Fort Roberdeau, the “Lead Mine Fort,” as it was called in the 18th century, was built during the spring and summer of 1778 to protect lead mining operations in Sinking Valley.
Unlike many frontier forts built of logs placed vertically, this one has the unique construction of horizontal logs. The limestone of the valley prevented the normal procedure of digging a trench, standing the logs in it, and then filling it in. The fort was never attacked, but served as a safe refuge for soldiers, lead miners and local settlers. Lead produced here was most likely taken to Water Street landing and sent by the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers to soldiers in the East.
Among the many inhabitants over the course of the forts lifetime were American Indians who came periodically as hunters and gatherers and the Penn family.
During your visit you may see how lead balls are made and see how muskets are fired. If you really want the experience, you can make reservations for their annual 18th Century Dinner.
Check out their website too and read the letters to Washington and Owings. Whether you’re on their site or on their grounds, Fort Roberdeau offers something different than other historical sites.