The fort was staked out by people with a compass, or at least an accurate knowledge of direction; perhaps by accident as it stood true with the north star. It was not a large fort, or stockade, as it contains less than an acre of ground. In 1926 the walls were mounds of earth about two or three above the forest level and the ditches not more than two or three feet below.
A.J. Mathieson [or Mathewson] surveyor, of Lockport, Illinois located excavations of supposed magazines, wells and underground shelters in the late 1830s.
The fort is believed to have been burned down by the French themselves in 1730, along with other fortifications in the area, to prevent their use by Potawatomi and Sauk Indian tribes.
Fort Le Pouz was found in the east part of Pilcher Park (320 acres) which was previously known as Higginbotham Woods (239-acres) owned by early settler Henry D. Higginbotham, and before that, it was called the Big Woods.
|A 1970s map of Higinbothan Woods (note the spelling), now Pilcher Park with (F) marker being Fort Le Pouz; a replica which was dismantled somtime in the 1980s.|
Fort Le Pouz was in the northeast corner of the Higginbotham woods which was untouched by the ax until 1918 when it was stripped. The Higginbotham property was deeded to the City of Joliet for a park in 1920 or 1921.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.