Apple River Fort presents folkways expert March 18 to demonstrate ‘sugaring’

Elizabeth, IL – Life was rough on the Illinois frontier of the 1830s, and a little sweetness helped lift everyone’s spirits. Apple River Fort State Historic Site will demonstrate on March 18 just how hard settlers and Native Americans worked to get sugar.

Kelly Schott, historic interpreter and owner of Historical Pathways, will explain the many steps involved in collecting maple sap and transforming it into maple sugar. Visitors can taste samples of the sap and maple sugar goodies she makes.

Her free presentation begins at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 18. It takes place in the site’s Interpretive Center.
The original Apple River Fort was built in 1832 by civilians worried about attack by Black Hawk and his band of Native American warriors. Their concerns proved justified when Black Hawk attacked on June 24 of that year. Black Hawk retreated after a 45-minute battle.

The Apple River Fort State Historic Site is located off Highway 20 at 311 East Myrtle Street in Elizabeth, Ill. It is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

See demonstrations on how maple syrup becomes sugar this weekend in northern Illinois.

There is no set admission fee for visiting the fort, but donations are gladly accepted. Scheduling of open-air activities is subject to change depending on weather. Visit for more.

The site is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. IHPA protects the state’s historic resources, which contribute to education, culture and the economy. IHPA sites include ancient burial mounds, forts and buildings erected by settlers, and homes connected to famous Illinoisans.

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