National Register of Historic Places

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NATIONAL register OF HISTORIC PLACES

A French trading post was established circa 1670 on a trail between Green Bay, Wisconsin,  and the early Chicago area. The trail and trading post was used by  Native Americans and settlers alike. The settlers were mostly Irish,  German, and Scandinavian immigrants. The area was never considered  suitable for farming due to the many ravines and heavy forestation. 


In the 1840s a small community, St. Johns, was established. It was settled on a bluff over looking Lake Michigan.  The villagers were active in logging, leather tanning, brick making,  and iron casting. The area eventually became ravaged by rampant  deforestation associated with the production of 400,000 bricks annually.  The village grew idle and became deserted by 1865. 


In 1984 parts of Fort Sheridan were designated a National Historic Landmark District by the National Park Service.  The National Park Service states that the site "possesses national  significance in commemorating the history of the United States of  America." The historic district includes 230 acres (93 ha) of land and  buildings bounded by Hutchinson and Bartlett Ravines and the shore of  Lake Michigan.  There are 94 buildings in the district. The buildings  include officers' quarters, barracks, stables, a drill hall, water tower, and many other institutional buildings. The 54-acre (22 ha)  parade ground was preserved as open space.

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