Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site, Ellis Grove

#115 of 167 in Outdoors in Illinois
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is a 200-acre park near Chester, Illinois, on a blufftop overlooking the Mississippi River. It commemorates the vanished frontier town of Old Kaskaskia and the support it gave to George Rogers Clark in the American Revolution.An earthen redoubtThe village of Kaskaskia, Illinois was founded at the mouth of the Kaskaskia River as a missionary post by the Jesuits in 1703. Soon afterwards, settlers from the Quebec and Louisiana regions began to trickle towards the rich, alluvial farmland of the central Mississippi Valley. They built a village and agricultural settlement around the location of the Jesuit mission, a half-circle of bottomland cradled by the Kaskaskia River and by an oxbow of the Mississippi.French-speaking pioneers were noted throughout North America for their comparative fairness towards Native Americans. However, as the Kaskaskia settlement grew throughout the 18th century, the local Indians, members of the Illini Confederacy, may have realized that there might not be enough space for everybody. The French settlers raised Fort Kaskaskia around 1759; the fort stood atop the bluff that looked down upon the frontier village. "Fort Kaskaskia" is not technically a "fort", but an earthen redoubt. Frontier settlers throughout Woodland North America often built such redoubts as defensive moves during times of threat from Native Americans.
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Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
24 reviews
  • We knew the fort was no more than earthworks, so were not disappointed. We've seen others in this condition; it doesn't diminish the interest of an historic site. The power of the river is a lesson we...  more »
  • Awesome views of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia to the right. The new pavilion is fantastic! A great place to have a picnic especially with the breathtaking views from the bluff!
  • Beautiful views of the Mississippi River. Has been restored since the original covered pravillion burned. Camping, Menard Home, annual music festival and ample upper and lower parking only time fees are charged to park is during music festival.

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