In 1976, the
Prickett's Fort Memorial
Foundation built by the living history "new"
fort where interpreters recreate late 18th century
lifestyle through period attire and demonstrations
of a variety of colonial crafts. During your visit,
you will find blacksmiths, spinners, weavers and
other traditional artisans at work, and a gun shop
which features the only public demonstrations of
18th century firearm manufacturing in the state.
The fort covers a 100 by 100 foot
square, with 12-foot-high log walls and blockhouses
at each corner. Lining the weathered stockade walls
are 16 tiny cabins, some with earthen floors. A
meetinghouse and a storehouse fill the common. Back
in the 18th Century, when the threat of
Native American uprisings occurred, up to 80
families from the surrounding countryside would
hurry to the fort. They would stay as long as the
threat existed, from days to weeks.
These early settlers tolerated
"forting up" because life in the cramped
quarters could be unpleasant. Such sacrifices were
necessary for survival on the dangerous frontier of
the late 1700s. Today's fort, just north of
Fairmont, still portrays that life and time.
Scenic, pastoral Prickett's Fort
State Park offers a variety of recreational
opportunities to visitors. Picnic tables are
available and various concerts and performing arts
are presented in a 400-seat amphitheater during the
All can enjoy Prickett's Creek
and Bay and the Monongahela River with boating
facilities including a launch ramp and trailer
parking. Fish are plentiful and bass tournaments are
held in season. For hiking enthusiasts, the
Prickett's Fort Nature Trail has 25 interpretive
stations to help introduce guests to the flora and
fauna of north central West Virginia.
A Guide to the Prickett's Fort Nature Trail, developed by Fairmont
State College, is available to assist interested
hikers. Additional hiking is afforded by the MC
Trail, a converted rails to trails for walkers,
joggers and cyclists, that stretches three miles
from the park to Fairmont.