Historical Markers
Fort Shirley Historical Marker
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Fort Shirley

Laurel Highlands/Southern Alleghenies


Marker Location:
US 522 (West side) near Aughwick Creek, Shirleysburg

Dedication Date:
May 29, 1926

Behind the Marker

Because of the colony's Quaker heritage, Pennsylvania had never established a militia nor appropriated money for fortifications. Prior to 1754, it did not need to, for the colony enjoyed the most peaceful Indian relations in British North America.

All that changed after markerBraddock's Defeat and markerColonel Dunbar's abandonment of the Ohio Country. The colony desperately needed to protect its frontier from French and Indian attacks, so in 1755-56, it established four posts in Cumberland County.

This 1896 map shows the location of Fort Shirley, one of a chain of frontier defenses during the French and Indian War.
This 1896 map shows the location of Fort Shirley, one of a
Fort Shirley was the westernmost of these, built on the site of fur trader George Croghan's home and storehouse, near the Indian village of Aughwick (modern Shirleysburg). The few pro-British Ohio Indians that remained after the fall of markerFort Necessity sought refuge there, and Croghan received a captain's commission in Pennsylvania's newly established militia. The post was named after Massachusetts's governor William Shirley, who briefly served as commander-in-chief of the British army in North America after Braddock's death.

The fall of another Pennsylvania post, Fort Granville, in July 1756 left Croghan's small garrison exposed, so the militia abandoned Fort Shirley and the colony concentrated its defenses in Carlisle. markerJohn Armstrong used Fort Shirley as an advance post for his raid on markerKittanning in August 1756, a retaliatory strike against the Delawares who had taken Fort Granville.

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