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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Alto Pass

Illinois

Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Strongly Democratic
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Don’t Know

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890 389
1900 518
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990 872 1
2000 338
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

Sundown, according to nearby farmer.
Nickname, acc. to an employee from there, “all to pass,” meaning all blacks must pass through, cannot stay. Interview, January, 2004.
Another resident of Union County: nickname was “Alto Pass” until sundown, then “Fear to Pass.” — 7/2004.

Alto Pass
This village, located on rolling hills of the Illinois Ozarks, acquired its name because it is the highest elevation in Illinois traversed by a railroad. The town originally called Quetil, was laid out on January 20, 1875, along the St. Louis and Cairo Narrow Gauge Railroad and soon became an important shipping center for fruits and vegetables. By the turn of the century, the nearly 500 citizens of Alto Pass were served by a post office, five general stores, a drug store, two hotels, a blacksmith shop, a millinery shop, a lumber yard and two cooper shops. Alto Pass today has only 304 residents. Many of the stores stand abandoned, although a few shops and a band remain. The interior of the bank is representative of architectural designs of an earlier era.