Located in West Virginia and set along the Monongahela River, the town of Fairmont is a delightful place to visit. The historic area boasts several claims to fame – for example, it’s the home of the first Pepperoni Roll, as well as the site of the first Father’s Day. It’s also a fantastic place to visit for nature and outdoor activity lovers. But it’s the history of the surrounding area that really makes it a must-see spot. And history lovers will definitely want to visit Fairmont’s museums, as well as Pricketts Fort State Park – and, within it, Pricketts Fort.
About The Site
Prickett’s Fort State Park, located five miles north of Fairmont in Marion County, features a reconstruction of Prickett’s Fort – a structure built in the 1700s that served as a place of refuge during colonial times. Spread over 188-acres, the original Prickett’s Fort was never actually attacked. However, it provided shelter to as many as eighty families during times of crisis. At the time, as settlers and Native Americans tried to navigate the land and relationships of the American Revolution, families living off the land could potentially end up in the crossfire – but could flee to places such as Prickett’s Fort for safety.
Unfortunately, it’s believed that the original fort was destroyed by railroad construction in the early 1900s. However, the importance of the fort eventually led to a historical reconstruction. Now, according to their website, “Prickett’s Fort State Park is popular with history and nature lovers, alike. The park offers guided tours, specialized talks, gallery exhibits and craft demonstrations. Interpreters in period-accurate costumes recreate late 18th century life with demonstrations of colonial crafts such as basketry, blacksmithing, and pottery.”
If you’re hungry for more information after your visit, you can even drive to the Job Prickett House, built in 1859 by a great-grandson of Jacob Prickett. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains antiques originally used by the Prickett family, helping to further tell the story of the people who once relied on the fort and surrounding land to survive.
More Than A Historic Area
As hinted by the website quote earlier, Prickett’s Fort State Park is home to more than a fort. In fact, most of the park is free to charge to see and explore – the fort is one of the few exceptions. And weather and hours permitting, visitors can enjoy biking, boating, fishing, and hiking. An outdoor amphitheater and picnic areas can also be found in the park. By the way, don’t worry about bringing a bike with you if it would be too much work. You can rent them from the visitor center when you arrive!
With these activities on top of its historic sites and local businesses, beautiful Prickett’s Fort State Park and the town of Fairmont are both well worth visiting and supporting.