Mount Carroll is a city in northwestern Illinois, and the seat of Carroll County. It was the original home of Shimer College from its founding in 1852 until it moved to Waukegan, Illinois, in 1978.


Mount Carroll began as a mill town around 1841. In 1843, a referendum moved the county seat from nearby Savanna to Mount Carroll. The town was incorporated in 1855 and became a city in 1867[1].

Bellairs in Urbs

John Bellairs moved to Mount Carroll in summer of 1966 to become a faculty member at Shimer College.  In between his teaching and being resident head of McKee Hall, Bellairs began writing The Pedant and the Shuffly between semesters.  He left his teaching position and Mount Carroll in 1967.

One of Bellairs's off-campus haunts was Poffenberger's Tavern, a tavern legendary in the annals of the college.


  1. Wikipedia: Mount Carroll, Illinois
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