After 250 years, Bushy Run Battlefield in Penn Township will once again be the meeting site for British and Native American forces.
This time, however, no blood will be shed. This time representatives of both sides will meet to honor those who fought in the August 1763 battle. The British victory there is recognized as the turning point in Pontiac's War and opened the gateway to western expansion.
It was at Bushy Run where Colonel Henry Bouquet and his regiment comprising several companies of Scottish Highlanders and a company of his Royal Americans was attacked by Native American tribes. Col. Bouquet and his forces were on their way to relieve the besieged Fort Pitt, which had been under attack for months.
The importance of the British victory has always been recognized, but, perhaps, not to the extent of this year's special celebration that runs Aug. 2 through Aug. 4.
In addition to the annual reenactment of the battle, special guests will be on hand, including a direct descendent of Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe who became famous for leading the rebellion against the British; approximately 100 members of the Seneca Nation of Indians whose ancestors fought in the battle; and a direct descendant of pioneer Adam Saam, who fought in the battle.
Stephanie Sanner, battlefield museum facilitator, said the president and board members of the Scottish Military Heritage Society in North America will also attend.
"We are honored to have representatives from all these important groups with us to remember [those] ... in the battle," she said.
Another highlight will be the unveiling of a bronze statue commemorating those who fought. It is the first monument of its kind at the park. Artist Robert Griffing of Gibsonia and sculptor Wayne Hyde of Bedford were commissioned to do the work for this year's anniversary. Mr. Griffing made the models and Mr. Hyde created the sculpture that is 8 1/2 feet long and 9 feet tall. The $220,000 monument is located at the battlefield amphitheater near a brick patio with landscaping. A series of fundraisers paid for the project.
A reenactors' village has also been set up for visitors.
Unlike previous years, there will be no on-site parking. Instead, free shuttles will be provided from the satellite parking areas at Penn-Trafford High School on Route 130, Harrison City; the Living Word Congregational Church on Ridge Road and the Elliott Company's north parking lot on North Fourth Street in Jeannette.
The parking lots will open at 8 a.m. with shuttle service starting at 8:30 a.m. and continuing every 15 minutes throughout the day. A handicapped-accessible shuttle will loop between all sites every hour.
Cost of admission on Aug. 2 is $10 per car. On Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, admission is $5 per person, with children under age 3 admitted free.
The battlefield park and visitors center are located about 25 miles east of Pittsburgh. Details: 724-527-5584 or bushyrunbattlefield.com.
Linda Metz, freelance writer: email@example.com.