Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Fort de Chartres
2020 heralded the 300th anniversary of the first of the four Fort de Chartres structures built and located in the strategic Mississippi River bottomland of Le Pays des Illinois. This first Fort, built of wooden palisades, signaled the creation of a new center of French colonial government in Illinois. First occupied by the French in 1720, the Fort became the nucleus of French civil and military government, as well as an economic center in the Illinois country and the French Louisiana area during the eighteenth-century.
In celebration of this milestone anniversary and the important history it represents, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres commenced a $100,000 Capital Project Repair Giving Campaign for the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site in 2020-2021. Funds raised for this campaign will go toward the much needed repairs at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, located in Prairie du Rocher, IL, with a focus on the area around the Fort’s Land Gate which is in need of considerable repair. Les Amis du Fort de Chartres $100,000 Capital Project Repair Campaign at Fort de Chartres has been approved by the site’s oversight agency, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The 2020-2021 Fort de Chartres Capital Project Repair Giving Campaign began January, 2020 and a related 300th Anniversary special ceremony was held at the annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous, celebrating its golden anniversary on the rescheduled date of September 11, 2021. The 300th Anniversary/50 Years of Rendezvous ceremony invitations were sent to dignitaries, campaign donors, and other supporters across the state and nation. Fort de Chartres State Historic Site’s 51st Annual Rendezvous, one of the largest gatherings of its kind anywhere in the Midwest, attracted thousands to the site during this two-day special event. The Annual Rendezvous event was expanded in celebration of its golden anniversary. A major public relations campaign for the event was coordinated with Illinois South Tourism, the marketing arm for 22 counties across the state of Illinois. We thank everyone who joined us as we celebrated the Fort de Chartres 300th anniversary milestone-all volunteers, vendors, community organizations, Fort staff, and visitors, who made the 51st Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous a success! We sincerely appreciate everyone’s hard work and efforts in the months before and during the event.
Special announcement: Oyez, Oyez! Les Amis du Fort de Chartres is proud to announce that we have reached our 2020-2021 Fort de Chartres Capital Project Campaign $100,000 goal at that opening event ceremony! Jennifer Duensing, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres President, received an amazing $60,000 donation from Randolph County Illinois Commissioner Ronnie White during that special ceremony held this past Saturday at the 51st Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous. This donation from funds made available to Randolph County from the recent Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and those funds combined with the proceeds from weekend event sales from our Heart of Illinois Country Shop, have enabled us to meet our $100,000 capital project campaign goal! It is with heartfelt thanks that we recognize all of the support we have received from our many campaign donors, with an extra special thank you to Randolph County and its commissioners, Dr. Marc Kiehna, Dave, Holder, and Ronnie White, for this donation that has enabled us to reach our goal. The $100,000 raised for this campaign will enable IDNR to make repairs to our Fort site, that in turn protects the important history and tourism in our area. Merci à tous!
Thank you to local and regional dignitaries who participated in our special Saturday ceremony. Thank you to speakers Illinois State Representative David Friess of the 116th District, Dr. Marc Kiehna and Ronnie White, Randolph County Illinois County Commissioners, Shawn Chesnek, Fort de Chartres Site Superintendent, and Jennifer Duensing, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres President. The introductory remarks were given by Jason Duensing, Les Coureurs des Bois de Fort de Chartres and Les Amis du Fort de Chartres Vice-President. Also in attendance were Monroe County Commissioners, Dennis Knobloch, Vice-Chair and George Green, and Mark Wilson, Prairie du Rocher Village President.
Thank you for your support in celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Fort de Chartres.
January 2020 300th Campaign Press Release
Les Amis du Fort de Chartres $100,000 Capital Project Repair Campaign at Fort de Chartres
Thank you to the following donors for their support of our 2020-2021 Capital Project Giving Campaign in honor of the 300th Anniversary of the first Fort de Chartres:
$60,000-Randolph County, Illinois-Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund
$12,000-Matching Repair Grant from the French HeritageSociety- ($6,000 FHS grant and a matching $6,000 from the William T. Kemper Foundation)
$15,828-Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Illinois
$1904-Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Missouri
$1250-The National Society of Colonial Dames of America
$1320-300th T-Shirts Sales
$720 300th Souvenir Mugs
$300 Vicki Kehrer
$200 Margaret Brown
$100 Gary Henson, James & Merrill Hill, Lee Meliere
Under $50-Austen Boettcher, Anne Brewster, Kim Craft, Susan Fletcher, Jason Griffith, Susan Hezel, Patty Humphreys, John Hunt, Jason Johnsrud, Jane Knapp, Diana Mueller, Anna Poling, Kelley Schearf, Mardell Sibley, A .P. Woods,Tiffany Woods, Roger Yoakum
Les Amis du Fort de Chartres Heart of Illinois Country Artisan Shop 2020-2021 proceeds befitting the Capital Project Giving Campaign in honor of the 300th Anniversary of the first Fort de Chartres
Current Campaign total January, 2023-$101,500
Merci to all who support our Capital Project Campaign at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site!