About Dean Klinkenberg

Dean Klinkenberg, the Mississippi Valley Traveler, is on a mission to explore the rich history, diverse cultures, and varied ecosystems of the Mississippi River Valley, from the Headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. He is the author of Rock Island Lines, a mystery, and several guidebooks for the Mississippi Valley.


Atlas is the oldest community in Pike County, founded in 1823 by Colonel William Ross, the same year it was chosen as the county seat, which was also the same year its fortunes peaked. The Ross family arrived here from Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1820 and ended up building their homes about where the village of

By |February 11th, 2016|Illinois|0 Comments


Pike County’s first European resident, Ebenezer Franklin, built a home near present-day Rockport in 1820. For a while the area was known as Pecan Grove, because, well, there were a lot of pecan trees nearby. It’s hard to imagine today, but Rockport was once a busy place, thanks to milling and water access that has

By |February 10th, 2016|Illinois|0 Comments

New Canton

Population (2010) 359 History Quincy founders John Wood and Willard Keyes pitched tents in this area when they first arrived from the East, but Charles T. Brewster, Hiram Smith, and Jesse Tittsworth get credited for starting the village in 1835. The government sold land in the township for $1.25 an acre; many early residents raised

By |February 8th, 2016|Illinois|0 Comments


Population (2010) 216 History In 1836, Chester Churchill and Bridge Whitten, natives of New York, founded the village of Kinderhook. The village grew along and below a short bluff, an area that once had many American Indian mounds. It grew into a stable small town pretty quickly, with several stores, a blacksmith, a flour mill, a post

By |February 7th, 2016|Illinois|0 Comments


Population (2010) 461 History David Hull (History of Pike County) Hull’s Station was platted by David Hull, Rensellaer Sweet, and William Bridge about the time the first railroad came through the area in 1871. The Hull family has certainly left its mark on the area. Thomas Hull came to Pike County early, moving here in

By |February 5th, 2016|Illinois|0 Comments

Levee Township

Population (2010) 47 History Shaved off of Kinderhook Township in 1875, Levee Township takes its name from the big Sny Island Levee that keeps the Mississippi River from spilling into its traditional floodplain. Before the levee was built, The Sny, or Sny Channel, diverted from the main channel of the Mississippi River about ten miles

By |February 4th, 2016|Illinois|0 Comments