Fort Massac’s History

Located in Massac County, this National-era fort is a historic part of the state. It’s an extension of the colonial times when settlers were present in Massac County. This dates back to the mid-1500s.

This read will offer insight into the reasons for this National-era fort and why it is heralded as one of the most prominent parts of Massac County.

Spanish Fort

It was set as a Spanish fort in the mid-1500s by a man named Hernando de Soto. He was a famous Spanish explorer who spent time in this part of America learning about the area. However, he was well aware of the anguish among local Natives who wanted to get rid of the new entrants.

This meant they were willing to attack using their weapons and manpower.

This is why Hernando de Soto took to time to address the issue with a simple fort in this part of America. He wanted to ward off all attacks and make sure his men had time to react if they had to flee or fight back.

French Influence

In essence, the real fort was set up in 1752 by the French who were in the area.

They were looking to combat the Indians and wanted to grab control of the land. This meant they had to set up a fort in the region and that is when the established the “Fort de L’Ascension.”

The name “Massac” comes from a French Naval Minister. The fort was named after him and has remained the same ever since.

President George Washington

It was in the year 1778 when President Washington felt it was appropriate to rework the fort and get it back into running shape. The purpose of the fort would be to act as a safe point in their war against the Indians. Many American ships and interests were running through the region, and this fort was a safe zone necessary at the time.

State Park

Over time, the fort has gone out of use, but it remains a part of the Illinois State Park.

It is a part of the area’s rich history and a monument of what the land has gone through over time. In fact, it is now used by reenactors as a way to reconnect with the past and relive some of the most prominent moments in its history. They collect together and perform various skits based on the fort’s history.

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