Tour Locations | Interstate 55: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL
LOCATION 14 | Interstate 55: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL
Collinsville and Glen Carbon
The homes to our right are located in the City of Collinsville. Collinsville was settled in 1810 and by 1922, nearly 1/3 of its 10,000 residents worked in area coal mines. The mines here closed decades ago, and now, Collinsville’s claim to fame is being home to the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, which was once a water tower and can be seen just a few miles to our right along highway 159 off exit 15a.
Two miles to our left is the village of Glen Carbon. Glen is another word for “Valley” and “Carbon” is another word for “Coal” The influence coal has had on most of the towns we pass on our tour is rarely this obvious. For example, while Collinsville is known as the only place in America where a German-American was lynched during WWI, when an angry mob dragged German-American Robert Prager from his jail cell, forcing him to walk naked down the streets of Collinsville while singing patriotic songs, and then hanging him from a tree while 200 people watched, most historians agree that it was not Prager’s German heritage that led to his demise, but his outspoken union views he expressed at a coal mine days earlier in Maryville.