Old Garrison (1796-1799) - A U.S. Army post established in 1796 in present day Franklin, Venango County, Pennsylvania. Replaced nearby Fort Franklin (2) as a garrison for U.S. troops. Abandoned in 1799.
The replacement for Fort Franklin (2) was built at the mouth of French Creek with a view of both French Creek and the Allegheny River. The building itself was less of a fort and more of a barracks since a peace treaty had been signed with the hostile Indians at Fort Greene Ville by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne in 1795. The building was described as a "strong wooden building, a story and a half high and perhaps 30 or 40 feet long." The building was surrounded by pickets but had no bastions, embrasures or ditches and mounted no cannon.
The Old Garrison was occupied by U.S. troops until 1799 and after that used by the town as a jail until 1819. It was abandoned when a new jail was built and allowed to deteriorate.
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.
A roadside marker and two site markers in Franklin, Venango County, Pennsylvania. Two cannons and a flagpole are locate alongside the site markers at an Old Garrison Memorial Park at the foot of 10th Street at Elk. The actual site is said to be under water at the foot of 10th Street.
Visited: 15 Aug 2012
Old Garrison Picture Gallery