Carbondale is a city in Southern Illinois in the Midwest United States, is 96 miles (154 km) miles southeast of Saint Louis, Missouri. It is known mainly as the site of the main campus of Southern Illinois University. The city is located in Jackson County, Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 25,597.
Carbondale was named by founder Daniel Brush, who had aspirations of developing coal mining operations in the region. By the time of the American Civil War, the area had been incorporated as a village. After the war it developed into a center of business and transportation for the region.
On April 29, 1866 one of the first formal Memorial Day observations was held at the city's Woodlawn Cemetery, with local resident General John A. Logan giving the principal address.
The city is in an area of the state known as Little Egypt.
In addition to Southern Illinois University, the city has a variety of unique cultural institutions and enterprises (culture with "both a large and a small C"). In addition to the university's PBS and NPR broadcasting stations (WSIU), Carbondale is home to WDBX Community Radio for Southern Illinois, the Big Muddy Independent Media Center, two daily newspapers – the Southern Illinoisan and the university's Daily Egyptian, two weeklies (the Carbondale Times and the Nightlife) and a bi-weekly (Heartland Women).
In addition to the University Museum the curious can visit the African American Museum or the Science Center. Food shoppers are offered a unique selection that includes a Mexican grocer, two international grocers, the Neighborhood Coop, and a thriving Farmers Market. Theater-goers can see both professional and student produced plays and performances at the university's McLeod and Kleinau Theatres, or attend off-campus productions by The Stage Company. A variety of fine arts are encouraged by the Carbondale Community Arts organization.
Civic action is fomented in the city by Carbondale Conversations for Community Action (the local implementation of Study Circles). Spirituality finds expression in Carbondale in churches of a variety of Christian denominations, as well as a Unitarian Universalist fellowship, two mosques, a Jewish congregation, a Sufi community, a Hindu community, and meetings of the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance. The Women's Center, in continuous service since its founding in 1972, was one of the first domestic violence shelters in the United States.
I'll tell you more about life as a student there in the 60's and 70's next Monday.
My Town Mondays is the brilliant idea of Travis Erwin. Please visit his blog for more bloggers participating in this fun exercise.