reconstructed stockade at Fort Necessity marks one of the great
milestones of colonial days where the young George Washington fought
and lost his first battle and the French and Indian War began in
1754. A modern Visitor Center tells the story of the opening round
in the successful struggle for British domination west of the Allegheny
Allow one to two hours for your visit. The ten-minute slide presentation
at the visitor center is a good introduction to the park story.
Colonial troops commanded by Colonel George Washington, then 22
years old, were defeated here in the opening battle of the French
and Indian War on July 3, 1754. This followed a skirmish a little
over a month earlier and several miles from the site of the fort
where a troop led by Washington attacked a small French force led
by an Ensign Jumonville who was mortally wounded. These battles
sparked a seven year struggle between Great Britain and France for
control of North America and helped pave the way for the American
Fort Necessity National Battlefield is located about 11 miles east
of Uniontown. The park comprises approximately 900 acres in three
separate sites. The main unit contains the visitor center, the reconstructed
Fort Necessity and the Mount Washington Tavern. The Braddock Grave
unit is approximately 1.5 miles west of the main unit and the Jumonville
Glen unit is approximately seven miles northwest of the main unit.
Visitor Center and Exhibits
visitor center includes a small exhibit area where artifacts recovered
in archaeological digging at the fort are displayed; exhibits telling
the story of Fort Necessity; an auditorium (can accommodate about
20 adults or 30 children) where a ten-minute slide presentation
is shown; a book sales area containing publications and items relating
to the park; and restrooms which are handicapped accessible.
The Mount Washington Tavern is a restored stagecoach stop from the time of the National Road
(1828-1855). The tavern is furnished to show how it may have appeared
during its heyday. There are exhibits telling the story of the National
Road and tavern lifestyles during the 19th century. Restrooms are
available in the Tavern basement but are not handicapped accessible.
A paved path up a steep hill behind the visitor center leads to
the tavern. A paved parking lot is available at the Tavern for those
who do not wish to walk up the hill.
The reconstructed Fort Necessity is a short distance from the visitor
center. A paved path which is wheelchair accessible leads to the
fort. A three-minute audio message at the fort gives a brief history
of the events leading up to the battle. The fort is an accurate
reconstruction, based upon archaeology conducted in 1953.
The Braddock Grave Unit is approximately
1.5 miles west of Fort Necessity on US Route 40. The monument at
the site marks the final resting place of British General Edward
Braddock. Interpretive markers explain the ill-fated Braddock Campaign
of 1755. A trace of the Braddock Road is clearly visible at this
site. Jumonville Glen is the site of Washington's first encounter
with the French. The Glen is approximately seven miles northwest
of Fort Necessity. A natural rock outcropping marks the site of
the skirmish. A monument and interpretive signs help visitors understand
the event. The site is open mid-April through October.
Trails and Roads
Approximately five miles of hiking trails are at the main unit of
Fort Necessity, and are based on a set of interconnecting loops.
The trails cover a variety of terrain covering both forest and meadow
environments. In winter cross-country skiing is available on the
trails, although they are not mechanically tracked or groomed.
From mid-June through Labor Day, a variety of talks, tours, and
demonstrations are available at the fort, visitor center, and Mount
Washington Tavern. A complete schedule of daily activities is available
at the visitor center.
Sales Outlet: Eastern National Park and Monument Association maintains
a sales outlet in the visitor center which offers publications and
items relating to the park's themes.
The visitor center, Fort reconstruction, picnic area, and the first
floor of the Mount Washington Tavern are all handicapped accessible.