Friday, February 18, 2011

French & Indian War - Tennessee

This photo is of the interior of Fort Loudoun, a reconstructed fort that was originally built in 1756 on the bank of the Little Tennessee River. The fort was built by the British Colony of South Carolina in order to protect their western flanks and so they could ally themselves with the Overhill Cherokee Nation in their fight against the French. However, by 1760, the Cherokee turned against the British and, after an attack by the Indians, the British surrendered. This was the first time that a military unit and fort had surrendered to Native Americans. The Cherokee destroyed the original fort shortly after the British had surrendered and marched off to the east.

In 1917, the Colonial Dames of America placed a plaque at the site in the hope that the site could be preserved. In 1933, The Tennessee General Assembly purchased the land. Subsequently, based on old records and maps, the fort was rebuilt. Because of the damming of the Little Tennessee, part of the site had to be built up in order to raise it above the 'high pool' level of Tellico Lake. The current Fort Loudoun State Historic Area is operated as a unit of the Tennessee State Park System.

Eight times each year, (March, April, May, August, September, October, November and December), on Garrison weekends, volunteer re-enactors populate the Fort. During the first weekend in March, (the 5th & 6th), the re-enactors will kick off the new season. They do an excellent job of portraying and educating visitors as to what it was like to live at the Fort back in the mid-1700's. They actually stay overnight, cooking and sleeping as would have the original occupants of the Fort... We really enjoyed our first visit, as shown here, from March of 2010.

In September, the re-enactors go all out with their annual 18th century 'Trade Faire". There is a small admission charge for the "Faire", but during the rest of the year, admission to the park and the Fort is free. This 1,200 acre park on the shores of Tellico Lake has a free lecture series in the winter and, in season, there is a fishing pier, boat dock and picnic area. Of course, the Fort Loudoun Visitor Center and gift shop is open year around. This historic reconstruction is located just off of US Highway 411 in Vonore, Tennessee. For more information, go to

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