Frontier Life

Illinois pioneer Christiana Holmes Tillson noted in her account of life on the frontier, “Few would like to again pass through the bitterness.” Life on the frontier proved difficult for all who were brave enough to travel to the West. These sites illustrate that struggle.


4. Apple River Fort, built by early settlers who feared an attack by Native Americans

6. Campbell’s Island Memorial, site of an 1814 battle between U.S. troops and Native Americans

8. Bishop Hill, a frontier community built in 1848 by Swedish immigrants

12. Norwegian Settlers Memorial, commemorates the first permanent Norwegian settlement in the Midwest

20. Jubilee College, Episcopal frontier school founded in 1839

25. Lincoln’s New Salem, reconstruction of a village carved out of the forest by settlers

35. Lincoln Log Cabin, example of a farm from Illinois’ pioneer period

36. Moore Home, the frontier home of Lincoln's sister Sarah

40. Lewis and Clark, starting point of the famous expedition

45. Fort de Chartres, built to protect early French settlers

46. Fort Kaskaskia, built to protect early French settlers

47. Pierre Menard Home, home of a French-Canadian fur trader who became lieutenant governor

48. Kaskaskia Bell, rung to celebrate independence from the British

50. Halfway Tavern, reconstruction of a tavern from the early days of Illinois statehood

52. Shawneetown Bank, a bank that served as one of the state’s earliest commercial centers

53. Crenshaw House/Hickory Hill, home of a businessman who used slave labor

54. Rose Hotel, early inn serving travelers along the Ohio River

55. Buel House, located along the Trail of Tears