Access Path

Apple River Fort State Historic Site

Apple River Fort, located in the small community of Elizabeth in far northwestern Illinois, is a reconstruction of the original fortification which was constructed during the brief but bloody Black Hawk War of the 1830's. The war erupted in the region over a treaty dispute between white settlers and a band of Sauk and Fox Indians under Chief Black Hawk. The fort itself is quite small. It didn't need to be, as it was not a permanent military installation but a temporary fortification that nearby residents could retreat to in the event of an Indian attack. They didn't have to wait long...completed on May 22, 1832 the attack the settlers feared took place on June 24th. The 40-or-so settlers fought a brief but fierce battle against a much larger Indian force. The battle lasted less than an hour with only one casualty amongst the settlers. The Black Hawk War ended soon thereafter and the fort was eventually torn down in 1847.

Today, the fort has been meticulously reconstructed (though details about the original design are few), and costumed interpreters aid in the retelling of the events that took place here. Though a small site and quite off the beaten track, I was impressed with the care and detail with which the caretakers of this site display. Though not a site I would drive across the country to see I would certainly recommend a stop if you find yourself in this pretty corner of Illinois...


  • Kathy

    on February 4, 2012

    Very Cool!!! Thanks --- yup, I totally agree about the portapotty!