Illinois February 03, 2017
Most People Don’t Know The Unusual Story Behind This Illinois Town
Kaskaskia is full of historical surprises you wouldn’t expect. From its background as a politically important location to the way in which its geography has changed, there are plenty of interesting things to discover about this little town.
In the early 1700s, Kaskaskia was named the capital of Upper Louisiana.
Upper Louisiana, also called Illinois Country, was a large region settled by the French. It includes what is now Missouri and Illinois.
Nearby Fort Kaskaskia was built by the French in 1733.
It was destroyed by the British during the French and Indian War, but it lives on as a historical site in present-day Chester, Illinois.
King Louis XV sent a bell to the town in 1741.
It is known as The Liberty Bell of the West.
Kaskaskia was the capital of the Illinois Territory until Illinois became a state in 1818.
The capital was then moved to Vandalia.
The town hopped the border of the Mississippi River due to flooding and a change in direction of the river.
After the Great Flood of 1844, the Mississippi River shifted into the channel of the Kaskaskia River, causing the town to now be west of the Mississippi.
The Kaskaskia State House, along with many other buildings, was destroyed during the floods.
The townspeople rebuilt across the river, putting it in the unique position of being an exclave of Illinois, only accessible through Missouri.
Misfortune hit the town again in 1993, when floods rose to the height of the rooftops.
They have since recovered.
The now tiny town of around 14 residents still boasts the gorgeous Immaculate Conception Church.
They've also held on to the bell from Louis XV.
The residents are proud Illinoisans and vote in our elections, but actually have a Missouri address.
Illinois policemen serve and protect those living there, while Missouri takes care of fires and medical emergencies.
Have you ever visited Kaskaskia? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.