used a little log building, now the middle room of George Washington's
Office Museum, as a military office from September 1755 to December of
1756 while Ft. Loudoun was being constructed at the north end of town.
Washington planned Ft Loudoun, supervised the work and brought his own
blacksmiths from Mount Vernon to do the iron work. The fort was a
redoubt with four bastions; there were fourteen mounted cannon and it
covered one-half acre. It was made of logs filled with earth and inside
there were barracks for 450 men. A well was sunk 103 feet through solid
limestone rock to supply the fort with water. This well, now on private
property is all that remains of the fort today. It was considered a
strong fort and was never attacked.
Located on the grounds of
the office is a cannon which was left by General Edward Braddock in
Alexandria. It is among a number of interesting artifacts
displayed at the office. The current exhibit is entitled "George
Washington and the West". The display includes some of Washington's
personal effects, surveying equipment and a scale model of the town of
Winchester circa 1755 which shows the fort prominently located at the
north end of the town on a slight hill.
played an important role in George Washington's early adult life; his
military and political career began here. As a young man of sixteen, he
came to the area to begin what he thought would be his life's
profession, surveying. With the earnings from his surveying
business he was able to buy a number of acres around Frederick County
and also a lot in the town that enabled him to served as a Burgess from
Frederick County from 1758-1765. During the French and Indian War he
commanded the Virginia Regiment from his headquarters in Winchester.
Finally, after the fall of Ft. Duquesne in 1758 and his having
inherited his half-brother's home, he retired from military service to
marry Martha Custis and take up the life of a planter at Mount Vernon.
On Saturday, July 24, 2004
The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society dedicated a statue
of the young surveyor George Washington that is now mounted next to the
Office Museum. It is very appropriate that this early period of Mr.
Washington's life should be so honored in the area where he spent so
much time during the crucial, formative years.