Fort Ashby on Patterson's Creek


This fort stood on the east bank of Patterson’s Creek on the site of  the present village of Ft. Ashby (formerly Alaska), in Mineral County.  Erected by Lieutenant John Bacon under orders from Colonel Washington, in 1755.  December 27, 1775, Captain Charles Lewis of Fredericksburg assumed command at this fort in which he found a garrison of twenty-one  men to whom Lieutenant Bacon, whom he had appointed adjutant, read the Articles of War.  On the 11th of October, Colonel Washington received letters from Captain John Ashby regarding conditions there.  The next spring - May 23, 1756 - Colonel Washington issued orders to Lieutenant Colonel Adam Stephen to have Fort Ashby fully supplied from Fort Cumberland, Maryland, distant twenty-five miles.  In August, that year, Lieutenant Robert Rutherford, with a company of Rangers was defeated here by the French Indians.  Soon after Captain John Ashby made a remarkable escape from the Indians, reaching the fort in safety.

Sources. - See De Hass’ “History of the Early Settlements and Indian Wars of Western Virginia” p. 204; Kercheval’s “History of the Valley,” p. 126 (First Edition); Toner’s Edition of “Washington’s Journal over the Mountains, 1747-8”; “Journal of Captain Charles Lewis,” printed in “Collections of the Virginia Historical Society,” Vol. XI, p. 216, (new series) ; “Dinwiddie Papers,” Vol. II, p. 239; Sparks’ “Writings of Washington,” Vol. II, pp. 125, 163 167.

    Recently, in 1998, a archaeological dig was done on an adjoining property.  Many interesting artifacts were found, but the dig was very small due to the constraints of space.  Unfortunately, there was not enough space or time to ascertain the exact size or shape of the eastern wall of the fort.

Fort Ashby is open only by appointment.