Have you ever wondered where the center of the state of Illinois is located? I did, and this is what I found out about the geographical center of Illinois.

Middle America

Middle America is a term used to refer to the United States heartland, typically the lower Midwestern region of the country. The included states are Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska.

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The Geographical Middle of America

My search for the center of Illinois started with wanting to know the middle of the U.S. The middle of the contiguous 48 states, including the District of Columbia, is about 2.6 miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas.

GPS Coordinates for the Middle of America 39°50′N 98°35′W

So, where is the middle of the Land of Lincoln? As I searched for the details, I assumed  Illinois' center would be in a small town's downtown area. I was half right.

Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
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The small town is Chestnut, Illinois with a population of around 250.

RELATED: One of the Most Beautiful Drives in the U.S. is This 33 Miles of Illinois Road

The Geographical Center of Illinois

Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
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According to RoadsideAmerica.com, we have the efforts of Gary Calvert in the early 1990s to thank for this journey to the 'commemorative' center of Illinois in the town of Chestnut.

Calvert got a large map of Illinois, criss-crossed it with fishing line, and the lines converged near the hamlet of Chestnut. He then contacted the Illinois State Geological Survey, and to his delight found that their calculations were similar to his own.

Calvert traveled to Chestnut, showed them his official Illinois State Geological Survey letter, and convinced the tiny community that it needed a monument.

Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
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RELATED: Very Small Town of Under 3,000 Just Dubbed Illinois’ Most Underrated

Here is the monument that we wouldn't have if not for Gary's curiosity and his salesmanship.

Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
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RELATED: Tiny Illinois Town Made Guinness Book of World Records 12 Times

I love this aerial photo. Amongst those trees in the bottom right of the photos is where the monument is located.

Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
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Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
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The monument marks the center of Illinois but it's not the actual center, that spot is in the middle of a bean field. They found a much better spot just off the highway that runs through the middle of Chestnut, in a park near the southwest corner of Melvin Street and East Olive Street.

Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
Chestnut Geo Center via Facebook
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Check out this news video from the late '90s

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