Hello, click here to see the google map of our current location at Kaskaskia State Historic Site, near Chester, IL.
We're continuing our trip down the Mississippi River. About 60 miles south of St. Louis along State Highway 3, there's a point where the historic Lewis & Clark expedition and the legend of Popeye, the king of spinach, coincide. We arrived a couple of days ago, planning to enjoy the view of the river from Kaskaskia S.H.S. and investigate the home of some fictional friends. As we approached the park we began to see signs for a music festival that followed our exact route. What a nice surprise. Arriving in time to get a good spot in the campground, we are ready for this weekend's Fort Kaskaskia Traditional Music Festival.
Meanwhile, looking around at our surroundings at Kaskaskia, we learned this site is historic in several ways. It is the point in 1803 where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark recruited twelve soldiers from the local fort and hired a few Frenchmen to help pilot their boats up the river on their assignment from President Jefferson." Kaskaskia was a thriving frontier community, the center of much trade and travel from its settlement in 1703. The village was also the first capital of Illinois in 1818-1819. Tragically, in 1881 a flood began a drastic change in the route of the Missisippi, washing away this home of many pioneers. In a few years time, Kaskaskia was under the river. Now this commemorative site on the bluff is a beautiful spot to view the mighty Mississippi.
Along another stretch of the Mississippi shore, just six miles south on State Highway 3, is the quaint little town of Chester, Illinois. The creator of Popeye, Elzie Segar was a Chester citizen, born in 1894. He based his famous character on a local scrapper, Rocky Fiegel, who lived in the city from 1868 to 1947. It all began with a performance in the local Thimble Theater in 1929. Can't you just here it?