Kaskaskia is a small town in Randolph County, Illinois. Back in 1818, when Illinois became the 21st U.S. state, the town served as the state’s capital and during the 18th century its population was roughly around 7,000. Today, it has only 14 residents. Ben Geier has set about documenting this town and his images present a haunting portrait of a town transformed by floods.
Back in 1881, Kaskaskia suffered a devastating loss when the Mississippi River shifted eastward to a new channel and destroyed most of the town. 112 years later it was hit once again. This time more then nine feet of water covered over its buildings and the town had to be evacuated. The Great Flood of 1993 left the community at a tremendous loss and left this historically important town a changed place. Geier’s photographs paint a sombre picture of Kaskaskia and are well worth checking out. The full series can be viewed on his website here.