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NPS Announces Summer Programs at Fort Necessity

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

National Park News

FARMINGTON, Pa., - This is the first summer season for the new Fort Necessity/National Road Education and Interpretive Center. Opened in October of 2005, the Center’s new interactive exhibits offer an exciting change for visitors, even those who have visited the park many times. The twenty minute park orientation program “Road of Necessity” premiered in June. This live action movie, filmed in high definition digital video replaces a slide program that has been shown at the park since the 1960’s. The intriguing plot twists in this 20 minute film leave visitors wanting to investigate further.

The National Park Service offers Ranger programs during the summer to help visitors and area residents understand the times and events. “The new Center is a great addition to the park, but personal interpretation of history has been the backbone of our program at Fort Necessity” says MaryEllen Snyder, Chief of Visitor Services at the park. “Visitors get a better grasp of the history when they attend programs by our rangers and volunteers and can ask questions.”

Soldiers’ Life programs will be offered each afternoon Monday through Saturday. A park ranger dressed as a soldier from the French and Indian War reveals aspects of the 18th century soldier’s life. When weather permits, a musket firing demonstration at the fort follows each program. The Artillery program is exciting part the summer offerings. Rangers tell why Washington’s artillery was not effective in 1754 and how Braddock planned to use artillery to capture Fort Duquesne in 1755. The program ends with at bang as they demonstrate the firing of a small cannon, similar to the swivel guns brought by Washington and Braddock in 1754 and 1755. The program will be offered on Sunday afternoons.

Topical Rangers talks begin at the Fort Necessity visitor center at 1:00 p.m. daily. These half hour talks offer in depth exploration of subjects related to the Fort Necessity story. Among these programs, “Washington’s Charmed Life” discusses how Washington narrowly avoided death in his first four trips to the upper Ohio valley. In the Fort Necessity Archeology Program, participants discover the fascinating story of how the archeology at Fort Necessity helped historians understand the battle. Other programs discuss the Braddock Campaign, Queen Alliquippa, and the role of camp followers in 18th century military campaign. These programs are a great way for residents and visitors to learn about the French and Indian War and how it has affected our nation’s development.

Park volunteers and staff will be re-constructing the fort's storehouse and gate throughout the summer season. Visitors are welcome to observe this project and ask questions while the work is in progress.

Renovation work at the Mount Washington Tavern, including plaster repair, wallpaper and paint analysis, and refinishing floors is also be in progress. Tours of the Mount Washington Tavern will be offered as work schedules permit. Furnishing and artifacts have been removed from the tavern while the work is in progress.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield is located 11 miles east of Uniontown, Pennsylvania on US 40 – The Historic National Road. For more information on park program, call 724-329-5512 or visit the park web site at


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