Shawnee Fort HistoryThe original fortification built by the inhabitants of Plymouth was a block-house, which was erected in October or November, 1772, in compliance with directions voted at different general town-meetings.* In 1776 additions, to a considerable extent, were made to this blockhouse, a stockade was erected, and the structure became known as "Shawnee Fort." The place where it stood was called "Garrison Hill," the location of which is described on pages 180 and 181, Vol. I. Colonel Wright states in his "Historical Sketches of Plymouth" that the first log used in the construction of "Shawnee Fort" was hauled by Capt. Samuel Ransom, and that Benjamin Harvey, Sr., "planted the first flag upon the turret."
*Wright, H. B. "Historical Sketches of Plymouth, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania." Volume I. 1873.
The text that immediately follows was originally written by a correspondent for, and printed in, the "Bucks County Intelligence." It was reprinted in the "Wilkes-Barre Advocate," September 17, 1845.
"Entering a gate at the lower end of the village [of Plymouth], we struck upon the head of the celebrated flats. Passing the pound gate two or three hundred yards, on a bank descending to the first platform of land on the river, we came to 'Garrison Hill.' This was the stronghold of the Shawaneset settlement, both before the Revolution and during its continuance. The garrison was constructed by building about twenty log houses, half of them on each side of the street, facing inwards. At each end of the avenue was a picket of logs, fifteen feet high, furnished with a strong gate. Through these pickets, and through the logs in the rear of each house, were holes made to fire from. In this manner it became a fortress of much strength, and a small party, thus shielded from the assailants' fire, could oppose with success an attacking force of six times their own number. In times of peril, into this enclosure was driven the live stock of the settlers and was brought the most valuable of their portable effects. A solitary cellar, daily filling up, is now the only memento left of this stronghold of a race of hardy, brave and adventurous pioneers."
At that period, the majority of Plymouth inhabitants lived in the lower part of what is now the borough of Plymouth, near the "flats," where they worked on their farms. Shawnee Fort was intended for the protection of those people. Farther up the river, Joseph and Aaron Gaylord and their families lived in a blockhouse which they had erected in 1773 (near the intersection of the present Main Street and Gaylord Avenue in the borough of Plymouth). This blockhouse was stockaded in 1776, and became known as Gaylord's Stockade.
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