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A view of the Citizens Lake beach, looking southeast, possibly in the early 1960s. A concession stand is at center, while a Chicago Northwestern train can be seen on the tracks at right.

From railroad reservoir to recreation park: The evolution of Citizens Lake

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A 1912 map shows detail of the M. & St. L. pond at north and the CB&Q pond at south.
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The changing shoreline of Citizens Lake is illustrated in images from two eras — a 1941 aerial photo showing the M. & St. L. track still running south of Citizens Lake, and a recent satellite image of the area showing the Route 34 bypass and the portion of the lake dug out to replace dirt used in the construction of the highway overpass.

Written by

Editor and historian for Monmouth College. Avid researcher of western Illinois history for 40 years. FB and Twitter. jrankin@monmouthcollege.edu

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