Hanover's Natural Resources

Hanover is located in the northwestern corner of Illinois in an area known as the "driftless area." Ice Age glaciers bypassed this region, leaving in their wakd an island of rugged, forested hills. Limestone outcrops in many places throughout the region, particularly in steep bluffs along the Mississippi River. This rugged topography, with its hardwood forests and farmsteads creates a pastoral image and is known throughout the Midwest as one of the scenic areas in Illinois.

In earlier times, the region was one of the nation's most important lead mining areas. After the Civil War, the demand of lead declined, but the mining continued with zinc being the primary metal and lead a secondary product. Although there are no mines located within Hanover itself, lead and zinc were mined near the community along River Road and Blackjack Road, northwest of town. Throughout the early 1900's mining continued to decline Costs of dewatering the mines were high and the economic returns were not sufficient to maintain the industry in an expanding global market. Although the ore deposits are still substantial, mining operations are not likely to be reactivated.

Now, limestone is the only economically feasible extractive mineral product in the area. Numerous quarries are located throughout the county, with the nearest major quarry located just north of Hanover outside the community of Elsizabeth. A continuing demand for crushed rock for roads and building construction coudl result in a demand for quarry operations nearer to Hanover.

Hanover is surrounded by farmland. Soiils are generally silt loams, with exceptions in wetlands and on hilltops. Given the rough terrain and steep slopes, much of the agricultural land is not suitable for row crops. Such land is used for pasture or hay production. Some provides hardwood lumber production, primarily oak and walnut. Throughout the county agriculture is facing increasin competition for land with the rural residential uses. This pressure suggests that the preservation of prime farmland coud become a significant factor in future land use planning.

The most striking feature of Hanover is the Apple River which surrounds the community on three sides. Within the corporate limits of the Village, the Apple river covers a distance of about 3 miles. Just west of the Hwy 84 bridge, the flowage is dammed; Crescent Dam is a well-known community ffeature. The floodplain of the Apple River accounts for 137 acres, or 34% of the total acreage of the town. This flood-prone area and its associated wetlands present not only limitations on development, but also opportunities for recreation, greespace and natural areas.

Another major feature of the Hanover area is the Mississippi River, just 7 miles from town via Blanding Road. The longest river in the nation, the Mississippi has tremendous value for shipping, recreation and tourism. The river's impact on Hanover is primarily recreational; it is heavily used by fishermen, hunters and pleasure craft.

Wildlife is abundant throughout Jo Daviess County. Every species that can be hunted or trapped in Illinois has a season in Jo Daviess County. Deer, turkey, an duck hunting are particularly popular. hanover is particularly endowed due to its proximity to both the Apple and Mississippi Rivers. The wetlands associated with these rivers provide exceptions opportunities for bird-watchers, fishermen, hunters and trappers. Fishing is well-established right in town.

The Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is located just a few miles from Hanover. It runs along both sides of the Mississippi from East Dubuque to the Quad Cities. It encompasses nearly 45,000 acres of woods and wetlands 8,000 of which are in Jo Daviess County. It is well-known as an ideal location to view bald eagles.

All together the scenic beauty, the river and the wildlife offer Hanover excellent opportunities for expanding its recreational, sporting and tourism economies.

More on Hanover:
Current Profile
History / Description
Parks and Recreation

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