James Moore Cabin

Captain James Moore was an officer of the Virginia Militia during the American Revolutionary War. Under the command of Colonel George Rogers Clark, he took part in his first expedition to Illinois in 1778.

Captain Moore led his family and a group of Revolutionary War veterans by boat to Kaskaskia in 1782 and after considerable explorations, here became the first permanent American settlement in [the State of] Illinois and in the Northwest Territory, at a place the French called La Belle Fontaine, because of the beautiful spring that was here. This area became the founding settlement of the City of Waterloo.

Bellefontaine became Captain Moore's home, on a section of land given him by the government, through a land grant, for his service in the Revolutionary War. The settlers were not here long before the native Indians became hostile. Thus, Moore was elected captain of the company which was raised for the protection of the colony. At the time, Illinois was a County of Virginia and therefore, Captain Moore was directed by Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, to establish a military post and command the Illinois militia. A fort, or blockhouse, was accordingly built at Bellefontaine, which, during the
Indian War (1754-1763), was one of the most frequent and noted places of resort.

Also in this cabin, James Moore’s sixth child (of eight total), Enoch Moore was born in 1783 - the first caucasian American child born in Illinois. Enoch was a delegate to the convention that framed the first constitution of the State of Illinois. Five generations of Moore’s called the homestead of Captain James Moore their home. Many are buried in Moore’s Cemetery, just south of here.

In 2015, Gabe Reeser re-chinked Moore’s Cabin for his Eagle Scout Project. Chinking refers to a broad range of mortar or other infill materials used between the logs in the construction of log cabins and other log-walled structures. Gabe replaced all of the material between the original logs; thus, helping preserve the cabin so it will stand solid for many years to come.


Latitude: 38.326901 Longitude: -90.150852 Elevation: 650 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Sarah Deutch

Seasons Open

Sundays Noon-3pm; April - September

Visitor Fees

$2 donation per visitor requested

Pet Friendly Notes

Service animals welcome

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