Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, “Friends of Fort de Chartres,” is a not-for-profit organization made up of volunteers striving to preserve, protect, and interpret the physical structural and cultural heritage of Fort de Chartres in the 1700s.
Les Amis meets on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 3:30 PM at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site. Membership for Les Amis is open to all and encourages volunteering at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site or offers other support opportunities benefiting the Fort. Our membership form is available here. Beginning March 2016, Les Amis began publishing a quarterly newspaper announcing current fort events and activities-Gazette de Les Amis du Fort de Chartres. The most recent newsletter can be found here. Join now!
Individual Membership – $10.00
Family Membership – $15.00
In this year of the Illinois Bicentennial, we celebrate all that is great in Illinois: our history, our people, and our communities. Les Amis du Fort de Chartres is proud to announce that our organization will be joining in the state’s yearlong celebration as an officially endorsed partner of the Illinois Bicentennial. Illinois Bicentennial is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to unite statewide partners, events, and projects to celebrate and commemorate our state’s 200th birthday.
We are honored to be awarded this title and “Illinois Proud” as we celebrate our upcoming events and projects in this Illinois Bicentennial year!
Les Amis du Fort de Chartres looks forward to continuing the tradition of local community support and involvement at our unique state historic site, Fort de Chartres. Over the years Les Amis has contributed or sponsored many projects supporting the Fort and its cultural heritage. Recently, Les Amis created a new monthly series of period demonstrations titled Art de vivre (Art of life), celebrating the everyday arts of the eighteenth century. The newest posted Art de vivre event is listed on the bottom of this page and all events can be found on Les Amis’ Facebook page. Over the recent past, Les Amis helped repair the site’s bread oven, maintained the John Guilfoil Memorial Library at Fort de Chartres through the work of a Les Amis member Kathy Janik, supported the Fort de Chartres Heritage Jardin Potager Project, and of major importance, successfully sponsored the 2016 Fort de Chartres Special Events.
In 2016, due to the Illinois State budget impasse, all non-essential services and most supporting funds to state historic sites were cut. Les Amis du Fort de Chartres agreed to sponsor a major funding campaign for the Fort de Chartres special events held annually at the Fort and raised $18,000+ in private donations, and, through our corporate giving 2016 campaign, successfully sponsored the site’s events. The organization worked in partnership with other Fort groups such as Les Coureurs de Bois des Fort de Chartres and the Fort de Chartres French Marines, both hosting some of the special events, and all Fort support organizations donated to our fundraising effort. All funds raised benefited and were dedicated to the Fort de Chartres Historic Site special events, with the annual June Rendezvous being the most costly.
With no 2017 state funds available for site special events, Les Amis once again spearheaded a fundraising effort to support the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site special events. We reached out to regional corporations and businesses to help sponsor the Fort’s special events in 2017 and Les Amis welcomed all donations. In 2018 we continue to ask you to join us in making a difference by helping sponsor the annual special events at Fort de Chartres, partnering together to support our national and regional history while creating economic stability and even providing the potential for growth in southwestern Illinois. Your donation is a tax-deductible gift and all donors will receive a receipt for tax purposes, as this campaign is sponsored by Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, a 501c3 organization. If you prefer to mail your individual or business donation, checks can be made out to Les Amis du Fort de Chartres and mailed to:
Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, PO Box 366, Prairie du Rocher, IL 62277.
Les Amis du Fort de Chartres Members New General Donations through February 18, 2018
$1000 Gold Level
The Dial Family in Memory of Janelle Dial
Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Illinois (annual matching grant)
$100 Copper Level
Dave & Lily Carr, The Cliburn Family, Dereign & Dereign Attorneys at Law, Marvin Woody, Terry Wyciskalla
$50+ Pewter Level
Robert & Kim Barber, Tim, Donna, Tom Krejci & Jennifer Davis, John Dunkin, Ed & Jane Dare, Connie Jackson, Jeff & Patricia Mitchell, Bill Myers/Myers Korner Market, Ed & Pat Paine, Bill & Patty Rudolph
Under $50 Iron Level
Herman & Karen Albers, James & Carolyn Andrews, Robert Ardendes, Charles Buie, Ken Carstons, Jeff Chowning, Rod & Marjorie Chowning,Jim Cooper, Ben Dolezal, Randy & Sharon Duncan, Mike Glisson, Russell Gowin, Cathy Grafton, Randy Dick, Carl & Trish Handel, Doanld Harris & Holly Wiseman, The Jones Family, Linda Kaat, David Kazmark, James & Judie Klein, John & Beth Lovin, Emily Lyons, Jay McCormick & Linda Presler, Walt & Debbie Maas, Pam Melching, Joseph & Michelle Mele, Rob & Jennifer Melson, Dan Moore, Byran Mullen, Ray Naughton, Michael Olsson & Sharon Ketcherside, Richard Peeck, Ceil Piekarski, Michael Pierce, Jerry & Heather Poenitske, Anna Poling & Matt Holschen, Ethan & Anna Ripplinger, Ron Russell, Bill Rusk, Michael & Janet Schinner, Lee & Carol Shafer, Lynne & Patrick Slacks, Ken Stanley, Wyatt Stanford, Ronnie Stellhorn, Tracy Stumpf, Joe Tesson, Darrell Thurston, Don Turner, Robert Weathers, Roland & Kelly Williams, The Whitlock Family, Roger & Darla Yoakum
Again, Les Amis thanks everyone for their support of Les Amis du Fort de Chartres and its efforts to support the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, the history of the Fort, and its (and the area’s) colonial cultural traditions.
