Historical Markers
Fort Ligonier Historical Marker
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Fort Ligonier

Pittsburgh Region


Marker Location:
Main and Market Streets, Ligonier

Dedication Date:
December 10, 1946

Behind the Marker

Located about fifty miles east of markerFort Duquesne,Fort Ligonier was the last fort built on the markerForbes Road. Its construction was supervised by military engineers markerColonel James Burd and Captain Harry Gordon, and it was named for Sir John Ligonier, an advisor to British Prime Minister William Pitt.
Watercolor of the fort in June of 1762.
Fort Ligonier as it looked in 1762, by Ward Hunter.

Fort Ligonier was located on Loyalhanna Creek, between two of the most daunting elevations on the Forbes Road, Laurel Hill and Chestnut Ridge. Forbes wavered between building his last fort here or at Ninemile Run, a site closer to Fort Duquesne. He wanted the post to serve as a retreat for his troops should they face strong French and Indian resistance at Fort Duquesne and also as a winter garrison if necessary.
The reconstructed breastworks of Fort Ligonier, Ligonier, PA, 2007.

A botched mission by Major James Grant on September 14 convinced Forbes to stay put at Loyalhanna. In a raid on Fort Duquesne, about a third of Grant's force was lost, and Grant himself was taken prisoner. This embarrassing rout raised the specter of markerBraddock's Defeat, and Forbes, who had not authorized the mission, was livid that his subordinate officers had jeopardized his well-planned advance with such a rash venture. On October 12, the French and Indians returned the favor by raiding Fort Ligonier, but by then the post's fortifications were strong enough to repulse the attack.

During Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763, Fort Ligonier withstood another Indian assault and served as a base for Colonel Henry Bouquet's successful expedition to relieve markerFort Pitt. After it was decommissioned by the British army in 1766, Fort Ligonier was abandoned. In the century and a half that followed all physical vestiages of the fort dissappeared. Interest in its history revived in the 1940s, and with funding from the Mellon family the fort was reconstructed and opened to the public in 1953.  Today, Fort Ligonier and its museum are open to the public from May through October.
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