Pricketts Fort State Park
Pricketts Fort State Park

An exit leads to adventure

I had a fascinating experience on a road trip that took me through West Virginia. I saw a sign for Pricketts Fort State Park and I decided I had a bit of time to spare. An impromptu decision was made to exit the interstate and visit the park.
It was early morning and the park was sparsely populated. Nothing like the crowds one usually finds in Southern California parks. I parked my car and strolled along the river before approaching the fort that rose from the mist of the river. There was a ranger nearby who informed me the fort is closed during the off-season. He then told me that a historian would be touring the fort shortly to survey the property. The ranger informed me I could join them if I wished. I jumped at the chance. I love historical sites and Pricketts Fort was originally built in 1774 on the western frontier of Colonial Virginia. The fort standing today is a re-creation of the original fort.

The Prickett House

Just south of the fort stands the Job Prickett House, built in 1859 by the great grandson of Capt. Jacob Prickett, for whom the fort was named. The difference between the 18th century historical reconstruction and the original 19th century house illustrates the development of an increasingly civilized lifestyle and the availability of mass-produced furnishings through an 85 year span of time. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains antiques originally used by the Prickett family.

Job Prickett House
Job Prickett House

The only person in the fort

The ranger gave me a brief tour showing me tools settlers used to create items used in their daily lives. Tools used by blacksmiths, spinners, weavers and other traditional artisans, and a gun shop which, when open, features the only public demonstrations of 18th century firearm manufacturing in the state. He then left me to explore the fort while he and the historian conversed. They walked outside the fort and I was the only person inside. The interiors of the fort cabins were decorated as they would have been hundreds of years ago. I felt like I had stepped back in time with no tourists around to spoil the illusion of this historic site. I strolled through each cabin and tower until I had satisfied my appetite for this slice of history. It was a strangely relaxing experience. I thanked the ranger and made my way back to the main road. Make that impromptu exit off the interstate. You never know what might happen. #prickettsfort #dwightturner #westvirginia #interstate79 #statepark #roadtrip #vacation

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