Logo Design, Mitch Lopata, Lopata Design

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.

Please note:

Please visit this website’s homepage for Fort de Chartres State Historic Site latest COVID update.

Les Amis meets on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 3:00 PM at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site. Please note, due to Covid-19 Pandemic related Fort site restrictions, Les Amis’ monthly meetings are suspended until further notice. Members will receive email updates until site restrictions allow monthly meetings to resume. Please email us or follow us on Facebook. if you have any questions.

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. Beginning March 2016, Les Amis began publishing a quarterly newspaper announcing current fort events and activities-Gazette de Les Amis du Fort de Chartres.  For the current newsletter, click 2022 2nd Quarter LAdFdC Newsletter.

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Individual Membership – $10.00

Family Membership – $15.00

2018 IL Bicentennial Partner Seal

In the 2018 year’s celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial, we celebrated all that is great in Illinois: our history, our people, and our communities. Les Amis du Fort de Chartres was proud to announce that our organization was an officially endorsed partner of the Illinois Bicentennial. We were honored to be awarded this title and “Illinois Proud” as we celebrated our events and projects in the Illinois Bicentennial year.

For the latest Fort de Chartres and Les Amis news, please like and follow our FACEBOOK page.

Les Amis du Fort de Chartres (LAdFdC) 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 past 10 years, 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 2016-2022 Fort de Chartres Special Events. Most recently, LAdFdC has undertaken major fundraising efforts with Fort de Chartres Capital Project Campaigns to repair The Fort Chapel and the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site Land Gate. For more information about these projects, please visit the homepage on this website.

Les Amis accepting a donation from a member’s employer. Thank you, Ericha Johanning!

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 other Fort support groups to host both hosting some of the special events from 2016-2022, and 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 Rendezvous usually held in June being the most costly.

Jason Duensing during the 2016 PdR Arpent Run

With no state funds available for 2022-2023 site special events, LAdFdC once again has 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 from 2016-2022 and LAdFdC welcomed all donations. In 2022 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.

Special announcement September, 2021:

As most are aware, Les Amis du Fort de Chartres has supported and sponsored special events at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site since 2016. We have worked hard to raise money for the Fort’s annual special events, receiving financial support from local and regional businesses over these last 6 years. Combined with the efforts of Les Coureurs des Bois de Fort de Chartres, we have endeavored to keep alive the proud, decades-old tradition of annual events held at Fort de Chartres, welcoming participants/reenactors, vendors, artisans, performers, and visitors from the region, state and the nation. The past two years have certainly been challenging, as events had to be cancelled due to flooding concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. And while we are excited to once again presenting the Fort’s special events, funding has been difficult as some area businesses have been economically impacted by these recent challenges. In response to these new challenges, LAdFdC applied to Illinois Humanities for a COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Recovery Grant earlier this summer, with the hope to secure additional funding to help replace these lost resources.

Les Amis du Fort de Chartres was recently awarded a $5000 grant from IL Humanities, an award that means so much to our organization and in turn, to our community-as tourism to our site and our area has struggled in the absence of the Fort’s annual special events. With this award, we can help bring back vital events that breathe life into our local and regional centuries-old history and the communities that depend on our joint efforts/partnerships to survive and thrive. Thank you to Illinois Humanities* for this much needed and appreciated grant award. We are excited to partner with them to help present special events in 2021-2022.

*Illinois  Humanities,  the  Illinois  affiliate  of the  National Endowment  for  the  Humanities,  is  a statewide  nonprofit  organization  that  activates the  humanities  through  free  public  programs,  grants,  and  educational  opportunities that  foster  reflection,  spark  conversation,  build  community,  and  strengthen  civic engagement.”

For a list of Les Amis du Fort de Chartres 2020-2021 Special Events Giving Campaign Donors, please visit the following page on this website:

Donate

Les Amis du Fort de Chartres $100,000 Capital Project Repair Campaign at Fort de Chartres 

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 invitation 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 gathering of its kind anywhere in the Midwest, attracted  thousands to the site during this two-day special event. The Annual Rendezvous event was expanded this year, 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 with us as we celebrated the Fort de Chartres 300th anniversary/50 Years of Rendezvous milestones-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 September 11, 2021: 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 by donating to our $100,00 Capital Project Campaign!

Thank you to the following donors for their support of our 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 Funds

$12,000 Matching Repair Grant from the French Heritage Society-

($6,000 FHS 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

$1500-Randy Bausert

$1250-The National Society of Colonial Dames of America, Illinois Chapter

$1320-300th T-Shirts Sales

$720 300th Souvenir Mugs

$300 Vicki Kehrer

$200 Margaret Brown

$100 Gary Henson, James & Merrill Hill

$50-Laveta Braun

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 September, 2021-$100,000-GOAL MET!

Merci to all who supported our Capital Project Campaign at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site!

Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, “Friends of Fort de Chartres,”

2023 Membership Campaign General Donors (12/11/2022-1/16/2023)

$1000 Gold Level

General Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Illinois ($1500)

General Society of Colonial Wars

$500 Silver Level

$250 Bronze Level

$100 Copper Level

Margaret Brown ($200), Connie Jackson, Marvin Woody

$50+ Pewter Level

Herman & Karyn Albers ($85), Ed & Jane Dare, Linda Kaat, Nick & Carol Kuntz, Jay McCormick & Linda Presler ($85), Ray Naughton, Ed Paine, Terry Wyciskalla ($90)

Under $50 Iron Level

Barb Borchardt, Melvin Boyers, Mary Braun, Lon Brauer & Djuana Tucker, Kim Craft, The Davis Family, John Dunkin, Barb Eggemeyer, Jason Favignano, Julie Fenn & Robert Haze, Mary Fredrick, Steve Helfrich, John & Karen Hunt, Rev. Msgr. Daniel Jurek, Dave Kazmark, Bob Livingston, Charles Lilliech, John & Beth Lovin, Chris & Stephanie Martin, alt & Debbie Maus, Rodney & Annette Morwick, Jack Mueth,  Cecelia Piekarski, Al Puknat, Kathy Ring, Ron Russell, Richard Sauget, Martin Schuster, Darryl Sheldon, Lynne & Patrick Slack, Larry Stock Family, Michael Snyder, Dorothy Stade, Tim Sullenger, Don Turner, Rosemary Upchurch

Merci!

2022 Membership Campaign General Donors as of 11/28/2022

Les Amis du Fort de Chartres General Donations that aid our year-long efforts supporting

Fort de Chartres State Historic Site and the cultural heritage of Fort de Chartres in the 1700s.

$1000 Gold Level

General Society of Colonial Wars

Illinois Society of Colonial Wars

Missouri Society of Colonial Wars

$500 Silver Level

$250 Bronze Level

Abbot Fund Match/Phillips 66 ($407)

Chad Allen ($400), Chris, Stephanie, Lydia, Ben Cliburn ($300)

Donations Fort de Chartres 52nd Annual Rendezvous ($338)

$100 Copper Level

Lon Brauer & Djuana Tucker ($185), Dr. Ken Carstens, Constance Jackson, Ronnie Stellhorn

Ed Paine, Marvin Woody, Robert Weathers

$50+ Pewter Level

Brianna Barbeau, Greg & Diane Chappers ($85), Ed & Jane Dare, Russel Gowin ($90), John & Toni Hancock, John & Karen Hunt, Tim, Donna, Tom Krejci & Jennifer, Jay McCormick & Linda Presler ($85), Jack Mueth( $90), Ray Naughton, Wyatt Stanford ($90)

Under $50 Iron Level

Herman & Karyn Albers, Barby Borchardt, Michael Bost, Melvin & Sandra Boyers, Mary Frances Braun, Margaret Brown, Larry & Denise Callahan, H. Dean Campbell, John Chibnall, James Cooper, Kim Craft, Randy Dick, Randy & Sharon Duncan, J0hn Dunkin, Darrell & Tammy Duensing, John Dunkin, Mary B. Fredrick, Michael Glisson, Catherine Golden, Joe Greco, Gary & Jenith Henson, James Hill, John & Karen Hunt, Rev. Msgr. Daniel Jurek, Frankie Jones, Dave & Maria Kasmark, Linda Katt,  Charles Ketcham, Doug & Lynn Khourie,  Nick & Carol Kuntz, Joe & Virginia Littrell, Bob Livingston, Emily Lyons, Liberty Bell of the West DAR, Marshall Meadows, Michael Moonier, Rodney & Annette Morwick, Aaron & Stephanie Nickolotsky, Cecelia Piekarski, Ruth Pope, Ruth Pope, Michael Rhodes, Richard & Judee Sauget, WIlliam & Jennette Self, Rueul Wm Smith, Zachary Smith, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville ($80), John & Dorothy Stade, J Larry Stock & Family, Tim & Erin Sullenger, Darrell Thurston, Don Turner, Rosemary Upchurch, John & Carol Wade, James Wallace, Roger & Darla Yoakum

We appreciate all of our organization’s 2022 General Donors. Merci!

 We welcome new members and we invite you to join us-together we really do make a difference.

To see view previous Membership & Project Campaign Donors and Special Events Giving Campaign Sponsors, please visit the Donate page of this website.

LAdFdC not only sponsors the Fort’s special events, listed below are some of the Fort de Chartres projects sponsored and funded by Les Amis du Fort de Chartres from 2016-2022 and made possible by our supportive sponsors and amazing volunteers, we can’t thank you enough!

  • Fort de Chartres State Historic Site Sign
  • 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
  • Site Bake Oven Repairs
  • Support for the Fort de Chartres Heritage Garden Project

Money was raised through LAdFdC specific project donation and apecial events, rummage sales, t-shirt sales, and other fundraising efforts.

July 2017 Cannon Shoot Photo by Ericha Johanning

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 2016-2022 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

Our 2016 Corporate Giving Sponsors List

For the latest Fort de Chartres and Les Amis news, please like and follow our FACEBOOK page.

Les Amis Membership Form

Les Amis Volunteer Opportunities

And to support Les Amis efforts at Fort de Chartres, Please DONATE!

Other opportunities to donate are available at Amazon Smile and Schuncks’ stores.

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!