Fort Franklin (2)

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Fort Franklin (2) (1787-1796) - A Federal fortification established in 1787 by Captain Jonathan Heart on French Creek at present day Franklin, Venango County, Pennsylvania. Fort Franklin (2) was abandoned in 1796 and replaced with barracks for Federal troops in 1796 that became known as the Old Garrison. Abandoned as a fortification in 1796.


Fort Franklin was built on the south bank of French Creek about a half mile up from where the creek enters the Allegheny River. The post was built by U.S. troops under Captain Jonathan Heart who arrived from Fort Pitt (1) with some 87 officers and enlisted men in the spring of 1787. The post was describes as "a square redoubt with a blockhouse three stories high in the center." The fort had four bastions with a small cannon in each bastion. The location of the fort was less than satisfactory because it did not command a view of the Allegheny River.

The post was garrisoned by about 100 officers and enlisted men up until 1796 when it was replaced by the Old Garrison.

In 1753-54, the French sought to gain control of the Ohio River Valley by building forts along a route from Lake Erie to the forks of the Ohio. The forts were strategically placed along the water route from Lake Erie to the Ohio River beginning at Fort Presque Isle and the some 12 miles of overland portage to Fort le Boeuf. The route then goes down French Creek to Fort Machault where French Creek meets the Allegheny River and from there to Fort Duquesne (1) at the head of the Ohio River. When the French started this line of forts the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie, sent 21 year old George Washington all the way to Fort le Boeuf to demand the French leave. The French declined and the stage was set for the French & Indian War. The French completed the four forts and held the territory until the advance of British General John Forbes in November 1758 caused the French to abandon and destroy Fort Duquesne (1) and fall back along the line of remaining forts. In July 1759 the three remaining forts were destroyed and the French left.

The British took over the abandoned and destroyed Fort Duquesne (1) and began building Mercer's Fort and Fort Pitt (1) over the ruins. The departure of the French forces in July 1759 allowed the British to occupy the three remaining French fort sites in 1760 and rebuild the destroyed fortifications. The British occupied all four of the fort sites until Pontiac's War in 1763. The hostile Indians manage to take and destroy all three of the upper forts in 1763 and they laid siege to Fort Pitt (1) but were unable to take it.

Upper Ohio Valley Forts (1753-1814) (edit list)
Name Location Established Abandoned Nationality Notes
Fort Presque Isle (1) Erie, PA 1753 1759 French
Fort Presque Isle (1) Erie, PA 1760 1763 British
Fort Presque Isle (2) Erie, PA 1795 1814 American
Fort le Boeuf Waterford, PA 1753 1759 French
Fort le Boeuf Waterford, PA 1760 1763 British
Fort le Boeuf Waterford, PA 1794 1814 American
Fort Machault Franklin, PA 1755 1759 French
Fort Venango Franklin, PA 1760 1763 British
Fort Franklin (2) Franklin, PA 1787 1794 American
Old Garrison Franklin, PA 1796 1799 American
Fort Duquesne (1) Pittsburgh, PA 1754 1758 French
Mercer's Fort Pittsburgh, PA 1758 1761 British
Fort Pitt (1) Pittsburgh, PA 1761 1772 British
Fort Pitt (1) Pittsburgh, PA 1772 1792 American

Current Status

Roadside marker and site marker in Franklin, Venango County, Pennsylvania

Location: 13th St. (U.S. 322) & Franklin Ave in Franklin, Venango County, Pennsylvania. Fort Marker is the location of Marker.

Maps & Images

Lat: 41.400666 Long: -79.830995

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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Visited: 15 Aug 2012

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