Though many of their political and cultural impressions have faded with time, the French architectural footprint is still with us. Their dwellings can still paint a picture of their way of life.
Building upon the pioneering efforts of Charles E. Peterson to catalogue the French vernacular structures of the Illinois region, Jack Luer and Jesse Francis have painstakingly molded a detailed anthology of uniquely ingenious French styles, construction methods and materials. In Vanishing French Heritage they have provided history buffs and architectural academics alike, with an important and fascinating historical supplementary guide to French life and survival in the New World. In their hands, we come to see a French people and a culture filled with balance — where hard work, serenity and love of life were cherished and where observing the land, its climate and geography helped them shape buildings that worked in harmony with the environment. Luer and Francis draw upon every available resource, from historical deeds and family records, to regional and university experts, dendrochronology tests and archaeological finds in an effort to paint accurate portraits of 50 surviving architectural examples.