Center for French Colonial Studies
2018 Annual Conference in Ste. Genevieve, MO
Highlighting Kaskaskia, Illinois and Environs

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kaskaskia, Illinois

Did you know that Kaskaskia was the first capital of the state of Illinois and that Pierre Menard, a Frenchman, was the first lieutenant governor? Did you know that the Jesuits moved the mission to Kaskaskia in 1703 and that Illinois was admitted as the 21ststate in the Union in 1818?  Come to the CFCS conference to learn more about historical French Illinois Country.

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Center for French Colonial Studies will take place in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, October 12-14, 2018. The conference will include numerous possibilities for visiting the historic sites in and around Ste. Genevieve, both through group tours and on one’s own. On Saturday the 13th, the main conference itself will take place, with an exciting slate of speakers lined up. The focus of the conference this year is Kaskaskia and the surrounding area, although the papers cover a wide range of topics that should appeal to anyone with an interest in the Pays des Illinois and French heritage in the United States.


General Schedule

Friday, October 12: Tour of Church of the Immaculate Conception in Kaskaskia and the Pierre Menard home in the morning.  Free time in the afternoon to explore the region.  Friday evening reception at the Green Tree Tavern.

Saturday, October 13: All-day conference at the DuBourg Center in Ste. Genevieve.  Evening reception and dinner.

Sunday, October 14: Additional time to explore the region, including the French and Indian War encampment at Fort de Chartres.

More details below.


You can register for the conference through the “REGISTER HERE!” links above and below.  Please note that the basic registration fee (whether you are a CFCS member, a student, or non-member) covers the main conference on Saturday, including lunch and breaks.  The Friday tours, Friday night reception, and Saturday reception and dinner are available for an additional cost.

Deadline for early registration is September 15, 2018.



Detailed Schedule

Friday, October 12

There will be a Friday morning tour to Kaskaskia’s Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Pierre Menard home. The last stop will be at Fort Kaskaskia, where one can take in the beautiful view of the Mississippi River and the remainder of what was French Kaskaskia.

You must be signed up for the tours!  We will be taking a roll call at the Church when we arrive.

You are free to travel to the Church in Kaskaskia on your own.  We will be meeting there at approximately 8:20 for the tour which will start at 8:30.

There will also be a “caravan” going to the Church from Ste. Genevieve.  We will meet in the parking lot across the street from Audubon’s at the corner of North Main Street and Merchant by 8:00.  Please note that cars cannot be left in the lot if you are riding with someone else, but there is ample parking on the streets.

The tour at the Church in Kaskaskia will be from 8:30-9:30, after which we will leave for the Pierre Menard Home on the other side of the river.  We will again have a caravan; directions are available at:

After the tour at the Pierre Menard home, you may continue to Fort Kaskaskia State Park or go for lunch.

Lunch is on one’s own. Trip Advisor restaurant suggestions are listed below:

Chester, Illinois restaurants

Ste. Genevieve, Missouri restaurants

The afternoon is free. Board members will meet Friday afternoon from 2-4 p.m. at the DuBourg Center (upstairs).

A Friday night reception for all conference attendees will be held at the Green Tree Tavern at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 13

The Saturday conference and dinner will be held at the DuBourg Centre, located on the Square in Ste. Genevieve.  The program will commence at approximately 8:30 a.m. and run until 3:30 p.m.

8:00-9:00           Breakfast

9:00-9:15           Welcome

9:15-9:45           Sharon Person: “Priests, Pigs and Ploughs: Early French-Illinois Civilization”

9:45-10:15         Carl Ekberg “Nicolas Peltier dit Franchomme and Marguerite 8assaiam8ssé”

10:15-10:45       Break

10:45-11:15       Michael McCafferty: “Illinois and French Language Names Relative to Kaskaskia”

11:15-11:45       Suzanne Sommerville: “Transcriptions and Index Sources for the Kaskaskia Records”

11:45-1:00         LUNCH

1:00-1:30           David MacDonald: “The Curse of Kaskaskia”

1:30-2:00           Anna Servaes: “Observations on Education in the 19th Century”

2:00-2:15           Break

2:15-2:45           Michael Meyer: “Archaeological Evidence of the St. Louis Barter Economy”

2:45-3:15           Tim Good: “Update on the National Park Status for Ste. Genevieve”

3:15:-3:45          Concluding Remarks

3:45                     CFCS Annual Meeting, to be followed by election and board meeting

Social hour at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 14

The main “on-your-own” activity will be the French and Indian War Encampment at Fort de Chartres, Il.  The surrender of the fort to the British in 1765 marked the end of the French and Indian War.  There will be craft demonstrations, battle reenactments, and shooting competitions.  Handicap parking spaces and a gravel walking path are available.  Handicap restrooms are located in the museum via a ramp in the back of the building.

There are two routes to Fort de Chartres:

Via Ste. Genevieve Modoc Ferry: Driving time from Ste. Genevieve is 45 minutes.  Take advantage of this route by ferrying across the Mississippi and imagining what it must have been like to navigate this mighty river in a French pirogue.  Round Trip ticket per car is $25.  Take Main Street north and follow signs to ferry.

Via Chester Bridge: Driving time from Ste. Genevieve is 1 hour 15 minutes.  Take St. Mary Road to US 61 South.  Turn left onto US 61 South and follow to Hwy H.  Turn left onto H. Continue to US 51.  Turn left on US 51.  Follow US 51 across the bridge and into Chester.  Turn left onto US 3.  Follow US 3 to State Road 155.  Turn left onto State Road 155 and follow to Fort de Chartres.


The conference hotel is the Microtel Inn and Suites, 21958 Highway 32, in Ste. Genevieve.

Please call 573-880-5875 for reservations as soon as possible.  When you call, choose option #3 to reach the front desk at the hotel in Ste. Genevieve.  Group name is French Colonial Studies.

Reserve soon!; the fall foliage will be at its peak in mid-October, and rooms will be gone if you wait.

There are several other motels and quite a few bed and breakfast inns in and around Ste. Genevieve, so please consult for more information on other places to stay.  The bed and breakfasts are a little more expensive, but very nice.  Additional hotels are available in Perryville and Farmington in Missouri and Chester, IL, but these may be up to 30-45 minutes away from Ste. Genevieve.   Please make your reservation for overnight accommodations early.

Other Information

Ste Genevieve restaurants (pdf document)

Ste. Genevieve attractions

Fort de Chartres information

Smithsonian exhibit at Randolph County Library in Chester

For more information, you can contact us at