Located four miles west of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, the site marks the location of the last of four successive French forts named “de Chartres.”
Built in 1753 by the French during their eighteenth-century colonization of the Illinois Country, the massive stone fort was preceded by three wooden forts, with the first fort erected in 1720. Fort de Chartres served as the French seat of government and its chief military installation in Upper Louisiana from 1753 until 1765 when it was occupied by the British.
In 1763, France ceded much of its territory in North America, including what is now Illinois, to Great Britain. British troops occupied the fort from 1765 until 1772, when encroachment by the Mississippi River caused a collapse of the south wall. Subsequently, the remaining walls and buildings fell into ruin.
Today, the site features an imaginative reconstruction of portions of the fourth Fort de Chartres. The fort gate, built in the 1920s, has been remodeled several times. Portions of the fort’s walls were reconstructed on original foundations in 1989. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Fort de Chartres welcomes you to the heart of French Colonial Illinois! Please visit us throughout the year, whether for a wonderful day trip through the hills of southwestern Illinois or at one of our many special events held throughout the year.
Illinois Historic Preservation suggested site donation: $4 for adults, $2 for children, $10 for families.
For additional Fort de Chartres State Historic Site and staff information, please visit the Contact Us page on this website.
FORT DE CHARTRES 2023 SCHEDULE OF SPECIAL EVENTS
Fort de Chartres Colonial Market Faire-April 1 & April 2
53rd Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous-June 3 & 4
Artillery Safety School at FdC-TBA
Fort de Chartres Winter Rendezvous-November 4 & 5
Prairie du Rocher La Guiannee at Fort de Chartres-December 31
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site annual events are sponsored by Les Amis du Fort de Chartres.
Les Amis du Fort de Chartres
PO Box 366, Prairie du Rocher, IL 62277
501(c) (3) not for profit organization501
Les Amis has some wonderful 300th Capital Project Campaign grant news! As most of you remember, early in 2020, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres asked permission from IDNR to begin a fundraising... Read More
In this season of thankfulness, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres is happy to report that during the recent Winter Rendezvous, an additional $1000 was raised for the Chapel Renovation Project with... Read More