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State Historic Preservation Office publishes guide to frontier forts

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has published Frontier Forts in West Virginia: Historical and Archaeological Explorations. The guide explores the history, nature and function of 18th-century forts as a defensive system which helped promote the European westward movement into present West Virginia.

Most of the forts that were located in the area of present West Virginia were built during periods of international conflict and intense boundary disputes that arose during the colonial era, notably three short periods: the early years of the French and Indian War from 1755 to 1756; Lord Dunmore’s War and the early Revolutionary War years of 1774 to 1777; and the expansion years of 1786 to 1791, when the United States was seeking to claim and dominate land north of the Ohio River.

The guide describes various military engagements, explains the frontier defensive system and the role forts played in that system, and summarizes archaeological attempts to rediscover and examine fort locations throughout the state.

The publication already has been distributed to schools, libraries, historical and genealogical societies, and archaeologists. For more information about Frontier Forts in West Virginia: Historical and Archaeological Explorations or to find out how to obtain a copy, contact Lora Lamarre, planning/education coordinator for the SHPO, at (304) 558-0240, ext. 711.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.