GRAND REOPENING: Ashby's Fort Museum plans busy summer

From News Reports
Volunteers Roy Brown and Brent Chippendale examine an artifact found at a previous dig at Ashby’s Fort.

FORT ASHBY - Ashby’s Fort Museum is preparing for a grand re-opening in May following a year of being closed because of COVID restrictions.

Behind the scenes, the Friends of Ashby’s Fort have been active, preparing exciting new exhibits that will tell the story of the fort’s involvement in the regional history that lead the American Revolution and the formation of the United States.

The museum’s re-opening season includes an archaeological dig from May 7-21, Monday through Friday, searching for evidence of the 1755 fort’s northwest defensive bastion. The three other corner bastions have been discovered 18” below the ground surface

If anybody wants to get down and dirty, they may volunteer to be a part of the dig; learning the basics of archaeological exploration.

If you are interested, contact Roy Brown of the Archeological Society of Maryland at 301-724-7769.

Dr. Stephen McBride works on a previous dig at Ashby’s Fort. He will be present at the fort May 23 to give a lecture on the process and discoveries that have been made at the fort.

On Sunday, May 23, archaeologist Dr. Stephen McBride will give a public lecture that will describe the process and discoveries of the dig, “Searching for the Final Bastion of Ashby’s Fort.” The evening begins at 6 p.m. at the Old Fort Museum, across the road from Fort Ashby Primary School on Dan’s Run Road.

Following Dr. McBride, Dr. Kristen de Graauw will give a presentation, “If These Walls Could Talk,” on tree-ring dating of historic buildings.

Dr. de Gaauw did a dendroarchaeological (tree-ring dating) examination of the “Old Fort” that has locally been understood to be part of the 1755 fort ordered built by George Washington, and found it wasn’t. Dr. De Graauw’s examination of 16 of the original timbers in the log structure revealed facts about the building that had been lost to memory over the past two centuries.

Dr. De Graauw drills into a log at Ashby’s Fort to obtain a core sample to help date the wood.

The fascinating and educational evening will be the public’s first opportunity to catch a glimpse of the new exhibits that have been developed over the past year.

Further information can be found at www.fortashby.org. The archaeological work performed by Drs. McBride and de Graauw has been made possible by the generous support of the West Virginia Humanities Council.