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[_photography journal]: infrastructure in southern illinois

at Cave in Rock, Illinois Nov.27th 2015 photo by Yang Yu



1. the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, and power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.

2. The place people call home and where they go to live after they have lost their own home to foreclosure.

During the end of November 2015, I was driving towards to the southern Illinois with Minhoo Kim. When we passed a small town called Cave in Rock, we stopped at the parking lot where next to the town center. The parking lot is on side of the Ohio river, which is also the board-er between Kentucky and Illinois. We decided to park the car to have a walk in the town. I no-ticed that there is a ferry at the end of Illinois Road No.1. Or, it is not the end of Illinois No.1, it should be called an intersection between Illinois No.1, Kentucky No.59 and Ohio river. The ferry operating from 6am until 9:40pm, and it’s free. Cars waiting just like waiting at the intersection with a stop sign. This picture make me keep an eye on the infrastructure of the small town in US.

Instead of talking about the lack of the infrastructure in this small town. I would like to talk about what roles the infrastructure played in Cave in Rock. Apparently, the scale of the town won’t allow the uneconomic way that build the fully functional infrastructure system, what they should do then? I saw a solution in Cave in Rock which is build the “infra-structure connector”. as the helicopter landing pad in the parking lot is the “connector” with the infrastructure which might located 60 miles away. So the meaning of infrastructure in Cave in Rock turn to how to connect the infrastructure to this small town. Actually there are a mount of small towns like Cave in Rock were formed by the dissemination of automobile. In this case, automobile also should be considered as a type of infrastructure.

The parking lot we parked was also as a he-licopter landing pad with the big “H” sign at there. Actually we have seen this type of landing pad couple times since the in-frastructure was not quite fully developed. Me and Minhoo talked about the function of the landing pad, and both of us think it might be used for the hospital emergency helicopter landing use. Because we didn’t see any large scale hospital during the last three towns we passed. So infrastructure in here is an infrastructure that connect the town with a well developed infrastructure facility. Or we could call it infrastructure connector.

On the way we trying to walking to the city, some sign attract me. There is a sign said “High speed internet available now.” And it looks new. Actually my AT&T phone already out of the signal range at this time, and the cabin me and Minhoo stayed last night doesn’t have a wi-fi and the cabin hold-er told us only Verizon could work in this area.

There is a abandoned building in front of a funeral home. Based on
my observation, it should be an old church, because of the ceiling height and the vertical window at the side of the building. What caused my interests is there was two vending machine in front of it, and one of it still working. Then I saw the cheapest vending machine in US, which one coke only cost 75 cents. Since we didn’t bring any quarters with us, or we definitely want to buy one from this vending machine. I’m wondering what keeps this vending machine still running? I think the answer should be capitalism. That also bring out another question is what resulted the abandon of the gas station? I thinks the answer still be the capitalism. But,is that means the government could keep updating the infrastructure to meet today’s need? or is the infrastructure which under the government’s control won’t be abandoned? I don’t have the answer, but I think I get a basic idea in here is the US trying to combine the resource or compact them based on several towns. Looks Elizabeth town is the infrastructure town among these several towns. When I cross the intersection, I saw an old firefighter vehicle, it looks like it was out updated, no fancy meters on the side of the vehicle, and totally different with the one we usually saw in the city. 

Actually we could tell, there are only four infrastructure were maintained well in this small town, which are two churches, one post office and one funeral home. This basically bring me a visionary picture to show how the americans form their town back to the old time. First immigration came, settled next to the river so it’s easy to get the water, and started work with the farm land, after they settle down, the church was built, also, they need a cemetery. The small town will keep this basic infrastructure for a while during its expand. When the road was connected to the town, the post-office was built. after this, more and more infrastructure was built. Actually I could see it must be a busy town back to the old time. Because I can see the abandoned stores with beautiful items in them. Even the main street is short, I still could imagine that back to the old time, before the high way was build, the town should be a good place to live.