Kaskaskia Bell Memorial
1st Street, Kaskaskia Island
Open from sunrise to sunset daily. Self guided tours only. The office phone number for further information is 618-859-3741.
NOTE ANDROID USERS ONLY: The donation payment processing function in the Illinois History mobile application for Android devices is currently down. Donations are still being processed through the web site at https://dnrhistoric.illinois.gov/experience/sites.html.We apologize for the inconvenience.
The Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial is a brick building that houses a bell cast in 1741 by King Louis XV (1710-1774) of France as a gift to the Catholic Church of the Illinois Country. Originally located at the Immaculate Conception Parish at Kaskaskia, the bell was rung by villagers to celebrate their July 4, 1778 liberation from the British by American Colonel George Rogers Clark (1752-1818). In later years, it became known as the “Liberty Bell of the West.” The Memorial also contains murals depicting scenes from Kaskaskia history.
An annual Independence Day program celebrates the July 4, 1778 capture of Kaskaskia by Virginia troops commanded by George Rogers Clark during the Revolutionary War. Contact the Fort Kaskaskia site for details.
The Kaskaskia Bell Memorial site is a satellite of the Fort Kaskaskia Site. It is located in the village of Kaskaskia south off first street. The Village is only accessible from the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. Behind the building that houses the bell are two accessible pit privies, they have concrete sidewalks that lead to them. There is no parking lot or accessible spaces to park in. Cars may pull off to the side of first street to visit the site. Parking closer to the church will present a more suitable level area for disabled visitors to access a concrete sidewalk that leads to the building housing the bell. There is a wheelchair ramp that leads to the doors of the building housing the bell. There is no access to enter the building it has a locked gate to keep folks out of the inside of the building. There is a green button to press that will open the door to view the bell and a white doorbell looking button that when pressed will play a recording about the bell, the purpose and history. The site is open from sunrise to sunset. No tours, self-guided tours only. There are no places to sit.