Fort Pitt Block House marks 250th anniversary

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The Fort Pitt Museum will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the nearby Fort Pitt Block House by firing muskets and a cannon today and holding blacksmithing demonstrations through Sunday.

A uniformed cannon crew will fire a locally made replica of a British 6-pounder at noon today, weather permitting, and uniformed re-enactors will fire muskets several times. Blacksmith Jymm Hoffman will demonstrate 18th-century blacksmithing techniques both days, and at 5:30 p.m. today, Holly Mayer, associate professor of history at Duquesne University, will speak on “Camp Followers and Community During the American Revolution,” focusing on relationships among soldiers, civilians and settlers after the Revolutionary War.

Several years ago, Mr. Hoffman created the replica cannon’s bronze barrel and other hardware, and the Mooney family of Butler County built the wooden carriage, said Alan Gutchess, director of the Fort Pitt Museum. They also built the cannons for Fort Ligonier, he said.

In its collection, the museum has two 18th-century cannons made by the French. Their nicknames, “The Trumpet” and “The Ambusher,” are engraved in French on the barrels.

Museum admission will be $2.50 per person this weekend. It’s normally $6 for adults, $3 for children and free for members of the Heinz History Center. The Fort Pitt Block House, which will also have programs this weekend, doesn’t charge admission. The museum and the block house are in Point State Park.

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