Prickett’s Fort State Park is a historical and recreational park located near Fairmont, West Virginia. Prickett's Fort State Park is a living history exhibition dedicated to preserving, documenting and exhibiting the past. The state park features an 18th century recreation of the original Prickett’s Fort, which provided a place of refuge for frontier settlers from possible Native American attacks.
The original Prickett’s Fort was built in 1774 by Captain
Jacob Prickett. It was not a military fort, but rather a place for civilian
refuge to shelter local settlers from possible attacks from surround Native
Americans. When the threat of a Native
American attack would occur, families in the surrounding homes in the area would
all gather at the fort for protection. They would stay at the fort for as long
as the threat existed, which could be as short as a few days or as long as
weeks. Referred to as “forting up,” life in the fort during threats of attack
was cramped and primitive. The Prickett family continued to live on the
original Prickett homestead from the 1770s until the 1960s.
1n 1974, a replica fort was built as close as to the
original Prickett’s Fort as possible. The reconstructed fort open to the public
today represents the original fort as it would have been found during a period
of quiet on the frontier. Therefore, little militia activity is represented at
Prickett’s Fort State Park unless visitors come during special events. The
Prickett’s Fort Memorial Foundation, under contract with the State of West
Virginia, runs the visitor center, the historical interpretation program, and
special events on site.
Located near the fort is the Job Prickett House, a
19th-century brick residence, along with the Prickett family cemetery. The
historic cemetery is the final resting place of fort builder Jacob Prickett and
of Colonel Zackquill Morgan, the founder of Morgantown. The Job Prickett House
has on display many of the Prickett family's original furnishings, tools and
handmade objects which have been carefully preserved.
The fort site and the Job Prickett house is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places. The Prickett’s Fort State Park operates
today as a living history experience that will take modern visitors back in
time and show them what it was like to live on the western Virginia frontier.
The fort is open to public tours from mid-April through October.