Progress Report on the Stockade
We are looking for strong volunteers to help finish this stockade project!
It has been a long struggle, but some of the bastion wall is finally up. Our thanks go out to Danny Oates of Hampshire Homebuilders who supplied a backhoe and operator on Friday, Sept. 8th just so we could have something up for French and Indian War Heritage Day, part of our County's Hampshire Heritage Days celebration. The wall is made up of full and half-split locust posts. The taller flag pole is the point of the bastion; on the right is the last bastion pole before it turns to the regular wall. The bastion protrudes out from the wall so a man can stand protected inside it and fire along the wall at anyone trying to burn, batter or climb over the wall.
Our hope is to have a wall that represents what the archeologists have found. The drawing above has added some segments (including the gate section) that have not yet been discovered, but the in-wall bastion, the end bastion and jog in the wall have been found. At the present time only the in-wall bastion is planned to be full size; the other segments will be represented by short logs. Can you help with this project?
On June 17, 2006 we had scheduled another work day for the stockade. However, it turned out to be a weekend when few people were available, so we had only three volunteers who came to help. In spite of the small numbers we made substantial progress.
Start of the Day
Fortunately, our Work Day had been preceeded by much preparatory labor. One of the major tasks was outlining the stockade wall using the plans supplied by Stephen McBride, our Archaeologist. Frank Whitacre, a local surveyor, donated his time on Friday to come work on marking our stockade line. The white line you see here sprayed in the grass is our approximation of the actual stockade feature. We say "approximation" because we have laid out straight lines assuming that we, like the fort builders of old, will deviate slightly and get the kind of line the actual stockade had - a not quite perfect line. Of course, we have not discovered the entire stockade line, so we have gaps that will be shown as our estimations. The flag pole marking the bastion point is just to the right of the photo.
The other preparatory work was securing the locust logs. We have been fortunate to find a logger in Pennsylvania who has some very fine locust logs. They are almost impossible to find in West Virginia east of the Allegheny Front. One of our Directors hauled the logs from Pennsylvania on a trialer. Here they await unloading. You can see they are a very good size and quite straight. Some are large enough to split. In colonial times when large logs were so plentiful, it was common to split logs for a stockade. You get more footage from the log that way.
Finally, late in the afternoon, we got around to putting up the posts. Our project calls for an actual
stockade wall only in the area of the bastion since logs are so limited
and our work crew so sparse. Therefore, we are putting up posts at
the turns in the wall and at the ends of features. Below you see our
volunteers standing by the post marking the southernmost bastion's point.
As time and labor allows we will continue to complete our project.
However, we can only do it if we get help from our members and friends.
We thank Jason who came from northern Virginia and Nathaniel and Daniel who came from Harpers Ferry to help us for the day. They did a wonderful job in spite of the 90 degree heat!
Getting volunteers to work on the stockade project has been something of a problem, but finally three Board members got together to restart the stockade project. In spite of the cold and damp November day, the three intrepid workers loaded a pile of locust logs an a trailer and brought them to the site. Here you see Mark Jones and Clyde DeWitt unloading and dragging logs to the work pile where they will await a better day so the logs can be prepared for erection. It certainly helped to have Clyde's small tractor particularly since, unlike Joseph Edwards and Col. Washington, we don't have a team of horses.
Please remember that we are looking for volunteers to help finish our stockade interpretation so our site will have more interesting things for our visitors to see. Col. Washington needs you to help!
All rights reserved. Updated: Feb. 14, 2011