THE NATION: Christmas in America

The adventurers who platted the town on the banks of the Ohio River were certain it would be a seat of great farms, a port for the burgeoning West, and a center of riches and influence. They gave its streets such proud names as Washington and Maryland and they called the village America. In the 1820s it grew fast. Then shifting sands moved the river channel and its commerce away, and a terrible epidemic swept the town. By 1835 its brave dream was dying; in the century after that, America, Ill. almost vanished.

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