Illinois officially became a state in 1818, but there was a long history before that. In 1673, the French began to colonize what was known at the time as “Upper Louisiana” along the eastern side of the Mississippi River. They settled in the areas of Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Chartres, Saint Phillippe, and Prairie du Rocher. By the mid-1700s, they had built three wooden forts and one stone fort along the Mississippi. Today, Fort de Chartres, the stone fort, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a worthwhile place to explore on a day trip.


Would you like to explore Fort de Chartres in Illinois? If you’ve been here before, please tell us about it in the comments and share any photos you may have. For more information, visit the Fort de Chartres website.

If you enjoying exploring historical sites, you may be interested in taking our Illinois Historical Sites Road Trip.

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