75 Years - Thank You to The People who Refused to Forget: 1935-2010
Article Written by Park Ranger Michael Kusch
The history of Fort Stanwix and the City of Rome are inseparably intertwined. This is due to the passion the people of Rome have for their local history; a local history that has profound affects on national and international history. Fort Stanwix was originally built by British and American Provincial troops in 1758 to keep the French Army in Canada out of New York during the French and Indian War. The fort was also built to protect the Oneida Carrying Place (known locally as the De-O-Wain-Sta), the commerce that crossed the portage, and British and Colonial interests involving westward expansion.
During the French and Indian War, troops from Fort Stanwix launched successful attacks on Fort Frontenac in current Kingston, Ontario (1758), the forts at Oswego and Niagara (1759), and Montreal, Canada (1760). Although the number of troops was reduced after the war ended, Fort Stanwix remained garrisoned until the end of Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763 to 1766). The fort was abandoned as a military outpost; however, the site was utilized in 1768 for the Boundary Line Treaty of Fort Stanwix negotiations. This treaty drew a controversial boundary line between Colonial and American Indian land and extended from Fort Stanwix south and west to the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers. This treaty opened lands that would eventually become parts of western Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, Kentucky, and northeast Tennessee.
Lynchville, today known as Rome, grew around the fort and then over its remains. The fort and the events that occurred here would have been largely forgotten and remain just a footnote in history if it was not for a special phenomenon. The People of Rome Refused to Forget Fort Stanwix. You refused to forget Fort Stanwix and the site’s significance in local, national and international history.
Each month during this year leading up to the 75th anniversary, the staff at Fort Stanwix National Monument will write special articles about the People of Rome and your refusal to forget Fort Stanwix and how this paved the way to the establishment of the national monument. The following articles will appear on our website the first weeks and months of 2010 leading up to the 75th anniversary events on August 21st and 22nd. Afterward the 75th anniversary, the articles will focus on how the people continued to remember Fort Stanwix leading up to its reconstruction.