In 2017 we had a wonderful tour of the Menard home and museum, but I remember that I was not allowed to take photos of the inside and I never did understand why they would not allow it. As I look at these images I took in the museum which was in the basement of the home, I realize that they are one in the same as those we saw in 2022 at Fort de Chartres and Museum. Most of them are applicable to Fort de Chartres and not to Menard, so moving them was the right thing to do.
The Pierre Menard Home State Historic Site sits below the Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site and across the river from Kaskaskia Illinois. A ferry was used during its day to take people across the river to Old Kaskaskia (which is now about where Beaver Island is located) in the middle of the rivers. The land was purchased in 1802 and the house was built sometime later that year. The house is a great example of southern French colonial (Creole) style which includes the gallery porch. The house is within a few hundred yards of the Mississippi River which during Pierre's time would have been the Kaskaskia River. It is highly likely that one or more of my ancestors stood in this home as Pierre's prominence as a merchant.
I found it interesting that Pierre Menard originally owned the land in Cape Girardeau where the Sherwood-Minton House sits and that he sold it to Louis Lorimier. I suppose it was easy to travel from Kaskaskia to Cape Girardeau along the Mississippi River.
This is a good historical video of Kaskaskia and the Menard home.
June 26, 2022
We were really disappointed at the disrepair of the Menard historic home when we visited in 2022. I did see online after I posted my video above that people were beginning to work on it. I know things were tough during COVID in 2020, but this is now 2022. I was glad that we were able to experience it in earlier years to have a better understanding of the history with the museum below.
June 4, 2017
I have a fond memory of this French garden when it was shared with us during the 2017 tour. Such great care was taken to give us an example of a French garden.
I really like this painting of Kaskaskia in 1778. It depicts well how the Kaskaskia River (which is now been taken by the Mississippi River when it moved) connected Old Kaskaskia and the Menard home on the other side, with the Kaskaskia Fort as well. This painting allows me to get a really good sense of what Old Kaskaskia was like when my ancestors lived there.
This is a great map putting the locations in perspective where my ancestors lived.