Monday, April 8, 2013

History of the Forts

Fort Berryhill

Joseph and Hanna Berryhill came to America in 1718 and settled in what would become Linglestown in 1725.

Their son Andrew took out a deed for 201 acres in 1756. He was killed there during an Indian attack that same year, his wife and family escaped through the wilderness to Fort Hunter. His body was buried behind the house.

Alexander, Andrew's son, was a fine penman and first Burgess of Harrisburg.

Fort Berryhill, at the east end of Linglestown, had a secret cellar to hide in during Indian attacks that was later used as an Underground Railroad depot.  
It was also home of the Running Pump Tavern, where men could have a drink while making their plans. 
On this farm was the famous "Linglestown Battalion, Drill Ground of Colonial Days."

Fort Gilchrist

Click map to enlarge

Fort Gilchrist is still in its original location on Linglestown Road.
 It was restored in 1946 and it is said that the interior, as it was, was brought out historically, better than any historical building in the US. 
It has 24 Heavenly Lord Hinges. They believed that the hinges kept the witches out.

Fort Patton

Fort Patton, one and a half miles north of Fort Gilchrist, sat on a sunken military road. In order to protect them from Indian attacks, a woman and child were hidden in a stair closet that was nailed shut while her husband went to the field to work. He was killed. When the fort was torn down around 1902, workers pried open the stair closet and found the skeletons of a woman and child.

Fort Barnett

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Fort Barnett was the home of John Barnett and his family. It was erected in 1730 by the Barnetts and their immediate neighbors for the safety of their wives and children while they cultivated their farms in groups. Several of their number stood on guard as sentinels. It is said to have been the scene of much bloodshed and of events about which many interesting tales are told.
It stood until about 1900. A block used in the early days to close one of the portholes was removed from the Fort and placed in the rooms of the Dauphin County Historical Society by the late Dr. Charles H. Smith of Linglestown.


  1. This is a fantastic blog. Keep up the great posts!

  2. any info or old photos of the old linglestown Road underpass,seems no one remembers it

    1. anyone comes up with anything let me know