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Young Patriots program among events coming up at Fort Roberdeau

The Young Patriots program is scheduled for Fort Roberdeau on July 26.
Kids, ages 8-11 will spend a 1778-style day in costume as a colonial child, guarding the fort, playing 18th century games, going on a spying expedition, and making a craft. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Preregistration is required. The cost is $20 per child. This program is available on other dates for youth groups.
Other upcoming events at the Fort include on Fort Roberdeau Association\’s Picnic on Aug. 16. The event features a delicious picnic supper and entertainment for $12 a person. A patriotic band concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. featuring the Hollidaysburg Alumni Community Band.
September and October will feature A Bridge to the Past programs and Hands on the Past programs for students. The Penn State Altoona\’s Invitational Cross Country Track Meet will be held on September 23.
According to information on its web site (www.fortroberdeau.org), the Fort Roberdeau Historic Site and Natural Area is owned by Blair County and managed by the Fort Roberdeau Association, a non-profit educational organization.
The web site noted the stockade and cabins were reconstructed in 1976 as a Blair County Bicentennial Project. The site includes acres of fields and forest, with nature trails and picnic facilities.
According to the Fort’s web information, the lower level of the 1858 barn contains the Visitor Center and the Acorn Shop. The upper level is the site of summer theater presentations and concerts.
Other structures within the park include a 19th century farmhouse where special programs are held, and White Oak Hall, a multi-purpose facility for conferences and educational programs.
According to information in a June 2005 Daily Herald article, the original fort was constructed under the direction of General Daniel Roberdeau, the first general elected by the Associators of Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776. In 1778, he became a Pennsylvania delegate to the Second Continental Congress. A prosperous Philadelphia merchant, Roberdeau was an important member of the Pennsylvania government for many years prior to the Revolution, and a founding member of the first hospital in the nation, the Philadelphia Hospital.
The 2005 Daily Herald article said the original fort was a refuge for settlers whose farms were being destroyed by raiding parties of British Rangers and their Iroquois, Delaware, Wyandot and Shawnee allies. It was the depot for ordnance and ammunition for the large frontier Bedford County. The fort helped to prevent the evacuation of settlers on the western frontier, keeping the “back door” guarded from incursions launched from Fort Niagara and Fort Detroit.
Fort Roberdeau also protected a lead mining and smelting operation which provided critically needed lead for ammunition to the Continental Army.
The site is also listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
The Fort’s web information noted White Oak Hall is also available for meetings and social functions for a reasonable fee. Trails and outdoor areas may be used year-round from 8 a.m. to sunset. The Fort and Visitor Center are open from May through October. Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from 1 to 5 p.m.
Fort Roberdeau is located in RR 3, Altoona, in Sinking Valley, 8.5 miles northeast of Altoona. The phone number is 946-0048.