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Garrison Hill Cemetery - Ft. Kaskaskia, Illinois | by Nikon66
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Garrison Hill Cemetery - Ft. Kaskaskia, Illinois

09/03/08 UPDATE: Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich just announced that due to budget cuts, he is closing this historic sight, along with several others, effective October 1, 2008. This is very sad as this location is truly rich in history. Hopefully they will eventually be reopened before they deteriorate and become lost forever.


Fort Kaskaskia is situated on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia rivers and the site of the original town of Kaskaskia, which was once the first state capitol of Illinois. Garrison Hill, on the bluffs overlooking Kaskaskia, became the location of Fort Kaskaskia, with construction beginning in 1759.


Just north of the remnants of the fort is Garrison Hill Cemetery. In the late 1800's the Mississippi River began to change course, which along with two devastating floods began to destroy the town of Kaskaskia. Concerned citizens at the time acted to transfer the remains of over 3,000 grave sites from three cemeteries in Kaskaskia to Garrison Hill, a site high on the bluffs overlooking the river. By 1909 the original town of Kaskaskia had disappeared, having finally succumbed to the Mississippi. The graves of many of Illinois’ earliest pioneers are located on Garrison Hill, including Pierre Menard, the 1st Lt. Governor of Illinois, and William Morrison, an important fur trader operating from St. Louis who helped to establish the Santa Fe Trail.


The inscription on a nearby marker reads:


“Those who sleep here were first buried at Kaskaskia and afterwards removed to this cemetery. They were the pioneers of the great Mississippi Valley. They planted free institutions in the wilderness and were the founders of a great commonwealth. In memory of their services, Illinois gratefully erects this monument”


Best viewed by clicking here: 'Garrison Hill Cemetery - Ft. Kaskaskia, Illinois' On Black


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Taken on February 9, 2007