The French-flavored village of Cahokia, “Birthplace of the Midwest,” had its beginnings in May 1699 when French priests from Quebec founded the Holy Family Mission. Its successor church, the Holy Family Log Church of 1799, is still used for services. Other historic structures in the village include the old Cahokia Courthouse, which was originally a private home built by a French fur trader around 1740. Earlier yet, Native American mound builders inhabited the largest mound complex north of Mexico City from around 1000 to 1400, the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site near Cahokia.
The village itself, incorporated as a municipality under Illinois state charter on March 28, 1927, is in the geographic center of the country on the east bank of the Mississippi River, across from the St. Louis central business district. The Mississippi Flyway passes overhead, a migratory thoroughfare, and the area has one of the greatest concentrations of bird species in Illinois.
The community is home to approximately 14,000 residents. Cahokia Unit School District No. 187 provides public education for local children. Residents and visitors can enjoy a library, a nutrition center, a fitness center and the 18-hole Prairies Golf Club course. The city park features a pool, an ice hockey rink, a playground, athletic fields, picnic facilities and a lake. Go to www.cahokiaillinois.org or call 618-337-9510 for more information, or visit the Cahokia Area Chamber of Commerce at www.cahokiachamber.org.