Re-live the 18th Century at Prairie du Rocher

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Great Rivers Country is full of rich history and picturesque towns that reveal the tales of times gone by. When exploring the river towns, you’re likely to come across passionate locals who offer a glimpse into the past unlike any other.

Fort de Chartres

Watch the village come to life with live performances and activities at Prairie du Rocher.

Prairie du Rocher, is a must-see for history buffs, families and curious travelers. Translated to “prairie by the rock,” the French village was founded in 1722 as the fourth European settlement in Illinois, after the establishment of Fort de Chartres on the fertile land beneath the Mississippi River bluffs. For years, Prairie du Rocher provided grain and other food resources to New Orleans and communities within the Louisiana Territory. Today, you can explore amazing historical sites such as Fort de Chartres and the Creole House.

twee2345- Fort de Chartres

The incredible stone fort at Fort de Chartres (Photo: Instagramer (at) twee2345)

At Fort de Chartres, you can experience 18th Century living first-hand. The last of three 18th Century forts in the United States, Fort de Chartres served as the epicenter for the for the Illinois County French Administration from 1720-1763. The archaeological remains of this remarkable stone fort are meticulously preserved for visitors to discover.

Make sure to spend time at the picturesque Creole House, built in 1800 by Dr. Robert McDonald who migrated to Prairie du Rocher from South Carolina. Later on, the house served as the birthplace of Henry Clay Hansroughs, the first Congressman from North Dakota.

What are some of your favorite historic sites in Illinois? Comment and share your suggestions below! For more ideas about where to experience Illinois history, visit

— The Illinois Office of Tourism

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