This region helped build Illinois at statehood in 1818. Almost 200 years later, as Illinois prepares to celebrate its bicentennial, lower "Egypt" — as its affectionately known — has largely been forsaken, or so it seems to many of the people who call Illinois’ Ohio River Valley region home.

Here's a look at the Ohio River Valley, in photos. For more, read Molly Parker's story Forsaken Egypt: Poverty darkens Southern Illinois' beautiful Ohio River Valley.


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