Franklin County was the site of private forts like Chambers Fort and Fort McCord as well as provincial forts like Fort Loudoun. The settlements sprang up on the Franklin County frontier from 1730 to 1755 on land that was traditionally used by Native tribes for hunting and foraging. Conflict arose between the Native tribes and the settlers, so the colonial settlers build fortifications around their homes and settlements to deter attacks.
Fort McCord was a private fort, near Edenville. On April 1, 1756, members of the Delaware tribe burned the fort, killing and taking captive 27 pioneers. Among the captives was Jean McCord Lowry. Her story of capture, captivity and ultimate release can be read here on the University of Oxford text archive.
Fort Loudoun was built in 1756 by the Pennsylvania Regiment. First is was used as a supply base for the Forbes Campaign. Popular history marks the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. In fact, ten years earlier, the Black Boys Rebellion at Fort Loudoun was an earlier time of colonial rebellion. As Neil Swanson author of “The First Rebel” believes the seeds of colonial America’s discontent were sown at Fort Loudoun.
“The date that would be carved on the monument and printed in the histories and textbooks was April 19, 1775. On that day Americans would march out to face the British regulars across the village green in Lexington, Massachusetts. But, they would not be the first Americans to march out for that purpose. They would not be the first by ten years, one month and eleven days. The day on which James Smith’s three hundred men marched down the muddy road to Fort Loudoun was March 9, 1765.”
Visit Pennsylvania’s Fort–Fort Loudoun–on Saturday, June 15th and step back in time to 1756 and witness the artisans, laborers and soldiers build features of Fort Loudoun, located at 1720 North Brooklyn Road, Fort Loudon, PA 17224. See the new fort, new museum, and gift shop. See demonstrations of blacksmithing, construction, carpentry, weaving, music and hearth cooking. Participate in 18th Century games, lectures and axe throwing competitions. Open to the public 10-4. Entry fee is $5 per car. The first 100 visitors receive a free small ice cream from Antietam Dairy. Kids scavenger hunt, games and musket drill. (A detailed schedule at fortloudounpa.com)
This year’s theme is “1756”, the year that John Armstrong and his Pennsylvanians built Fort Loudoun. See 18th Century fort construction. The Pennsylvania Regiment will be busy building a magazine, well house, a drain, a butcher pavilion, as well as putting the finishing touches on the Guard House, the newest addition to the fort. The historical significance of the Guard House, first mentioned in a June 1758 letter to Colonel Henry Bouquet, is that it was where 6 members of James Smith’s Black Boys were held during the Black Boys Rebellion in 1765. This structure is the same size (12’x16’) as Fort Morris’s Guard House from Shippensburg. The reconstructed Fort Loudoun sits exactly on the spot as it was discovered by Pennsylvania Archaeology in 1978-1982.
Food Vendors: Zach’s Snacks and Hazardous Goods (BBQ) and Antietam Dairy (Ice Cream)
The Fort Loudoun Historical Society is an all-volunteer non-profit organization whose mission it is to interpret and manage the site of Fort Loudoun built in 1756. Fort Loudoun was a provincial fort built by the Colony of Pennsylvania during the French and Indian war and served as an important supply depot in the line of forts along the Forbes Road. It was the site of the Cherokee Council with Colonel Henry Bouquet in 1758 and of James Smith’s Black Boys