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Fort Loudoun organizers hope for better turnout next weekend

June 19, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

FORT LOUDON, Pa. - Nathan Peters, 9, of McConnellsburg, Pa., was nearly drafted into the Continental Army on Sunday as he learned to march to the beat of a re-enactor's drum at the celebration commemorating the 250th anniversary of Fort Loudoun.

The first beat of Stacy Roth's drum signaled Peters what he should do, and the second beat, called a flam, gave him the go-ahead to follow the command.

The drum "was used for signals, so if you were in the army and heard certain things on the drum, you'd know what to do," Roth told Nathan and his 5-year-old brother, Seth.

Event organizers were disappointed by the turnout for the first weekend of the celebration; they are hoping for better crowds next weekend when the fort again opens for tours, children's activities, wagon rides, guest speakers and community events like musical performances and fireworks.

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"Next week we expect to have 15 to 16 Native American camps set up," said Anna Rotz, president of the Fort Loudoun Historical Society. The site also has a wigwam recently formed by Trinity United Church of Christ of Fort Loudon and the Fort Loudon Ruritan Club, with wood donated by Carl Rosenberry Lumber Co., she said.

Rotz urged the public to visit for the free events promoting "the beauty of the site and how important it is."

Guest speaker Calvin Bricker Jr. on Sunday explained that in the 1750s, American Indian war parties attacked settlers and burned their homes, farms and businesses. Some settlers fled, while others protected themselves with private forts and local militia.

Fort Loudoun, on 207 acres, is one of a chain of forts along the Blue Mountains. The town, Fort Loudon, dropped the second "u" in the spelling and celebrated its bicentennial three years ago, Rotz said.

Lord Loudoun was the commander in chief of the British forces in the United States, she said.




If you go ...



What: 250th anniversary of Fort Loudoun

When: Friday, June 23, through Sunday, June 25

Featuring wagon rides, guest speakers, fort tours, fireworks, gospel music and children's activities. For more information, visit www.fortloudoun-pa.com.

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