As the State of Illinois has reached Stage 5 of its COVID-19 reopening plan, Shawn Chesnek, Site Superintendent of Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, Fort Kaskaskia State Park, The Pierre Menard Home, The Kaskaskia Bell Memorial, and the General Bond Memorial, announced the following Illinois Department of Natural Resources site status updates on June 15, 2021:
Fort de Chartres-Site grounds are open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week. The Museum and display buildings are typically open Tuesday thru Sunday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, depending on staff availability, closed all holidays. Site self-guided tours only (unless special arrangements are made through Fort support organizations with proper advance notice for staff to be available). Shelter availability is first come first serve. Office phone number for further information is 618-284-7230. Additionally, the rear gate house upper area is now open officially to the public. Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the site’s oversight agency, repaired the beam in the Land Gate roof last April. All signs and barriers have been removed and the area has been powerwashed and best cleaned as possible.
Fort Kaskaskia State Park-The site is open sunrise to sunset on all day use, the area’s campground is open 24-7 for camping with quiet hours from 10pm to 7am. There is normally a host on duty on the weekends but there is also an Iron Host self-check in station. Campsites are currently walk-in only on a first come first serve basis. A reservation process is scheduled to be implemented in the future and an announcement will be made once it is available. Shelters can be reserved currently by contacting site office. Office phone number for further information is 618-859-3741.
The Pierre Menard Home-Site will be closed until further notice due to staff shortages.Office phone number for further information is 618-859-3741.
The Kaskaskia Bell Memorial-Open from sunrise to sunset daily. Self-guided tours only. Office phone number for further information is 618-859-3741.
The Governor Bond Memorial-Open from sunrise to sunset daily. Self-guided tours only. Office phone number for further information 618-859-3741.
All Illinoisans impacted by a cancellation or closure are encouraged to call the IDNR’s Parks Administrative Information Line Monday – Friday at 217-782-6752. A complete listing of state sites can be found on the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Pages/default.aspx or https://www2.illinois.gov/…/Experi…/Sites/Pages/Default.aspx.
Fort de Chartres is located at 1350 IL Route 155, 4 miles west of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, just an hour from St. Louis. The site is open Thursday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Directions: Fort de Chartres State Historic Site is located 4 miles west of Prairie du Rocher, about an hour’s drive south of St. Louis. Take IL-3 to Ruma and then turn west on IL-155. Follow IL-155 through Prairie du Rocher to the site.
N 38° 05.217′
W 90° 09.514′
For site information, tours, and events, please call (618) 284-7230 or visit the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site website or the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site Facebook page .
Visitors are welcomed to explore the site of the most important French fortification in Illinois. Built in the 1750s, Fort de Chartres served as France’s headquarters in the Illinois Country. The area’s rich farmland produced much of the grain that fed towns on the lower Mississippi River. France surrendered Fort de Chartres to the British in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris. Before the French, British, and American settlers arrived in present-day Illinois, the American Bottom was long inhabited by native tribes.
Fort de Chartres, located in the American Bottom, was built in the 1750s and served as France’s headquarters in the Illinois Country. Located today within the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site is a partially reconstructed massive stone fort. The site was declared a national historic landmark in 1960. The fort’s powder magazine is the oldest building in Illinois.
The site is operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. On July 1, 2017 The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency was divided into its constituents, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library and Illinois Historic Preservation, both part of the the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The state’s historic resources contribute to education, culture, and the economy include ancient burial mounds, forts, and buildings erected by settlers, and homes connected to famous Illinoisans.
For site information call (618) 284-7230.
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site Staff
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, Fort Kaskaskia, Pierre Menard Home,
Kaskaskia Bell, Governor Bond Memorial