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Vishnu Springs: The Ira & Reatha T. Post Wildlife Sanctuary

Established in the 1840’s, Vishnu Springs, once renowned for the supposed healing properties of the water from its mineral springs sits near the town of Tennessee, IL. The resort was also a haven for bootleggers and gangsters, including Al Capone, to take refuge.

The town reportedly hosted as many as 3,000 visitors, annually, and contained a hotel, restaurant, blacksmith shop, fishing pond, race track, and a school. By the 1920s, the town was defunct and remained so despite intermittent efforts at revival. Part of the town was used as a commune through the 1970s and has been uninhabited since it was abandoned in 1980. The only remaining structure is the Capitol Hotel. The property is currently owned by Western Illinois University Foundation and is known as the Ira & Reatha T. Post Wildlife Sanctuary.