Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gas Well Drilling is threatening Revolutionary War Period Fort!

Monument erected on the site of Lindley's Fort on Demas Lindley's land, just down the road from the Upper Ten Mile Church and cemetery.
Added by: Cynthia Rice

We are in a crisis here in Pennsylvania. Our archaeological sites are under constant pressure from development, and now from Marcellus Shale gas drilling. Within the state, all archaeological sites are threatened. Most often, those within the archaeological community are the last to know when a site is about to be destroyed. My blog post is about a site that is known and now under threat, the well could be built at any time.
I received a phone call over the weekend from a very concerned citizen. He clarified he was not against drilling, but had read the article posted in the Washington, PA, Observer-Reporter. He was upset that a gas well access road was going to be built directly through a Revolutionary War period fort, Fort Lindley.
            A description of Demas Lindley's Fort (1773 - 1780's), near Prosperity, located on North Fork Ten Mile Creek1 is given as follows:
“In the seventeen-seventies a typical frontier fort stood on rising ground above a small river in Western Pennsylvania. The traveler who today drives through Washington County may see the monument of white granite that marks the site near the village of Prosperity. It is known as Lindley’s Fort. It consisted of a bullet-proof and loophole stockade of rough fifteen-foot logs, trimmed to sharp heads and planted in the form of a square. Block-houses of timber, jutting from and rising above the four corners, commanded the walls. Backed against the palisades within, and with roofs sloping inwards, several log-cabins provided for the accommodation of fugitives. A folding gate made of stout slabs afforded means of ingress and egress on the side nearest the spring, which supplied water. The whole was constructed without a nail or spike of iron. There was no stronger private fort on the marches; and none was more needed.
            Whenever an alarm was raised that Indians were out on the war-path and marching thitherward, backwoodsmen seized their guns and conveyed their women and children to the fort. Any of them who were caught unawares lost their scalps and their lives or were carried off into captivity. “2
            The historical importance of these forts cannot be overstated. So few of them have been excavated in Pennsylvania, and because of that we know very little about them. We need everyone’s help on this. Range Resources ( http://www.rangeresources.com) needs to be notified and told about this over sight! Also if I could get people to email or call the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at (http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/dep_home/5968) and tell them that we are tired of the destruction that gas well drilling has done to our archaeological resources! Please, contact these organizations even if you are not from Pennsylvania or even the US, this is a global problem where everyone is needed to help!
           For more information on Fort Lindley, please visit: Fort Lindley


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