Welcome to the Apple River Fort State Historic Site. Nestled in the rolling hills of northwest Illinois, the Apple River Fort stands against the weather to tell an epic historic tale of the 1832 Black Hawk War. 

​Expanded hours from
​​April 1 - October 31​

​Wednesday through Sunday
9:00am - 5:00pm​

​Closed Monday and Tuesday

Our Visitor Center features friendly, knowledgeable staff plus exhibits, a gift shop, and a short dramatic video. The ​restored Fort is open for self-guided tours.

Apple River Fort State Historic Site
311 East Myrtle Street
Elizabeth, Illinois

(815) 858-2028


*Living history activities at our outdoor site are subject to weather conditions, but so long as the access road remains clear, the reconstructed Fort remains open for self-guided tours Wednesday through Sunday. Be sure to stop by our Interpretive Center on Highway 20/Main Street!
Apple River Fort is a State of Illinois Historic Site.

This is the website of the Apple River Fort Historic Foundation, Inc.​​
On June 24, 1832, a small company of Illinois militia (some thirty men and boys) and their families (an additional forty-odd women and children) successfully defended a small civilian-built fort against two hundred warriors led by the great Sac tribal leader known as Black Hawk.

Today Apple River Fort State Historic Site, a Black Hawk War landmark, includes both an interpretive Center and a reconstruction of the long-vanished fort and modeled upon findings of a 1995 archaeological dig. Because of its archaeological and historic significance, the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.​

​​Apple River Fort is a family-friendly historic site, open year-round. The site Interpretive Center features knowledgeable staff, a variety of exhibits, and showings of a brief dramatic video depicting the attack on Apple River Fort and other events of the 1832 Black Hawk War. The fort itself is open concurrently for self-guided tours.

On weekends from May 1 through October 31, the fort comes to life through ongoing living history activities and special events that present stories both of the settlers within its walls and of the attacking Sac and Meskwaki without. Through demonstrations, hands-on activities, and conversation, interpreters garbed in 1830s-style dress create a visitor experience that is historically accurate, engaging, educational, entertaining, and most of all, memorable.

Apple River Fort State Historic Site is located off US Highway 20 at 311 East Myrtle Street in Elizabeth, Illinois. Hours from April 1 through October 31 are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. For further information call 815-858-2028.


Saturday and Sunday, September 2 & 3
10am -- 3pm

As summer draws to its official close, join living history interpreters at the Fort for demos,​​​​​ hands-on activities, and conversation. Learn about the lives of settlers who in 1832 built and defended a civilian fort in far northwestern Illinois. Authentic children's games, demos of hearth cooking and lead ball molding, a fun guessing contest and more will offer you an experience that's historically accurate, engaging, educational, entertaining, and --most of all -- memorable.