Open House at Historic Fort Warwick on Saturday May, 27th
Not many people know that there is a significant and historic pre-Revolutionary War and Revolutionary War military encampment in Pocahontas County -Fort Warwick. The Fort is also the site of an active Archeological project. Students from Pocahontas County Schools will be helping with Archeological digs at the Fort during the week before Memorial Day. There will also be a free open house at the Fort on Saturday, May 27th. Bob Sheets, the owner of Fort Warwick tells us more.
“On May 27th, the Saturday of the Memorial Day Weekend, we will have Archeology Days here at Fort Warwick” said Bob. “Fort Warwick is located is located in Green Bank, West Virginia, just south of the Senior citizen (Center) in Green Bank. If you turn off and follow Deer Creek about a half mile. During that open house, we will be celebrating the Revolutionary War Veterans that are interred in the Warwick Cemetery here. And hopefully we will have – if they are not engaged in more solemn circumstances – the Pocahontas county honor Guard here at eleven o’clock to honor those veterans interred there. We will have some descendents of Militia members from the 17oo’s that were stationed here. We will have the descendents of two of those Captains of those militia units, George Moffatt and George Matthews. We will also, hopefully have students that join us that day who will have participated in the event of archeology throughout the week. This event on the 27th is sponsored by the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, under the auspices of the Cal Price Series. We’ll be open all day on Saturday from 9 to 3 o’clock. You’ll have a chance to see many of the artifacts that we have excavated, not only this week, but also in previous digs. You’ll also be privileged to a site tour and historic history lectures. We just hope that folks will stop by and involve themselves in a little Pocahontas County History.”
Bob provides us with some of the history of Fort Warwick.
“Warwick’s Fort was built in 1774” Bob said. “It was part of Lord Dunmore’s little war, which consisted essentially of one battle at Point Pleasant – Virginia at that point. In doing that, these men, and their compatriots noth of us and to the south of us –specifically in Lewisburg under General Andrew Lewis – moved the boundary of the Colony of Virginia from the Allegheny Mountaintop all the way to the Ohio River. They went over there, they did that and they walked back. They dispersed and went back to their homes, not really knowing that for the next eight years the Fort would be an important refuge for the families in the area during the American Revolution, because the British forces aligned with the Native American Tribes and encouraged them to raid American homes and American military units and so people in this area would have sheltered in Fort Warwick. We have notations from individuals from their militia lists, from their pension records and public claims data that indicate that the Fort was occupied and an important part of Western defense all the way up to 1783.”
So who were these Militia?
“Militia, of course, translates to citizen soldiers and what we would associate today with National guard units” Bob explains. “These were people that were able bodied, they were tax-paying and they automatically were sort of in the militia unit and when called to serve, they did that. We have developed extensive research records on these individuals which we’ve shared with teachers and students in our local county schools and over two hundred of those students will be coming to dig with us.”
I asked Bob if the Fort was the scene of any fighting during the Revolutionary War.
“The only time the men were deployed was when there was a raid on Drennan’s Fort in Edray. I believe that is when the Drennan boys were killed -if you ever read your Pocahontas County history. They were deployed South to aid in that particular event. There is also oral history here that says the Fort was besieged with arrows from one of the high points out along the highway out here, although I look at that and wonder what type of bow that would take…but that’s oral legend.”
So, if you are looking for something for your family to do that is fun, free and educational on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend –May 27th, consider the open house at Fort Warwick in Green Bank. Learn more at www.Fortwarwick.com .