Forty Fort (1770-1778) - A stockaded settlers fort established in 1770 along the West Bank of the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Named for the original forty Connecticut pioneers sent to claim lands in Pennsylvania by the Susquehanna Company. Surrendered to British forces in 1778 during the Revolutionary War.
Forty Fort History
Construction on the fort began in 1770 but was still not fit for defense in 1772-1773. In 1777 it was rebuilt so as to occupy almost an acre and strengthened with a sharpened upright log palisade. The palisade was two logs deep and 12' high with buildings built along the walls that provided a platform for troops on the roofs. The fort plan was rectangular with small guard towers at each corner. A nearby spring provided access to water via a covered passageway.
In June 1777 a large British and Indian force approached the fort coming down the Wyoming Valley. The fort defenders chose to advance outside the fort and attack the oncoming force, not knowing that there were some 1100 of the enemy in that force. After some initial success in driving back the attackers the defenders were caught in an open field and outflanked by some 700 Indians. The defenders fell back to the fort but some 300 were killed or captured. The fort was forced to surrender the following day. The battle came to be known as the "Wyoming Massacre".
Marker only in the town of Forty Fort, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Visited: 29 Apr 2012
Forty Fort Picture Gallery