The Fort de Chartres is located about four miles west of Prairie Du Rocher Illinois along the Mississippi River. In 1720, the French government completed the first fort, a wooden stockade, in the Illinois Country to govern the area and to exploit the area's fur and precious metal resources. It was named "Fort de Chartres" in honor of the son of the regent in France. A new stone fort was completed in the summer of 1760 after the first two wooden forts deteriorated due to flooding. The fort was eventually abandoned in 1771 due in part to the uncontrollable erosion caused by flooding of the Mississippi River.
The powder magazine was all that remained when the Illinois government purchased the stone fort site in 1913. What visitors see today is a reconstruction of part of the 18th Century fort, depictions of where other buildings were located and the restored powder magazine.
The fort facilities can be visited and are open Wednesday - Sunday, 9am - 5pm, year round, with the exceptions of several holidays: New Years Day, Lincoln's Birthday, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, and Christmas Day. The fort grounds are open year round, dusk to dawn. Suggested admission donations are appreciated. The Fort De Chartres also holds several events throughout the year.
Fort de Chartres
1350 Illinois Route 155
Prairie du Rocher, Illinois 62277
Fort de Chartres Website, Historic Preservation Division Website