Fort Dewart on the Forbes Road

Fort Dewart, which straddles the border of Bedford and Somerset counties in southern Pennsylvania, was a British military redoubt built in August 1758 during the French and Indian War, the North American conflict in the global Seven Years’ War (1756–63) between Great Britain and France. The small fortification was part of a chain of defensive forts and supply stops built by the troops of Gen....
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Keystone Men of Iron: The 28th Infantry Division in the Great War

In 1917, when America entered World War I, the 28th Infantry Division was the nation’s oldest National Guard unit. Organized by Pennsylvania in 1878, the division was made up of units that had already earned battle streamers for contributions in conflicts from the American Revolution to the Civil War. Arriving in France in late Spring 1918, the 28th immediately began developing a reputation for...
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War in the Peaceable Kingdom by Brady J. Crytzer

War in the Peaceable Kingdom: The Kittanning Raid of 1756 by Brady J. Crytzer Westholme Publishing, 256 pp., cloth $28 The title of this book describes its content and contribution better than does the subtitle. The Delaware town of Kittanning on the Allegheny River was an important place – the residence of the war chiefs Shingas and Tewea (Captain Jacobs) and the source of multiple...
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Keystone Flagship: USS Pennsylvania Leading the Navy through Two World Wars

“Air raid on Pearl Harbor. This is not drill.” The message went out from the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Its brevity belied the gravity of the event it reported. The White House released the information shortly before 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and many people learned the news throughout the afternoon as radio programs were...
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Braddock’s Defeat by David Preston

Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution by David Preston Oxford University Press, 480 pp., $29.95 As the sun set on a warm July evening, Gen. Edward Braddock (1695-1755) lay amongst the dead and dying of his ruined army. Still disbelieving the tragic outcome of his battle against the French four days ago, he muttered among his staff, “Who’d have thought it? We...
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Fayette at the Crossroads

Fayette County has always been at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively, its destiny shaped by its location, the incredible riches of its natural resources and the vi­tality of a people descended from al­most every nation of Europe. It has a son of dual personality, geo­graphically divided between mountains and lowlands, historically divided into two almost equal eras of economic...
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The Last Frontier: Venango County Indians, Oil, Ghost Towns

Venango County. Its name is derivation of a the Seneca Indian word earliest for explorers “French and Creek.” Its earliest explorers and settlers were the French, shortly followed by the English. At one time, the territory was claimed simultaneously by France, and the colonies of Virginia and Pennsyl­vania. But Venango County’s rich history bespeaks vigorous pioneering a spirit...
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Mystery of the Monongahela Culture: Archaeology at Foley Farm

In 1939, anthropologist Mary Butler identified and formally named the Monongahela Woodland Culture, a prehistoric Indian way of life centered in the Monongahela Valley of south­western Pennsylvania, west­ern Maryland and parts of northern West Virginia. Dr. Butler’s reasons for naming this prehistoric Indian culture were, in part, based on ar­chaeological investigations sponsored by the...
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Bradford County: Sanctuary in the Meadows

It seemed as implausible as it was urgent: that French aristo­crats, the select inner circle closest to King Louis XVI, and perhaps even Marie Antionette herself, would flee the conti­nent and take refuge in the immense and isolated wilderness of what is now Bradford County. Implausible or not, a band of brave French exiles – the crown’s endangered courtiers and office­holders,...
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Armstrong County

Editor’s Note: With this article, this magazine begins a series to highlight historical events and persons within various counties. Focus will also be directed at the counties’ historical societies.   Kittanning, the seat of Armstrong County, is the oldest identified Indian town in Western Pennsylvania. While the state is planning celebrations to commemorate the Revolutionary...
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