Historical Forts in Pennsylvania

The map below shows the locations of colonial-era forts throughout Pennsylvania, shown with . Clicking on one of those icons will display additional information about that fort. A few areas have forts in nearly identical locations (denoted by "1 of 2" in the popup window); zoom in to see all of those present in an area. Use the button to return to the original view.


Pennsylvania is home to a significant number of colonial-era forts due to its heavy involvement in several historical events. The colonial era is the time period between 1492 and 1783. Fortification was a major part of Pennsylvania's military history with most forts being built for defense, shelter, or as temporary supply posts. In the modern day, these forts provide unique historical context about the types of wars fought and how defenses were developed. Additionally, many colonial-era forts now operate as historical sites and can provide programs about Pennsylvania history.

The French and Indian War was a nine-year-long battle (1754 - 1763) between the British with their American colonists against the French allied with Native Americans that was largely fought throughout the state; the greatest number of Pennsylvania forts were involved in this war. However, Pennsylvania's use of forts extends beyond that one war. Here are several key examples:

Together Forts Duquesne and Pitt now make up Point State Park in Pittsburgh, a historical and recreational landmark for the city.


The table below classifies the historical events in which Pennsylvania colonial forts were most involved.

Military Context Number of Forts
French and Indian War (1754 - 1763) 24
American Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783) 14
Forbes Expedition (1758) 4
Dunmore's War (1773 - 1774) 4
Pontiac's War (1763 - 1766) 3
Other 2

The events on the above list that were not previously described include:


Fort locations: Wikipedia articles on each fort.
Descriptive information about the forts and events:
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County boundaries: PASDA.
Map and website created by: Amanda Peters and Ben Lacher, Spring 2021.
Modifications by: Dr. Geiger, 2021.