Fort Crevecoeur hosts spring and fall rendezvous and a French and Indian War Reenactment each year. These events help raise funds to support the park and Fort Crevecoeur.
Camping is available at Ft. Crevecoeur from the month of April 1 on through to October 31. We welcome all church groups, family campers, Boy Scout troops, either RV or primitive. Our campground is set back in a quiet area. The park itself is an eighty-nine acre park with a thirty-nine acre dedicated Nature Preserve, the remaining fifty-nine acres are governed as a Nature sanctuary. We have water and electric hookups available as well as access to a dump station, which is situated at the back of the camp ground.
Fort Crevecoeur – built in 1680
On January 5, 1680, eight canoes passed through the Narrows of the Illinois River above Peoria and came upon the Peoria Indians, camped on both sides of the Pimiteoui Lake. With LaSalles’ canoe on the right and Tonti’s on the left, the eight canoes formed a line to cover the width of the river, signalling the Indians that they came in peace. The Indians were frightened at first, but, upon realizing that the white men meant no harm, welcomed them with a feast of bear meat, buffalo fat, and porridge. LaSalle paid the Indians for the corn taken from their village at Starved Rock, presented the chiefs with gifts of axes and tobacco, and smoked the calumet pipe. The Indians rubbed the bare feet of the priests with bear’s grease to stimulate their fatigued muscles.
That night, the Peoria Indians were visited by Monsoela, a chief of the Maskouten nation, who, accompanied by a party of Miami Indians and their enemies, the Iroquois. Frightened by the sudden change in attitude on the part of the Peoria Indians, six of LaSalles’ men deserted the camp the following day.
In order to reassure the Indians, LaSalle agreed to help defend them against the Iroquois. The Illinois River had frozen over during the night, but as soon as the river began to thaw, LaSalle and his men began the building of Fort Crevecoeur one league downstream and across the river from the Pimiteoui Village.
Fort Crevecoeur’s Destruction
On April 15, Tonti left Fort Crevecoeur with Father Ribourde and two other men to begin fortification of Starved Rock. The following day, the remaining seven men at Fort Crevecoeur pillaged the fort of all ammunition and provisions, destroyed it, and fled back to Canada.
Two of the men who had been at the fort joined Tonti at Starved Rock and told him of the fort’s destruction. Tonti sent messengers to LasSalle in Candada to tell him what had happened and returned to Fort Crevecoeur to collect those tools that had not been destroyed and take them to the Kaskaskia Village at Starved Rock.
On the tenth of September, 1680, six hundred Iroquois warriors, armed with guns, came upon the Kaskaskia village. Both the Iroquois and the Illinois Indians accused Tonti of treachery. He tried to mediate their differences and detain the Iroquois until the old people, women and children could flee the village. Tonti was wounded by an Iroquois who stabbed him with a knife, the Kaskaskia village was burned, and the Iroquois built a fort on the site. Tonti, with his companions, fled for Green Bay.