Thursday, October 7, 2010

French Mississippi

It was another long day today, we left the rig around 9:30 ended up driving about 125 miles and got home around 5:00. For us this is a very long day.

We started out heading south on the interstate for about 5 miles before it went down to one lane and was stop and go traffic, mostly stop, so we got off the next exit and just took the backroads. Our first stop was in the town of Sainte Genevieve,MO, our reason for going here was to take the ferry across the river to Illinois but the town looked to interesting to just drive through. We ended up spending about two hours here walking around and touring two of the homes. Sainte Genevieve is a french riverfront settlement started around 1750, in 1785 it was destroyed by a fllod and the citizen moved the city back from the river three miles. The two homes we toured were built in the late 1700's and are mostly original, most of the building in the historic district were built in the mid 1800's and are still in use.

The bottom of the shoes are wood and the tops leather.

This is a Bread Cage, it was mounted about 4 feet off the floor and had a lock to prevent the kids from getting in.

We found out that only the rich hand foot lockers with a domed top, Since another foot locker could not be stacked on the rounded dome, their bag was always on top.

It turns out that we didn't take the ferry, it was $12.00 and would have only saved us about 20 miles of driving and we would have had to wait for it, but we did find a great little town that will come back to another time. Besides the Historic district, they had a ton of little shops with artsy things, crafts and eating places. One, the Old Brick House, which is the first brick building in Illinois and is now a restaurant and Inn.

We crossed over the Mississippi into Chester, the home town of Popeye the Sailor Man, but that's another story.

Next stop was the Pierre Menard House in Kaskaskia, he was the first Lt Governor of Illinois and Kaskaskia was the first state capitol of Illinois. The house build in the early 1800's, at a cost of over $3000, is one of the only surviving buildings from the flood that destroyed the town.

Click to enlarge and read about the floor that destroyed the first Capitol of Illinois and see how the Mississippi changed it's course and history.

Some of the 3000+ graves that they dug up and move to this location because of the flood, the original cemetery along with the town is now under the Mississippi.

History of Fort Kaskaskia.

Onto Fort de Chartres,which was first manned in the very early 1700's, the first two forts were small outpost type but during the French Indian War ( 1753) France built a large stone fort which after the war was occupied by the British for a short time then abandon and it fell to ruins. The original stone foundations were still there when the state of Illinois rebuilt it to its original state.

One of the original foundations.

Six to eight soldiers would sleep in this super king size bed.

The Chapel

This is the Powder Magazine and is the oldest building in Illinois.

This is a picture they have on display showing the fort during the 1993 flood.

Enlarge the picture on the right and look for the bluffs in the background, during the 1993 flood the Mississippi reached those bluffs over a mile away.

Time to fight our way through rush hour traffic and call it a day.

1 comment:

Margie and Roger said...

It is amazing what you can discover when you stop in some of the small towns on backroads.