Lusk had gotten a license to run a Ferry across the river in Kentucky, but bening he didn’t like the idea of having slave’s. He decided to run a ferry from Illinois which was not a statehood at that time. It was still a part of the Indiana territory, being denied the license  in this territory , till a tribe of indians left the area, he started a Ferry  anyway, and ran it with no license from the Image of a map of Pope County Illinois 1816North Bank of what is  now named after him, Lusk Creek, Major lusk died in 1803, leaving the ferry to his wife Mrs.Sarah Lusk who went on to acquire a license for the ferry 1804. After the land became part of the Illinois Territory  in 1818, a town was built and was named after Mrs. Lusk as Sarahville, with the name’s being changed very quickly. It is now known as  Golconda (it is the City seat in Pope County to this day), Now to my knowledge the only ferry still running from Illinois to Kentucky is the Cave-in-Rock Ferry in Hardin County Illinois.




The information is being brought to you through my research of  and with  my gratitude from the:


Also from the archive.org website which holds so many old, and wonderful books from the past with out there integration of these historical documents the past might be lost, but with their help we can pass it on to our generations and the generations to come.




Pope County Notes

Published in 1949

John W Allen

This Booklet is written in the hope that it may help toward a better understanding and greater appreciation of the significance of that all but-vanished-era (page 2)

I would like to thank the Archive.org 

For the information I have provided above.


Pope County Note’s has has so much info on our area I as stated live in Pope County, and reading this book written so long ago has given me a lot of pleasure. The history of how it started with the first settlers and of course the Man with whom it got its name.

Other Info inside the Book

  1. Agriculture
  2. The Road’s: Built by hand
  3. Churches
  4. Schools
  5. The Grist Mills
  6. BlackSmith, Tannery, Gunsmiths
  7. Slavery
  8. FeatherHeads and Regulators: Featherheads being the Outlaws, and the Regulators being Law Enforcers
  9. The Politics: and a Ditty for The Times  by Hackberry pg. 52 & 53
  10. Mines and Minerals:
  11. Sugar Camps: Built close to where the sugar maple trees were with all the tools needed for preparation of the brown sugar.


Today In Pope County

It is still country all the way with it’s nice and peaceful surroundings, with the little town of Golconda having a population of 770 people, right on the Ohio river.

The surrounding area is mostly farmers with, families who have been farming for years, passed down from one generation to another. The population of the county as of 2017 was around 4,172, that doesn’t sound like to may people,  but we are spread out quite a bit, and like having the pleasure of country life, when we sit on our porches at night, it is not the sound of car’s or the hussel and bussel of a busy life, it is one of the frog’s croaking, the bird’s singing, and the sound of the tractors in a distance working in their fields, with the smell of fresh cut grass, and the wild flowers that grow around the forest. Believe it or not the farmland is very pretty also, when the crops stat coming up  in the spring and summer,  you will see mostly Corn, Wheat and Beans and occasionally Milo (Grain sorghum ) which is a beautiful red top plant.

Our’s and other counties are also known, for amazing places like Bell Smith Springs, Trail of Tears State Park and Dixon Springs State Park and many wildlife areas to explore with camping, bike trails, repelling, horse trails, and picnicking.

Although you won’t find any grand mall, shopping centers, fancy restaurants, road’s with  6 lane’s of traffic, and long lines at red light’s, you will find fresh air, get a lot of exercise (walking), people who are a joy to be around. Some take a little cozying up to, but they are good neighbors, who are always there with a helping hand, if you need direction’s or advise as to where is the best place to stay, or eat they know all about the area because most have been here all their lives.

Widely Known for its  Whitetail Deer

The hunting seasons, like all most counties here in Southern Illinois, Yes, it is a big deal,most of the people around here are taught how to hunt, and fish from a young age, and visitors are known to  come from all over during the seasons, just to get a chance for the big one.

My husband and my stepson both spend their time in a deer stand or in a little blind’s (a little tent, that is what I call it) from the start of to the finish of the season, while my stepson Austin is really into getting the biggest buck he can find, I think my husband just likes to watch them, more than shot one, he has never really shot a deer, he takes our youngest grandson now 13 with him although, Nolen doesn’t shot he loves to try to call them in, and he is really good at it. Mark likes to have his company and get’s a kick out of his excitement over seeing the deer come close to the blind, he can’t control his verbal expressions, that to might be the reason his grandfather hasn’t gotten a deer.

Image of a baby deer in the back yard
Picture was taking by me in our back yard

Me I do my hunting from the back porch with a camera. although I do like the deer sausage, and other portions we cook up during the winter, I could do without it

Watching them play, and jump around my backyard really puts a smile on my face, the babies are so cute and so spirited.

Among the deer hunting we also have rabbit season, turkey seasons, Duck season and quit a few others.












For any Questions you might have please leave them below and I will get back to you

Thank You VickiG