Our family spent the night in Chester, Illinois (home of Elzie C. Segar, the creator of Popeye). In the morning, we drove north to Fort Kaskaskia. It features mounds and ditches that mark the site of an old French fort built in the early 1700’s. It was located on a bluff high above the Mississippi River. It was cold. The girls stayed in the car. My wife and I walked around the fort ruins for a few minutes.
There wasn’t much to the place (as you can see from the photos) and not much to the history of the place either. The French occupied the spot from 1703 to 1763. It’s thought they never got around to completing the fort. The British took over from 1763 to 1778, but they did nothing of substance. The U.S. gained the territory during the Revolutionary War. They build some buildings and stationed troops here for a few years in the early 1800’s. The fort was used as a haven by local residents fearing Indian attacks during the War of 1812. Lewis and Clark stopped here briefly in 1803, recruiting 12 men for their cross-country trek.