1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Baughman's Fort
John McCurdy '08

        The location of the pre-revolutionary Baughman’s Fort has been an intriguing mystery to everyone and I include myself in that group.  Since one thing that the settlers had in common when searching for a site was a spot somewhat higher than the surrounding area for maximum visibility and defense that gives us a clue! Another prerequisite was a reliable source of water within the perimeter of the outer stockade.

       During the 28 years I worked at the prison in Alderson, it was likely, I, at one time or another, was on every foot of the grounds! I was always trying to see some indication of some structure that was unexplained!

       One of the first places I thought might be the site of the fort was the "Rose House" the handsome brownstone house that pre-dated the building of the prison and was just inside the fence at the front entry to the prison. The "Rose House" was torn down in the 60's when the present visiting room and front entrance was built.  The dirt that was excavated when the basement was dug was used to fill-in a small hollow just to the east of the building, covering a very pretty little Greek Temple spring-house. That area has seen so much excavation and other changes that if it were the site of the fort I don't think any evidence could be found. A contraindication of that being the site of the fort would be the hill just a few hundred yards to the South that would pose a real threat to the fort.

            Another place I have often thought could possibly the long-lost site was the bench on Wolf Creek Mountain just above the Wolf Creek Station and the site of Nash's old camp. When light snowfall is on the ground one can see what appears to be a square of some 50 yard to a side, there is adequate water from a spring very close if not in the square! 

            The other spot that seems to me to have a lot of possibility is the hill with the large barn on it, just to the left after the intersection of the Creamery/Wolf Creek Station road and Route 3 to Sinks Grove and Union. There is a spring also there.        

            The bottom line is, I obviously don't know where the site of the fort was, I hope some reader has additional information. 

         However, with all my traipsing around over the prison grounds George Herman Foster gave me some information that was news too me. According to "Suicide" a large deposit of pure Kaolin, (a fine grade of clay used in fine pottery and in paper-making) is located on the prison grounds).

This article was written in reference to the one in the Journal of the Greenbrier Historical Society found on this site.