Fort Loudoun a landmark, by George
WINCHESTER — A fort, located in the city and constructed in the 1750s, is the newest addition to the Virginia Landmarks Register.
The Fort Loudoun site, located at 419 N. Loudoun St., is a half-acre portion of the larger site where George Washington designed and constructed a fort as commander of the Virginia Regiment in 1758, according to Randy Jones of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR).
“Fort Loudoun served as a command center and primary supply depot for Washington and the Virginia troops during the French and Indian War,” Jones wrote in a news release Tuesday.
“It was built as the first and most prominent of a string of military forts and outposts erected to protect Virginia’s backcountry settlers from raids made by the French and their Native American allies, beginning as early as 1754. While never directly attacked, troops at Fort Loudoun were garrisoned there at least until the end of open hostilities in 1763. They also joined British forces during military campaigns between 1758 and 1760.”
While residential and road construction has disturbed the original fort over the years, limited and intensive archaeological excavations of the site have revealed well-preserved features related to the fort and the activities of the soldiers there, according to Jones.
“The half-acre portion of the site now listed in the state register and bounded by a private lot in Winchester retains a high level of integrity and contains archaeology revealing a substantial section of one of the fort’s defensive bastions, a well, and a barracks,” the release stated.
Fort Loudoun is the 22nd site in Winchester to be added to the Virginia Landmarks Register.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Jones said Fort Loudoun met three of the four criteria DHR uses to determine if a building will be added to the register.
The fort is associated with a pattern of events, the French and Indian War; it’s associated with an important historical figure, George Washington; and there is archeological significance to the site, Jones said.
The only criteria Fort Loudoun did not meet is being an example of either fine or common architecture from the period.
“It’s clearly significant as an archeological site and the investigations that have been done there archeologically are what made it eligible,” Jones said.
— Contact Matt Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org