Historical Markers
Forbes Road (Raystown Path) #3 Historical Marker
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Forbes Road (Raystown Path) #3

Laurel Highlands/Southern Alleghenies


Marker Location:
US 522, .2 mile Southwest of Burnt Cabins

Dedication Date:
May 21, 1952

Behind the Marker

The Raystown Path was blazed by Delaware and Shawnee Indians moving between the Forks of the Ohio (modern Pittsburgh) and the lower Susquehanna Valley (modern Harrisburg). Prior to the Seven Years' War, it was the primary route for Pennsylvania fur traders and their packhorses moving in and out of the Ohio Country. The name of the route is derived from John Ray (also spelled as Rae or Wray), one of the early fur traders in this region.

During the 1758 campaign, General John Forbes faced two choices for moving his army to markerFort Duquesne. He could cut south from Raystown (modern Bedford, Pennsylvania) to Fort Cumberland in Maryland, and continue west from there along Braddock's Road, or he could follow the Raystown Path to the Ohio Country. Forbes opted for the Raystown Path, which was closer to the Forks, but would require marker considerable effort to render it passable for an army of 6,000 men, artillery, and supplies.

Forbes and his second-in-command, Colonel Henry Bouquet, took six months to complete the task, relying on the labor of their troops and workers recruited from the Pennsylvania population. The slowness of their progress was attributable to the difficulty of the terrain, which included surmounting the Allegheny Mountains and Laurel Ridge, as well as to the time and resources they spent constructing fortifications along the way, including markerFort Bedford and markerFort Ligonier.

There are two similar Forbes Road (Raystown Path) markers in Cumberland County. They are markerForbes Road (Raystown Path) #1 in at US 11 just Southwest of Carlisle and markerForbes Road (Raystown Path) #2 at US 11, 1 mile Northeast of Shippensburg.

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