Kaskaskia, the village, was established in 1703 by French fur traders on the east side of the Mississippi; in 1730, the first fort was built on the bluff above the village, to protect it. George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia (the village) and Fort Gage in 1778 as part of his Illinois campaign.
We had two Dodge surprises here. One was that “freebooter” John Dodge (Henry’s uncle) and his band of brigands used this site as their headquarters until they were rousted out in 1790. The other was that Alexander Hamilton Willard was recruited for the Corps of Discovery, here, in 1803. Willard later married Eleanor MacDonald, sister of Christiana MacDonald Dodge, Henry’s wife. The Willards came to the Lead Region early — I haven’t found a source, yet, but I’m thinking they might have come up the Mississippi with the Dodge party.