Special Weekend Programs at Fort Necessity
Contact: Brian Reedy, 724-329-5811
Contact: Jane Clark, 724-329-8124
Contact: MJ McFadden, 725-329-5805
-Geology and the French and Indian War-French Marines and British Colonials to Encamp
FARMINGTON, Pa., - Historic detachments of French Marines and Colonial British troops will set up camp in the Great Meadows at Fort Necessity National Battlefield on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. Also on Saturday at Jumonville Glen, a geologist shows why rocks were influential in starting the French and Indian War.
The French unit is the Compagnie Franches de la Marines du Contrecoeur -- an educational living history unit from Fort Duquesne. Trent’s Company and Raystown Rangers will represent the British. The camp will be open to visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visitors are encouraged to explore the camp. Re-enactors welcome inquiries from the public into the happenings of those early years.
The re-enactors will present special programs on military history at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. both days. The programs will end with a demonstration and firing of historic black powder weapons like those used at battle at Fort Necessity in 1754.
In a unique program at the Jumonville Glen unit of the park at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Geologist Albert Kollar from Carnegie Museum of Natural History presents “Geology and the French and Indian War in Western Pennsylvania.” Kollar will show how the geology of the bedrock played an important role in the start of the French and Indian War. If it rains, he will present an illustrated program at the Fort Necessity Interpretive Center.
In the spring of 1754, Captain Trent and his company were building a fort at the forks of the Ohio River. A larger French force evicted the company before their fort was completed and replaced it with Fort Duquesne. Trent’s evicted troops passed through the Great Meadows as they returned to the British outpost at Will’s Creek, Maryland. In July of that same year, soldiers from the French Marines, New France Militia, and their Indian allies surrounded George Washington's Fort Necessity in the Great Meadows and forced him to surrender and retreat back to Virginia. The French returned to Fort Duquesne, which was under the command of Claude-Pierre Pécaudy, Sieur du Contrecoeur.
Fort Necessity National Battlefield is located 11 miles east of Uniontown, Pennsylvania on US 40 – The Historic National Road. Admission to the park is $5.00 per adult. Children 15 and under are free of charge. The fee is collected at the Interpretive and Education Center and is valid for seven days. For more information on these and other programs at Fort Necessity, visit www.nps.gov/fone.
Did You Know?
The action at Fort Necessity was the first major event in the military career of George Washington. It marked the only time he ever surrendered his army to an enemy.