As far as I can tell, Troy Taylor was the first person to write extensively on Ridge Cemetery and Williamsburg Hill (not to be confused with Tower Hill, the closest town). He devotes sections to the area in a number of his books, including Haunted Illinois (2001, pg.111-12), Haunted Decatur Revisited (2000, pg.172-175), and Beyond the Grave (2001, pg.211-13).
Williamsburg Hill is the highest point in Shelby County and is accessible by 1100 E, a road that horseshoes around the tiny community of Cold Spring. Visitors can pick up 1100 E just west of Tower Hill on Rt 16, and it will lead them straight to the hill and the cemetery.
As Troy Taylor explains, the hill that Ridge Cemetery occupies once also sheltered a town, one of the many that sprung up and disappeared during the nineteenth century in central Illinois. Williamsburg, as it was known, was platted in 1839 by two men, Thomas Williams and William Horsman. Many Horsmans can be found buried in Ridge Cemetery to this very day. The village disappeared in the 1880s as the railroad bypassed its inconvenient location.
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Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 1 Digital Edition
Order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2007 in a special digital edition for your favorite e-readers. Places covered in Vol. 1: Bachelor’s Grove, Greenwood Cemetery, Devil’s Gate, Chesterville Cemetery, Dug Hill Road, Resurrection Cemetery, “Cemetery X,” Shoe Factory Road, Ridge Cemetery, Cuba Road, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, and St. James-Sag! Plus, read bonus “personal experiences” and put your knowledge of these locations to the test with challenging trivia questions. Don’t miss these classic issues from the archives of the Legends and Lore of Illinois.
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