Kief is a near-ghost town in McHenry county, and is home to the first Russian Baptist Church ever established in the United States. Although only listed as having a population of 12 in the 2000 census, the amount of activity we saw on our visit to Kief seemed to suggest a larger population, perhaps twenty? Kief has a bar which was open for business on the day we visited.
US Census Data for Kief
Total Population by Place
1960 – 97
1970 – 46
1980 – 36
2000 – 12
2010 – 13
Many of the abandoned homes in Kief were in quite good condition, and led us to wonder why someone wouldn’t be interested in buying a home there. The property could surely be had for a song, it’s a beautiful community, and only minimal updating would need to be done.
From the era when a guy came out to your car and pumped your gas, washed the windows, and checked the oil. Let’s bring that back, can we?
Kief is also home to a well-known missing persons case. Donna Jean Michalenko disappeared from Kief on November 2nd, 1968. Michalenko disappeared after a night of drinking with a male companion, who claimed he dropped her off at her ex-husband’s house. She was never seen again.
The investigation into Michaelenko’s disappearance was hampered by the fact that she wasn’t reported missing for six weeks after she disappeared. If you have information regarding the disappearance of Donna, please call the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office (the county where Donna lived) at 701-537-5633 or the McLean County Sheriff’s office (where she allegedly disappeared) at 701-462-8103.
Pictured above is the first Russian Baptist Church ever established in the United States.
All photos by Troy and Rat, copyright SonicTremorMedia.com