Fort NonsenseFort Nonsense was hastily constructed upon a scenic but difficult-to-ascend round knob as an Indian defense fort. It was built by pioneers and several armed men, part of a regiment which was sent to the relief of the settlers of Danville, Illinois, during the Black Hawk War of 1832. 

The site is described by an early history of the area: “The bluff at the right was broken and abrupt, with a silvery cascade during some seasons of the year, with a cedar lined dell, formed a picturesque background. The fort was of the stockade order, with a blockhouse at the northeast corner, projecting beyond the stockade, with portholes for downward, as well as ‘straight out’ shooting. ”

Fort Nonsense was located just above modern-day Bluff Street on the west side of the Des Plaines River, near the current site of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and School (310 N. Broadway Street, Joliet).

Its site on a Limestone bluff was strategically ideal, except for the solid limestone beneath a thin layer of soil… the same limestone formation so prized by the engineers of the Illinois (Joliet) State Penitentiary as being “solid rock and thereby escape-proof by digging.”

The fort was labeled “Fort Nonsense” because it was constructed without provision for easily obtaining basic necessities such as food, fuel, and fresh water.

It was torn down soon after it was built, but ironically, the blockhouse of Fort Nonsense was used as one of Joliet’s first schoolhouses, during the summer of 1834, where young scholars studied under the tutelage of Miss Persis Cleveland.