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.

The reconstructed Zumwalt’s Fort opened in 2015 as a gift to the City from the O’Fallon Community Foundation. It is the only rebuilt War of 1812 settler fort in the state.

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.

Thank you to the O'Fallon Community Foundation and the O'Fallon Historical Society for their many contributions in completing the reconstruction of Zumwalt's Fort!

Learn the rich history of Zumwalt's Fort

Old photo of the original Zumwalt's Fort
Exterior view of the rebuilt Fort
Chimney was all that remained of the original fort
Worker using period tools to built the new Zumwalt's Fort
Modern-day Zumwalt family gathers for a photo
Herb garden outside the new Zumwalt's Fort
Visitors tour the rebuilt Fort

Tours of Zumwalt's Fort

Zumwalt's Fort is open for tours on May 1, May 23 and the 2nd and 4th Sundays in June through September from Noon – 3 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, children 10 and under are free. Your admission fee includes access to the historic Heald Home, as well. Private / group tours of 10 or more available with a minimum 2-week notice. For more information, please call 636-379-5502 or email

Frequently Asked Questions about Zumwalt's Fort

Did early settlers drink tea from delicate tea sets?

Did frontier settlers of Missouri eat off wooden or pewter plates?

Did the Heald Family live in the original log house?

How did the Heald family figure in Zumwalt’s Fort History?

How was Ft. Zumwalt constructed?

Was Zumwalt’s Fort a military post?

When was Zumwalt’s Fort built?

Plan a route to Zumwalt's Fort

Jessup Drive in Fort Zumwalt Park (63366)

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