Platted by W. H. McChesney in 1870 on acreage formerly owned by Joseph Carman, the original village was just four blocks of real estate that ran parallel to the Carthage and Burlington railroad tracks. A few businesses sprouted (some were re-potted from nearby Shokokon), including general stores, an ice cream parlor, a hotel, a restaurant, a boarding house, and blacksmiths.

Early residents included a number of immigrants from England and Germany. Carman was a shipping point for grain grown by area farmers, but never grew into a large community and never incorporated. The village today is primarily residential, home to fewer than 300 people. You’ll pass by it as you drive the Illinois portion of the Great River Road.

Next stop upriver: Shokokon.

Next stop downriver: Lomax.

© Dean Klinkenberg, 2015

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