11 AUGUST 1932 — FORT LE BOEUF
The year 1932, known as the Washington Bicentennial, brought the American people a keener knowledge of his ideals, a revived and intensified patriotism, and created many memorials of lasting value. Among the latter, there can be none more appropriate than Fort Le Boeuf, the contribution of the National Society, Daughters of the American Colonists. It was dedicated on August 11, 1932.
By reason of their discovery of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, the French claimed all territory watered by these rivers, and by 1751 it was apparent to the French they would meet difficulties in maintaining their position. In the spring of 1753 they sent forces to erect fortifications, of which Fort Le Boeuf was one. On December 11, 1753, George Washington, then a Major in the British Army, arrived here as an emissary of Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia to inform them they were trespassing on British soil. However, they gave him no satisfaction; their refusal, to withdraw from British territory undoubtedly helped bring about the subsequent French and Indian War, and in 1759 the French hastily evacuated and burned Fort Le Boeuf.
The British took possession and built a new fort. In 1763 the Indians surrounded the fort and set fire to it. A third fort flying the American Flag was built in 1794, and two years later the American Block House was built for better protection of the settlers. Later, it was used variously as a prison, store house, post office, hotel, and residence. It burned March 21, 1868.
The Daughters of the American Colonists were most fortunate in securing this bit of land on which the Block House stood, and in being able to preserve it for all time. It was decided not to restore the block house but to restore and beautify the grounds. The cellar was cleaned out and rebuilt, and the old well was reconstructed. Flagstones, trees, an old oaken bucket, a sun-dial of ancient design, the well-sweep, two log benches, a flag holder with a silk French, English and Pennsylvania banner accompanied by the Stars and Stripes, were given by individuals, Chapters and State Societies, as an expression of loyalty to the father of their country.
In 1945 the statue of George Washington, the only one existing depicting him as a young man, was moved from its original site by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission onto the Fort LeBoeuf Chapter Washington Memorial Lot.
The gifts were accepted in the name of the National Society and then turned over in trust with the site itself to the perpetual care of the Fort Le Boeuf Chapter.