A Civil Rights Era Ghost Town

Ever come across something so offbeat that you craved an answer to its existence, but no one could give it to you? Next time, try asking Reddit. After coming across the ghost town of Cairo, Illinois, with demolished streets and buildings that barely hinted at once housing townspeople, Reddit user inkslave was left with a head spinning with questions. After no success on Wikipedia, he turned to Reddit: What the hell happened to Cairo, Illinois?

From the Cairo Project

“…I have lived in small, failing farm towns and even a large, failing farm town or two, so I know what economic drought looks like. But I have never seen anything on the scale I saw in Cairo. Have I just been blind to the depth of small-town blight in this country? Or is Cairo special? (And not in a good way.)”

And the answers began to come in, including this academic answer. Proving both intellect and interest in the subject, user GnatDog revealed expertise on that very town:

“I actually wrote my history master’s thesis on Civil Rights Era Cairo, so you can imagine my surprise when I see this question on the front page! I became fascinated by Cairo’s history when I participated in a photojournalism project at Southern Illinois University called the Cairo Project.”

Below are a few Cairo, Illinois pictures from various Flickr users.







Bunge Soybean Processing Plant (CC) FLICKR/CARLFBAGGE

It is a cool phenomenon on Reddit: someone can ask a seemingly obscure question about a very niche topic, and an actual expert on that subject could rise to the occasion and share insight.

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