The original Fort Randolph was erected in 1776 at the juncture of the Ohio and Great Kanawha Rivers. It was the best known of all the Point Pleasant fortifications; and in an application to the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration for recognition of our area as a Bicentennial community, the proposed construction of a replica of this Fort was placed at the top of the Bicentennial list. That position was deserved, for the project met two of the National Bicentennial themes - Heritage and Horizons - and it led to the realization of the third theme, Festival. Many of the Bicentennial events are taking place in the reconstructed Fort.
Reconstruction of the Fort was approved by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, and this led to the prompt designation of Point Pleasant as a Bicentennial City. Point Pleasant was the earliest West Virginia city to be so designated. The approval carried an $8,000.00 grant, and the State of West Virginia matched this with Bicentennial funds. The West Virginia Legislature and West Virginia Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr. included in their 1974 budget the sum of $34,500.00 earmarked for the project, and funding came from the Mason County Court in the amount of $20,000.00. The final $34,500.00 was allocated by Governor Moore and the State's Bicentennial Commission from their 1975 budget.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on October 13, 1973, and wielding the shovels were members of the Lewis Family, direct descendants of Colonel Charles C. Lewis, mortally wounded at the Battle of Point Pleasant. Also included were County and City officials and members of the local Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revol[u]tion. Following this, immediate investigations were begun to locate necessary materials, prepared to withstand the assaults of time and weather. Logs for the palisade, treated for ninety days under high preservative gas pressure, were obtained from the Alabama plant of the Koppers Company; two cabins were purchased from Carolina Log Buildings, Inc. of Fletcher, North Carolina; the cabins' Red Cedar shakes came from the Orrville, Ohio, Koppers Plant; cabin trusses were shipped from Escanaba, Michigan; the stone veneer came from Indiana; and all other materials came from local sources.
Construction began in May, 1974 with a scheduled completion date of September 15, 1974.
The result: Fort Randolph, dedicated by Governor Moore on October 10, 1974, the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Point Pleasant, and may it stand for another 200 years!
Exploration, Settlement and Conflict (1600-1799)