Fort Massac is a colonial and early National-era fort on the Ohio River in Massac County, Illinois, United States.PutFort Massac State Park into our Metropolis trip planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
Legend has it that, as early as 1540, the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his soldiers constructed a primitive fortification here to defend themselves from native attack. Maps from the early 18th century show an "Ancien Fort" near this location.
Fort Massac was built by the French in 1757, during the French and Indian War and was originally called "Fort de L’Ascension." The name was changed in 1759, to honor of Claud Louis d'Espinchal, Marquis de Massiac, the French Naval Minister. Many early 19th-century sources claim that "Massac" was derived from a "massacre" that occurred at the site; but there is no record of such a massacre.
Following the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, the French abandoned the fort and a band of Chickasaw burned it to the ground. When Captain Thomas Stirling, commander of the 42nd Highland Regiment, arrived to take possession for Britain, he found nothing but a charred ruin.
The British never rebuilt the fort. In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, Col. George Rogers Clark led his regiment of “Long Knives” into Illinois near the fort at Massac Creek. In 1794, during the Northwest Indian War, President George Washington ordered the fort rebuilt, and for the next 20 years it protected U.S. military and commercial interests in the Ohio Valley.
Fort Massac State Park reviews
Spent a night in the campground where the hosts were very helpful and friendly. Large level sights. No bath/shower house available but there is one under construction. The fort and visitor center... more »
We stopped here for the night passing through from Branson Mo to Nashville Tn. $18 for an overnight stay, not used to that! The campgrounds were well kept, sites were HUGE!!! Electric only so be sure.... more »
We love going to Fort Massac. Its always clean & the interpreters are very nice. Our favorite event is the Rendezvous & we're excited to participate this year.
Took my Grandson to place it was nice. He loves the play areas. Only wish they had more baby swings.
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