“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cahokia in St. Clair County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Cahokia Courthouse

Cahokia Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, October 1, 2019
1. Cahokia Courthouse Marker
Inscription.  Cahokia Courthouse is one of the region's oldest buildings and a unique remnant of the French occupation of the mid-Mississippi Valley. Originally constructed in about 1740 as a dwelling, the building became a courthouse in 1790. For twenty-four years it served as a center of judicial and political activity in the old Northwest Territory.

The post-on-sill, or poteaux-sur-solle, structure consists of upright hewn logs seated in a horizontal sill log, and is an excellent example of French colonial-era timber construction. Dismantled in 1901 and exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair, it was moved again in 1906 to Chicago. The courthouse was finally returned to its original site as a W.P.A. project. The historic building has housed a public museum since its dedication in 1940 to the "splendid heritage" of the citizens of Illinois.

After officials moved the St. Clair County seat to Belleville in 1814, the building was converted to use as a town hall, a public school, a home again, and even a saloon for a time. By the 1890s the former courthouse served to store farm machinery and appeared on
Cahokia Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, October 1, 2019
2. Cahokia Courthouse Marker
Old Cahokia Courthouse is seen in the background
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the verge of collapse.

The court at Cahokia had jurisdiction over a vast territory reaching, at one time, to the Canadian border. This court, which met on a quarterly basis, heard all cases of a civil or criminal nature. It settled disputes, provided for orphans and the poor, and dispensed justice swiftly.
Erected by Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 38° 34.232′ N, 90° 11.541′ W. Marker is in Cahokia, Illinois, in St. Clair County. Marker is on Elm Street just north of West 2nd Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located on the grounds of the Historic Cahokia Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 107 Elm Street, East Saint Louis IL 62206, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Jacob Hays (within shouting distance of this marker); Illinois in the American Revolution (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cahokia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lewis and Clark in Illinois (approx. 0.2 miles away); Revolutionary War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Louis Downtown Airport (Parks Airport) (approx.
Old Cahokia Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, October 1, 2019
3. Old Cahokia Courthouse
A museum is housed inside the restored courthouse
0.2 miles away); Parks Air College (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cahokia Association for the Tricentennial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cahokia.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 2, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 67 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 2, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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May. 18, 2021