We welcome new members and we invite you to join us-together we really do make a difference!
To see this year’s 2018 plus the 2016 & 2017 Special Events Giving Campaign Sponsors, please visit the Donate page of this website. We can’t thank these sponsors enough for their continued support of special events!
This beautiful quilt was donated to our 2017 Special Events Campaign by the Stitch on Quilting Guild of Prairie du Rocher this past spring and quilt drawing tickets were sold during our Les Amis events and the Fort’s special events throughout the year. At the close of the recent Winter Rendezvous, a winner’s name was drawn and we happily announce Jeff Weber as the winner. We thank Jeff and all those that bought drawing tickets this past year, and we especially thank the ladies of the Stitch on Quilting Guild for this lovely quilt. We appreciate this wonderful way to support the Les Amis du Fort de Chartres 2017 Special Events Giving Campaign. Merci!
Art de vivre April 2018:
April Les Amis du Fort de Chartres Art de vivre event: April 14th, 2018-Fruit Basket Class
Learn the technique of basket weaving, an important skill in the Illinois Country in the 18th century still used today.
On Saturday April 14th, starting at 9am, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres volunteer Trish Handel will be conducting the class. Class size is limited to 10 so please reserve your spot. Trish’s class fee for supplies is $22.00 and students will be making a fruit basket as shown in the event picture. Pre-registration required. Please register for the basket class here. Just enter the $22.00 fee in the box marked other.
The class will take place in the Fort’s Trading Post building. We are looking forward to seeing you at the Fort for this Les Amis du Fort de Chartres April Art de vivre (Art of life) educational event!
And besides sponsoring the Fort special events, these are some of the Fort projects sponsored and funded by Les Amis du Fort de Chartres from 2016-2017 and made possible by our supportive sponsors and amazing volunteers, we can’t thank you enough!
- Metal Flagpole (in Visitor Parking)
- Ghosting Removal
- Replaced Cannon Carriage
- Printed the Fort’s self-guided tour maps
- Printed and distributed Fort de Chartres rack cards
Money was raised through Les Amis specific project donations, Summer Ball, rummage sales, and t-shirt sales, and other fundraising efforts.
Other miscellaneous Fort support projects:
- Items donated and funded for site everyday function and maintenance
- Numerous volunteer work weekends for site upkeep
- Developed our privately funded website
- Supported the Fort library and a Les Amis volunteer organized and digitized the titles of the Library’s book catalog
- A Fort grounds grass restoration project
- Volunteer interpretation of Fort site for school tours
- Paid for ads to promote the site
- Volunteers staffed numerous area wide information booths promoting the Fort
- Volunteers helped organize and participated in a French Colonial Garden Tour
- Volunteers welcomed and helped promote the Fort to press attending the 2016 KCT Media Tour
- Printing and distribution of schedule of events
- Collaboration work to support and promote the Fort with KCT, Randolph and Monroe County Tourism, and PDR Chamber of Commerce
- A volunteer secured and temporarily repaired the Fort’s site cedar embankment
Les Amis 2016-2017 organizational projects include:
- Art de Vivre (French Colonial Art of 18th century life) monthly demonstration series
- Created and currently publish a quarterly newsletter to unify and combine Fort related information
- Presents an annual Education Day to local schools
- Provided assistance to the volunteer jardin project
For the latest Fort de Chartres and Les Amis news, please like and follow our FACEBOOK page.
And to support Les Amis efforts at Fort de Chartres, Please DONATE!
Thank you to Mitch Lopata, of Lopata Design, for the donated graphic art creations for Fort de Chartres, including our new Les Amis logo.
Les Amis currently is maintaining the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site website. Thank you to Scott Irvin for website support and to Sarah Jones for creating the site format. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve and update this new format!