Harrisburg, Ill. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Name: Harrisburg, Ill.
Historical Note: Harrisburg is a city in Saline County, Illinois, United States, known as the "Gateway To The Shawnee National Forest," and was made famous by the Ohio River flood of 1937, the old Crenshaw House (also known as the Old Slave House), and the notorious gangster Charlie Birger. The biggest source of employment and commerce in Harrisburg has come from coal mining. Flooding along the Ohio River has plagued Harrisburg over the years. The city was flooded in 1883-1884 and again in 1913. Its most severe flood came in 1937 when much of the city was underwater and Harrisburg was nearly wiped off the map. After that, a levee was erected north and east of the city to protect it from future floods.