Marker Text: Here in May 1756, overlooking the frontier town of Winchester, construction began on Fort Loudoun during the period of the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War in Europe). The fort, named for John Campbell, earl of Loudoun, was a square fortification with four bastions constructed of earth, wood, and stone. Col. George Washington, commander of the Virginia Regiment, designed the fort and supervised its construction until 1758. It served as Washington's command center for a series of forts authorized by the Virginia House of Burgesses and built on the frontier that extended from the Potomac River to North Carolina. A well, dug through limestone bedrock, survives.
Location: At the intersection of Loudoun Street and Peyton Street, about 200 feet north of the intersection, near 419 Loudoun Street, Winchester. Erected by the Department of Historic Resources in 2006.
Photo taken looking toward downtown Winchester. The fort sat on this hill overlooking the small frontier town. (Click any photo to enlarge)
Today, it is difficult for the traveller to imagine that this location in Winchester, VA was once at the crossroads of the western U.S. Today, we clearly view Winchester in the eastern U.S., but it one time it was on the frontier of the west. At the time Winchester, founded in 1752, was the first and only English-speaking settlement west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and nothing more than a frontier town with four cross streets during fort’s construction.
This state historical marker at 419 N. Loudoun Street marks the spot where ground was broken for the fort’s construction on May 18, 1756. There is also a brass marker pictured below placed by The French and Indian War Foundation in 2006.