Fort de Chartres State Historic Site

During our trip to Ste. Genevieve, we journeyed across the state line to visit the historic Fort de Chartres. Named after Louis the Duke of Chartres, the first of two wooden forts was built in 1720-1721 about 18 miles north of Kaskaskia. Besides establishing a military presence to counter the attacks of Fox Indians on French settlements, the fort served as the political headquarters for le pays des Illinois. The stone fort that has been partially reconstructed was built shortly before the outbreak of the French and Indian War. With the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the fort was taken over by British troops of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment on October 10, 1765. Renamed Fort Cavendish, the fortification was of little use to the British and was eventually abandoned in 1771.

The locals refer to the Ste. Genevieve-Modoc Ferry as "The French Connection".

We drove by Prairie du Rocher. Descendants of those first 18th century settlers still reside here today.

Gate to the fort

View from atop the gate overlooking the surrounding countryside.

Flour in the storage loft.

The Powder Magazine is the only original structure in the fort and is thought to be the oldest non-Indian structure in Illinois.

A reconstruction of the East Barracks using a technique called "ghosting".

Entrance to the Piethman Museum in what would have been the king's storehouse.

Bastion and turret overlooking the dry moat.


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