Historical Markers
Venango Path (Fort Franklin) Historical Marker
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Venango Path (Fort Franklin)

Lake Erie Region


Marker Location:
Intersection SR 3013 (old PA 8) and SR 3003 just North of Wesley

Dedication Date:
August 23, 1987

Behind the Marker

The Venango Path traversed the country between the Forks of the Ohio and the Delaware Indian village of Venango (modern Franklin, Pennsylvania), where the French Creek meets the Allegheny River. From there, it headed north to Lake Erie. Blazed by western Delawares and Senecas and then followed by French forces during the Seven Years' War, it was the vital artery in the passage between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River, especially at those times of the year when low water or inclement weather rendered French Creek and the Allegheny not navigable. The French built a string of four posts in 1753-1756 to assert their dominion over the route: markerFort Presque Isle, markerFort LeBoeuf, markerFort Machault, and markerFort Duquesne.

George Washington traveled parts of the Venango Path in late 1753, to deliver Virginia governor Robert Dinwiddie's warning that the French were trespassing on British land. marker [Original Document] Washington and his guide markerChristopher Gist almost perished several times along the way. Early snows made the land route treacherous, and Washington at one point almost drowned in an ice-choked river. One of their Indian guides even proved to be a French agent and fired upon them in the woods.

After taking Fort Duquesne in 1758, the British planned to use the Venango Path as a route of invasion into Canada, but this part of the 1759 campaign never materialized. Regardless, the Venango Path remained an important route of European-Indian trade and warfare until the 1790s.

The following marker has a similar story line and therefore has the same behind and beyond the marker text as Venango Path (Fort Franklin). markerVenango Path Marker on Franklin Road at Rt. 228, Cranberry Twp., West of Mars in Butler County.

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