French Encampment and Market Fair at Fort Necessity
FARMINGTON, Pa., - The National Park Service , in partnership with the National Road Heritage Corridor, will host a market fair for historic crafts at Fort Necessity National Battlefield during the Columbus day Weekend. The event, held Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8 will showcase the newly completed restoration of the inside of the Mount Washington Tavern and will also include an encampment of eighteenth century French soldiers.
National Park Service spokesperson, Tom Markwardt, said “Opening the new Interpretive and Education Center last year has allowed us to remove the exhibits from the Mount Washington Tavern and restore it more closely to the National Road era.” The interior restoration work was completed in September. The Park Service and the National Road Heritage Corridor are eager to have people see what’s been done inside.
The Market Fair provides people an opportunity to learn about eighteenth and nineteenth century life by talking with artisan and crafts people. They will also be able to purchase the products the demonstrators create.
“We had a market fair as part of the Grand Opening last year and it was a big hit. We decided to bring it back this year with even more demonstrators”, said MaryEllen Snyder, Chief of Visitor Services for Fort Necessity.
From gunsmiths to surveyors, bonnet makers to shoemakers, crafts of all types will be on display. Furniture makers, carvers, silversmiths, blacksmiths, surveyors, mapmakers, coopers, soap makers, and clothiers will all be on hand. Beads and wampum, bowls, spoons, and leather items are among the historic items and reproductions available.
French and Indian War re-enactors from the Contrecoeur’s Company of French Marines will encamp near Fort Necessity over the weekend. Captain Contrecoeur was the commanding office of Fort Duquesne. His soldiers were involved in the conflict at Fort Necessity in 1754.The camp will be open to visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Special programs on military history will be presented at noon, 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. both days. Each program will end with a demonstration and firing of the flintlock muskets like those used at battle at Fort Necessity.
To help ensure you enjoy your day at the park, rangers suggest you wear proper shoes and clothing. Protection from the elements is a must, since the events are outdoors. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
General admission for the park is $5.00 per adult. Children 15 and under are free of charge. The fee is collected at the Visitor Center of the park and is valid for seven days. For additional information or directions to the site please call 724-329-5512 or visit the National Park Service web site at www.nps.gov/fone. The Fort Necessity/National Road Interpretive and Education Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, including Columbus Day, Monday, October 9.
Did You Know?
George Washington’s ally, Seneca chief Tanacharison-also known as The Half King, complained that Washington “was a good-natured man but had no experience.” When referring to the fort the Half King said Washington “made no Fortifications at all, but that little thing upon the Meadow.”