Historical Markers
Fort Machault Historical Marker
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Fort Machault

Lake Erie Region


Marker Location:
8th and Elk Streets (on US 322), Franklin

Dedication Date:
April 8, 1969

Behind the Marker

One of four forts built by the French to control the markerVenango Path between Lake Erie and the Ohio River, Fort Machault was located in modern Franklin, Pennsylvania, at the confluence of French Creek and the Allegheny River. It was named for Jean-Baptiste Machault d'Arnouville, the French Minister of the Marine at the time of its construction. It was also known as "Venango," the name of the nearby Delaware Indian village. Prior to the arrival of the French in 1753, Pennsylvania blacksmith and Indian trader John Fraser had set up shop on this site, supplying Indians in the region with trade goods and repairing their guns and other metal wares. His business was an example of the western expansion of Pennsylvania's fur trade that prompted the French to fortify the Ohio Country, for fear of losing trade and influence among the Indians there.
An artist's rendition of the French Fort Machault and the barracks erected nearby.
An artist's rendition of the French Fort Machault and the barracks erected nearby.

Fort Machault was the last stop on the supply route from Canada to markerFort Duquesne. After abandoning Fort Duquesne in November 1758, the French fell back to Fort Machault, and the British expected them to launch a counterattack from there in the following campaign season. The fall of Fort Niagara in summer 1759, however, made the French presence in the Ohio Country untenable. They burned the post and retreated to Canada in anticipation of a British expedition north from the Forks of the Ohio. In 1760, the British built markerFort Venango near this site.

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