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Amazing Fort

An old fort in amazing condition located in the small town of Elizabeth. Didn't cost anything and... read more

Reviewed 27 August 2018
Judy H
Rutland, United States
Nice historical site

This is a nice historical site just a couple of miles of the US 20 West. Worhwhile the little... read more

Reviewed 17 August 2018
Limburg Province, The Netherlands
via mobile
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All reviews black hawk interpretive center living history northern wisconsin nice visit abraham lincoln small town suggested donation two story walk around history lesson the beaten path war site settlers volunteers attack
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Reviewed 8 November 2016

Chicago's Fort Dearborn is laid out in metal markers on Michigan Avenue overlooking the Chicago River and portrayed in paintings at the Chicago History Museum. But Apple River Fort still exists, a replica of the original that was one of the few forts attacked during the Black Hawk War of 1832 and the only one attacked by a band led by Black Hawk himself. Located in present-day Elizabeth, Illinois, on the road to Galena, Apple River Fort was one of many frontier forts hastily completed by settlers in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin following the onset of the Black Hawk War. Apple River Fort was built in less than a week. After the war, the fort stood until 1847. Today, a replica of the fort stands next to the site of the original. Constructed between 1996 and 1997 by a non-profit organization, it is based on earlier archaeological investigations of the site which revealed information about the layout and settlement at the fort. In 1997, Apple River Fort was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Relatively few contemporary descriptions of the fort exist. But one of the more complete later descriptions--and the only one to mention the blockhouse in detail--was found in the 1878 post-Black Hawk War text "The HIstory of Jo Daviess County." It recalled a three-foot trench along the proposed stockade line, posts that were 12 feet high, a two-story blockhouse with the second story projecting over the other about two feet so the Indians couldn't come up near the building for the purpose of setting it on fire without being exposed to the guns of the settlers from above, two log cabins for living purposes and elevated firing stands or bastions. The fort was attacked by Black Hawk and a band of 200 Sac warriors on the afternoon of June 24, 1832. The fort was defended by about 30 men and boys along with about 40 women. The firefight lasted about an hour before Black Hawk withdrew. The archaeology at the site uncovered the original footprint of the foot, 50 feet by 70 feet. Living history volunteers provide a wealth of information about the history of the Black Hawk War, the Native American culture in the area and the lives of the settlers who built and defended Apple River Fort. If you're on the road to or from Galena, a stop at Apple River Fort in Elizabeth is worth the time.

Date of experience: September 2016
Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2016 via mobile

Living History volunteers were informative, interesting and very welcoming for our party who ranged in age from 7 to 60! We learned about Native American culture and about the lives of the settlers who built and defended the fort. Definitely worth a stop!

Date of experience: October 2016
Thank Carole M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2016

I have visited many forts in my travels but this was the first fort I've visited in my home state. The staff at the interpretive center were very friendly and informative as were the "living history" volunteers at the fort. We stayed for about an hour and learned about the Black Hawk war, something that I knew nothing about.

Definitely worth a visit.

Date of experience: September 2016
Thank Klikes2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2016

Interesting account of the Black Hawk War. Very imformative bit of Illinois history. Unfortunately we were there on a weekday and most interactive stuff in on the weekends.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank Deborah J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2016 via mobile

While on the way up to Galena to see Grant's home we went to the fort. I wasn't expecting much but it showed how life was back during the Blackhawk War. There was staff there in period clothing so it was a more authentic setting. The visitor center is nice as it has exhibits on the war and area history. Worth the stop on the way to Galena

Date of experience: June 2016
Thank johnwV3884UL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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