Golconda is a city in and the county seat of Pope County, Illinois, United States, located along the Ohio River. The population was 726 at the 2000 census. Most of the city is part of the Golconda Historic District.
First permanent settlement in Pope County in 1798, and a ferry point across the Ohio River that was sometimes called Lusk's Ferry. The town was named Sarahsville upon organization of the county and town in 1816, but changed its name to Golconda on January 24, 1817, after the ancient city of Golkonda in India.
Some 13,000 Cherokees crossed the Ohio River here by ferry as part of the famous "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma, around December 3, 1838. Here the starving Indians were charged a dollar a head (equal to $20.56 today) to cross the river on "Berry's Ferry" which typically charged twelve cents, equal to $2.47 today. They were not allowed passage until the ferry had serviced all others wishing to cross and were forced to take shelter under "Mantle Rock," a shelter bluff on the Kentucky side, until "Berry had nothing better to do". Many died huddled together at Mantle Rock waiting to cross. Several Cherokee were murdered by locals. The killers filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government through the courthouse in Vienna, suing the government for $35 a head (equal to $719.47 today) to bury the murdered Cherokee.
In 1840, the Buel House, a single-family home owned by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, was built. Among the many historic buildings built in the latter half of the 19th century is the First Presbyterian Church (built in 1869). It is the oldest continuous Presbyterian congregation in Illinois. The church was organized in 1819.