“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Perryopolis in Fayette County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Frontier Forts

Frontier Forts Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, September 3, 2022
1. Frontier Forts Marker
Frontier forts played an important role in helping to open the vast territory west of the Allegheny Mountains to settlement, particularly in the 40 years between 1754, when Capt. William Trent first attempted to fortify the Forks of the Ohio River (now Pittsburgh), and 1794, when the Indians were defeated by Major-General Anthony Wayne at Fallen Timbers.

Scattered across the frontier, these forts were havens of refuge for the early settlers who were subject to periodic Indian attacks. These frontier fortifications could be divided into two major types: 1) those built to house large military units and supplies, such as Fort Pitt and Fort Ligonier; and 2) blockhouses, with a few portholes, built by one family, but also used by neighboring families who could gather there when under attack.

In a letter to George Washington, dated May 4, 1774, Gilbert Simpson, Washington's grist mill partner, wrote the following:

"This communication is to let you know that the country is at this time in great confusion due to the Indians declaring war against us... at least 500 families have gone off within one week past...
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There has been two or three skirmishes with white people and Indians...I do believe it has been the white peoples fault altogether. I intend, with the help of neighbors, to build a fort next week where I live...I declare to stand as long as I can see the least hope and go on with your mill, Sr."

"Fort Trial" is a replica of the blockhouse type of fort most likely built by Mr. Simpson here on Washington's "Bottom". It derives its name from several letters written by Mr. Simpson to Washington in which he lamented how life on the frontier was a great trial. By September 24, 1774, Simpson writes to inform Washington that his (Simpson's) son has "returned safe with the money" to continue building the mill. Simpson goes on to ask Washington to write to him "how or what manner you would cause to let out your mill when she is ready to be let."
The letter is signed
Gilbt. Simpson
Fort Triall
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesNative Americans. A significant historical date for this entry is May 4, 1774.
Location. 40° 5.09′ N, 79° 44.694′ W. Marker is in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania, in Fayette County. Marker is on Layton Road east of Knox Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located on the grounds of the George Washington Grist Mill. Touch for map.
Frontier Forts Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, September 3, 2022
2. Frontier Forts Marker
Marker is at or near this postal address: 430 Layton Road, Perryopolis PA 15473, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Perryopolis Pre-Industrial Complex (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Perryopolis Pre-Industrial Complex (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Distillery (about 600 feet away); George Washington (approx. ¼ mile away); First Christian Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Youghiogheny Bank of Pennsylvania (approx. 0.3 miles away); Blacksmith Shop & Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Perryopolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 24, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 18, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 99 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 19, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 9, 2023