April 28, 2016 - No Comments
by Jim Barnes
Prickett’s Fort, near Fairmont, WV, held its annual School of the Longhunter once again this year and as usual, it was an excellent event. According to the official website, “Pricketts Fort, constructed in 1774, provided a place of refuge from American Indian attack for early settlers. It was built at the confluence of Pricketts Creek and the Monongahela River within 10 miles of three major American Indian trails. The Fort, which covers a 110 by 110 foot square, was built by the community militia and is named after Captain Jacob Prickett.” (http://www.prickettsfort.org/history.htm#fort
The School of the Longhunter can best be described as a combination encampment on the grounds and a symposium held in the Visitor’s Center. The subjects covered by speakers included “Period Fishing,” “Frontier Economy,” noted frontiersman “James Smith,” “Indian Spies,” “Bound Servants,” and “Period Trapping.” There was a trade and barter session inside the fort itself as well as an excellent workshop demonstrating the use of natural dyes. The Visitor’s Center also featured an excellent traveling exhibit of unique Pennsylvania/Kentucky rifles. There were after hours activities and entertainment, but my wife, Linda and I live nearby and chose to pass these up.
The School opened with camp setup on Thursday March 31, and classes covered both Friday and Sunday, April 1-2. For those doing primitive camping around the fort, there was a good deal of rain on Thursday night. but the rest of the weekend was partly cloudy and cool. Pretty much what you would expect for this time of year. This event is a great learning experience in a very attractive setting. I am already looking forward to next year.