More information uncovered on Fort Kaskaskia’s two forts

ARCHAEOLOGY WORK–Pictured are students working on excavating part of a cellar at the American fort at the Fort Kaskaskia State Historical Site.

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is named after the historic French fort that was built there in the 1750s to defend Kaskaskia, but recent history now shows there were actually two forts, one French and one American, built at the site.

Several archaeological students have been working at the site over the past few weeks, excavating both of the forts. This work is being done as part of a six week class designed to put into practice what the students have learned.

Mark Wagner, director of the Southern Illinois University Archaeological Investigations and associated professor in anthropology, talked with the North County Newsabout the work being done there.

He noted that until 2017, it was believed there was only one fort at the historic site. 

The French fort was a wooden fort, built over concerns that the British would come through the area and attack. However, the war ended prior to the fort’s completion. By the time the British arrived in the area, much of it had already been dismantled or burned.

For more on Fort Kaskaskia, please see this week’s print edition.