Downstate Illinois

Geoff Nathan an6993 at WAYNE.EDU
Fri May 7 19:58:36 UTC 2004

At 09:49 AM 5/7/2004, Page Stephens wrote:
>In a note about mountain oysters Doug Wilson uses the term "downstate
>Having grown up in Centralia, Illinois which is approximately 65 miles
>directly east of St. Louis we used to consider ourselves to be from southern
>Illinois. On the other hand I have heard my friends from Chicago refer to
>anything south of Chicago as downstate, and I have known people who lived
>south of Centralia suggest that Centralia is only marginally in southern
>Illinois if at all.

And having spent 22 of the past 24 years in Carbondale, Illinois I concur
with Page's comments about what is 'downstate' and what is 'Southern'
Illinois.  We often joked that for Chicagoans, Joliet was
'Downstate'.  Centralia is certainly at the northern margin of Southern
Illinois.  It is south of I-70 (often considered to mark the isogloss
between Northern and Southern dialects), but north of I-64.  Of course even
Carbondale isn't at the bottom of the state--that honor is reserved for
Cairo, which some will recall was an entry point to the Underground
Railway, and is an additional fifty miles further towards the Gulf.


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