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Photos from our private tour of the “Pittsburgh, Virginia” exhibit at the Fort Pitt Museum

Yesterday we drove up to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Fort Pitt Museum. For the past two years they had a wonderful exhibit titled, “Pittsburgh, Virginia,” which focused on the events surrounding Lord Dunmore’s War in 1774, when the colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia both challenged eachother for ownership of Fort Pitt, nearly resulting in Pittsburgh becoming part of Virginia. One of our flintlocks and a document signed by Lord Dunmore were on display there, and so we had to go retrieve them, but also got the awesome opportunity of seeing the exhibit while the museum was closed, and also leaving with two of the items. Thanks to Mike Burke for giving us the grand tour. This is such a fantastic museum, and I can’t wait to see the next exhibit coming out in 2023….

The Pre-Revolutionary North Carolina Rifle

Yes, we know there are those seeking the Holy Grail of the North Carolina rifles styles from before the American Revolution. They can try to point to one gun or another here and there. The facts are there were a great many guns, and they weren’t like what they were or are searching for. So, what is the problem and why the push for a “school” or “schools” of pre-revolutionary rifles?

Revolutionary War Narratives and Byrnside’s Fort

I recently discovered additional Revolutionary War veteran pension applications mentioning Byrnside’s Fort. These first-hand narratives, mostly from the 1830s, are the recollections of the 18th century frontier soldiers of the Greenbrier Valley. They’re the best documentation we have on life and service on the Virginia frontier. They paint a good picture of the importance of Byrnside’s Fort, as well as James Byrnside himself during the Revolutionary War era. There’s strong evidence through these narratives that our fort was in active military use from around 1774 through 1782, which for the most part is the entire timeline of Lord Dunmore’s War and the American Revolution.

Van Schaick 1720 Flintlock Fowler, from the Van Schaick Mansion

This is a Dutch Fowler made by Penterman of Utrecht, Holland, circa 1720, for Anthony Van Schaick, a wealthy merchant, Indian trader and Captain in the New York militia throughout the French and Indian War period. His name is engraved on the barrel. It looks like what is known as a “Hudson Valley Fowler,” however, since it was actually made in Holland, rather than the colony of New York, it isn’t technically a Hudson Valley Fowler. Hudson Valley Fowlers were built in that region, mimicking fowlers from Holland, such as this early example.