Several sources indicate that the ruins of an old breastworks fort were located near the White Oak Churches in Larimer Township, Somerset County, PA. Originally, this web page was created to collect information on the fort from readers. Now, this web page has been revised to briefly present the following hypothesis.
James Burd was ordered to cut roads to the Yough and to the camp at Wills Creek (Fort Cumberland) in support of Braddock’s campaign against Fort Duquesne. The orders for the road to Wills Creek were cancelled, and the road to the Yough was abandoned when Burd’s forces heard of Braddock’s defeat. A 1755 map shows Burd’s incomplete road to the Yough with good accuracy. Instead of showing this road as stopping at the point of abandonment, the 1755 map shows it turning south-southeast in the vicinity of Berlin, on a course leading to the camp at Wills Creek. This 1755 road would have passed through Larimer Township. This suggests that Burd completed the road to the camp at Wills Creek before the cancellation order was received. A deed for property on Laurel Creek, not far from the White Oak Churches, mentions that the property is located on Burd’s old road. An old path that crossed this property also ran past the location of the White Oak Churches, as proven by the oldest surveys in the area. From these facts, I have formed the hypotheses that the fort near the White Oak Churches may have been a redoubt constructed by Burd’s forces in 1755.
For detailed information supporting this hypothesis, see chapter 37 of my 2014 book “In Search of the Turkey Foot Road”, fourth edition. For another summary of the hypotheses, see the article "Evaluating Indian and Packer's Path Traditions about the Turkey Foot Road" in the ”Journal of the Alleghenies”, Volume LI, 2015.
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