Fort de Chartres State Historic Site
Prairie du Rocher, IL
(1730 - 1731)
Jean Baptiste Lalande (1730 - ?)
History of the Mill
Only known history: “A better windmill [than that of the Jesuits in Kaskaskia] was constructed at the Grande Prairie...Jean-Baptiste Lalande, a substantial habitant, contracted with Charles Gossiaux, ‘master mason in Illinois,’ and Mathurin Charruaud, ‘master carpenter in Illinois,’ in August 1730 to build a windmill that was to be ready to produce flour by the end of September 1731.
"This was obviously a major construction project, and Lalande hired experienced men for the job: Philippe Renaut, the mining engineer from France, drafted the plans, and Mathurin Charruaud, who already had experience building horse mills, did the carpentry. They were also to make the millwheels and fashion the metal fittings, although Lalande himself was to provide the canvas for the ‘wings.’”
Eckberg, Carl J. French Roots in the Illinois Country. University of Illinois Press, 2000.