It’s hard to imagine the O’Fallon area as the leading edge of the American frontier. But in 1799, when Daniel Boone and his family settled just a few miles away, the area was a wilderness in which Native Americans hunted, fished and trapped game.
At about the same time that Daniel Boone arrived, Jacob Zumwalt and his extended family settled in the O’Fallon area circa 1798, building a large log home. A few years later, when the War of 1812 set off deadly guerilla raids with Native Americans ambushing and killing American settlers, local families fled to the shelter provided by the Zumwalt’s home, which is said to have been fortified with a stockade fence. A spring, which is now Lake Whetsel, supplied water.
Zumwalt’s Fort, as the fortified house came to be called, was one of 35-plus “settler forts” that once stood in Missouri. Boone’s Fort at present-day Matson, Missouri, was the largest.
Currently, Zumwalt’s Fort is under reconstruction as a gift to the City from the O’Fallon Community Foundation. It is the only War of 1812 settler fort in the state being rebuilt.
Interpretive signs at the site provide structural details and information about the people who lived here in the days when the O’Fallon area was part of the American frontier.
Get directions to Zumwalt's Fort
Jessup Drive in Fort Zumwalt Park (63366)