Living History

Living History in Bedford, Pennsylvania

Bedford, a pocket of preserved earlier, delivers the visitor a living record encounter, enabling him to wander the paths his forefathers forged, inspect a number of important residences and forts, and perhaps stay in the pretty resort which sparked its increase.

Lined having a Give up of rolling hills, meadows, and forests, the former frontier referred to as for just a soul to exert its intrinsic Homes of generation on it, as evidenced through the forts which had risen from Harris Ferry alongside the Susquehanna River in the east to Logstown about the Ohio River within the west over the French and Indian War of 1754 to 1763. Marking the westward expansion in the British similar to a number of GPS waypoints, they carried names which include Lyttleton, Loudon, Frederick, Raystown/Bedford, Cumberland, Ligonier, Requirement, and Pitt/Duquesne. The 2 with the dual designations, however, had been being by far the most instrumental in the region’s progress.

Where transportation paths meet, settlements normally increase, as did the city of Bedford in the form of the fort erected via the British during its 1758 marketing campaign in opposition to the French alongside Forbes Road, which experienced Earlier been a cohesive assortment of Indian trails. They would afterwards evolve into the 1st trans-Pennsylvania toll rode artery, facilitating horse and wagon transport.

Built by Colonel Henry Boquet, General John Forbes’ deputy, the irregularly formed fortification, masking seven,000 square yards, sported 5 bastions. A four- to 5-foot deep by 3-foot-broad, V-formed ditch encircling its perimeter supported 18-foot-lengthy, facet-by-side laid logs, Slice through the bordering oak forests and hewn flat and snugly interlocked ahead of staying inserted, although a loopholed gallery prolonged from your central bastion on its north entrance right down to the h2o’s edge. Swivel guns guarded its corners.
Entry was provided by three gates-a key 1 on its south aspect parallel to present-day Pitt Avenue; a second, smaller sized, west-experiencing one particular; and a northward-opening postern 1.

Perched on the bluff overlooking the river gap, the to begin with-specified Fort Raystown served being a staging write-up for six,790 westward-advancing troops subjected to assaults throughout their crossing in the imposing Allegheny Mountains, but replenished with vital materials right before they continued towards Fort Pitt/Duquesne, stronghold of the French.

The British approach proved thriving: their opponents ended up defeated, effectively eradicating the barrier to English-speaking control of the Ohio Valley and, finally, The usa.

Redesignated “Fort Bedford” at the end of 1758 following the Fourth Duke of Bedford, England, the bastion served the secondary objective of supplying a way of safety from Indian assaults, its safety fostering settlement of people on the lookout for agricultural valleys and timber-plentiful mountains. It So presented the seed from which the namesaked village ultimately grew, turning into the 1st county seat west from the Tuscarora Mountains and, for your time, all of Western Pennsylvania, strategically Situated around the intra-point out roadway.

Laid out in 1766, it absolutely was included 29 several years later, on March 13.

County advancement, paralleling that with the city, was spurred by the discovery of coal on Broad Leading Mountain, supplying increase towards the rails necessary to transport it to the area’s budding iron foundries and sparking a one hundred-percent populace increase amongst 1870 and 1890 by yourself. Monitor networks, facilitating iron, timber, and passenger conveyance, have been later supplemented, And eventually succeeded by, the Lincoln Freeway (Route 30), which connects Bedford with Pittsburgh, and also the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

A short, in-city walking tour of Bedford alone permits the customer to move back again into its history in quite a few significant properties.

The National Museum on the American Coverlet, for instance, is housed during the Widespread Faculty, itself made in 1859 in a $seven,000 Price and opened by having an Original, 211-university student enrollment the subsequent yr. Operating as a faculty right up until it absolutely was sold to private interests in 1999, it incorporates a significant portion of its initial composition, like its middle area, ventilation process, and bordering iron fence.

The Bedford County Court docket House, developed by Solomon Filler involving 1828 and 1829 in a $7,500 Price, equally exudes originality, specifically in its tower-set up clock, which had to be hand-wound after a vigorous climb right up until it had been electrified in 1975, and its two inner, self-supporting, circular staircases which lead to the 2nd flooring, portrait-lined courtroom. The set of columns characterizing its façade, afterwards donated by Filler himself, signifies God on the still left and justice on the correct.

The person over the Monument, located at the intersection of Juliana and Penn streets, was erected in 1890 to honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives through the Civil War, incorporating the over twenty,000 pennies college youngsters experienced collected for it. It had been moved to its present place in 1957.

Behind it is the web page of town’s very first courthouse and jail, constructed of blue limestone involving 1774 and 1775.

On the list of most significant structures-a lot of so, actually, that it was specified a Nationwide Historic Landmark in 1984-is the Espy Household. Owned by Colonel and Mrs. David Espy, it served as George Washington’s headquarters throughout the 1794 Whisky Rebellion, where Western Pennsylvania farmers protested the excise tax imposed on the alcohol by Secretary of Treasury Hamilton. Thwarted by Washington’s 13,000-robust Federal Army, which had claimed the surrounding expanses for its personal right away accommodation, it marked the first and only time that a US president experienced commanded a military in the sector.

Dispersing to the hills by October, the rebels shown defeat.

The Countrywide Household, opening its doors to weary tourists as being a lodge for almost its total existence, was strategically Situated on Forbes Street, and that is now designated “Pitt Avenue.”

Designed, much like the Court Dwelling, by Solomon Filler, the Anderson Property stands on land obtained from state-namesaked William Penn and was applied like a healthcare office at its front plus the Allegheny Lender of Pennsylvania at its back. It served as the sole these types of public depository involving Pittsburgh and Chandersburg.

Fort Bedford Museum:

The first fort’s significance was quick-lived and the positioning of just one historically sizeable party: attempting to launch the prisoners held there, James Smith and his Black Boys captured it on September seventeen, 1769, but following the French and Indian War, its garrison had previously been minimized to the paltry twelve, and by 1775, if the frontier had moved to Pittsburgh, it swiftly spiraled into a point out of disrepair.

So as to celebrate Bedford’s bicentennial, a blockade-fashion structure, formed by logs and chinking, rose in the website of the first fort two hundred a long time following it were designed, in 1958, even now perched with a bluff overlooking the Raystown Branch from the Juniata River. A bit of its north wall was added in 2006, adjacent to what is now the Fort Bedford Museum.

Subdivided right into a principal gallery, a transportation room, a rear gallery, a mezzanine, and a gift store, the blockhouse creating internally exudes Western Pennsylvania’s New Frontier ambiance, exhibiting many of the two,000 artifacts in its assortment, inclusive of Native American implements, civilian and military objects, house merchandise, flintlock riffles, antique hand equipment, nineteenth-century women’s apparel, a Civil War cannon, a Conestoga wagon, a stoneware crock, paperwork signed by the Penn loved ones, in addition to a Bedford Springs Vacation resort ledger exhibiting President Buchanan’s signature.

Its focus is a large-scale model of the first fort depicting Forbes Highway, the Juniata River, and its bordering area. But, Probably the rarest piece in the gathering can be an original, 1758 flag. A present to British forces at nonetheless-designated Fort Raystown from England’s Fourth Duke of Bedford, the hand-sewn, red silk satin damask flag, sporting a 23- by 24-inch union jack canton on its higher, still left corner, prompted the fort’s renaming to Bedford at the end of 1758 in his honor. Despite the fact that no evidence exists as as to if this was its Formal just one, that had hung inside the Officer’s Quarters and was only displayed throughout Particular occasions.
Nevertheless, patriots from the British officer seized it when independence from English rule, expressed as the Declaration of Independence, traveled by term of mouth to Bedford.