In the early 1900s, Johnston City was formed around the railroad line to take advantage of all the surrounding coal mines. In an era when coal was king, Johnston City quickly grew to one of the region's largest coal producers with eleven miners operating in the area. Its growth fueled the opening of the first movie theatre in Southern Illinois that had ``talking pictures``. The Palace Theatre started out in 1922 and showed silent movies. By 1929, it was the only theatre in Southern Illinois to have sound. A pace of growth is now picking up again. Newly formed Johnston City Vision 20/20, is a group of local businessmen and citizens that are formulating a 10-year plan for growth and economic development, with promising early results. Johnston City recently established a home rule community, with a TIF district to spur progress, resulting in several new businesses applying- and anticipating a prominent future.
Johnston City is the gateway to fast-growing Southern Illinois. Home to beautiful Arrowhead Lake, Park, Campground and Amphitheater. The 30-acre lake attracts visitors with its bountiful fishing, comfortable camping and an opportunity to view nature and wildlife at a gentler pace.
Johnston City is host to many seasonal and family-friendly activities. The annual remote control boat race, Little Thunder on the Lake, is an exciting competition to witness. Bandy's Pumpkin Patch welcomes travelers with fall treats, hayrides, games, and the chance to explore the famous corn maze! Challenge your friends to a game of golf at Stardust Golf and Country Club, a tricky nine-hole public golf course.
Stroll through historic downtown and shop for hidden treasures and antiques in various unique stores. Then enjoy local cuisine at the historic Andresen's Cafe, a favorite among visitors. Small-town hospitality, charm, and a friendly community make Johnston City a great place to visit!
All vendors grow, raise, bake and make the items they sell. Open Friday afternoons April-October.