PEORIA MAGAZINE March 2023
Owner B.J. Allgeyer pauses inside Jiggs’ Cardinal Inn in the west-central Illinois village of Alexis. The tavern was dragged there after an 1868 tornado leveled much of its original hometown, Shanghai City, now a ghost town
B .J. Allgeyer wonders if his tavern in Alexis has a superpower. Does it really repel tornados? “That’s what we hope for,” he says with a smile. Jiggs’ Cardinal Inn – Jiggs was his grandfather and a longtime owner – somehow survived one of the meanest twisters to ever rip through west central Illinois. At the time, way back in 1868, the pub stood three miles east of town. How did it change sites? It wasn’t like “The Wizard of Oz” with a cyclone carrying off an entire building and plopping it down elsewhere. The backstory to Jiggs’ Cardinal Inn is almost as fanciful, though completely true. Devoted clientele huffed and puffed to hoist the joint onto log rollers and drag it by horse to Alexis. Why? Maybe they considered the pub to be a lucky charm worth preserving.
S P O T L I G H T
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SHANGHAI CITY? A 19th century twister took out the town, but left a popular bar
BY PHIL LUCIANO
92 MARCH 2023 PEORIA MAGAZINE
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