In 1818, when Illinois became the 21st U.S. state, Kaskaskia served as the state’s first capital. Around the 18th century, its peak population was about 7,000. As of 2013, it has 14 residents.
Most of the town was destroyed in April 1881 by flooding, as the Mississippi River shifted eastward to a new channel, taking over the lower 10 mi of the Kaskaskia River.
The town was evacuated in another flood in 1993, which covered it with water more than nine feet deep.