[at-l] Franklin and Fort Dietrich Snyder

kinnickinichere at aol.com kinnickinichere at aol.com
Fri Jan 8 15:40:08 CST 2010

And so, Smarty Boots, are you going to share where the water source Is?

And I guess we are going to have to live without your presence at the SO RUCK even though Frosty will be on his way soon?

And I'll bet that you think your winters are worse than ours.  Well, let me tell you . . . .


-----Original Message-----
From: RockDancer <rockdancer97 at comcast.net>
To: at-l at backcountry.net
Sent: Fri, Jan 8, 2010 2:19 pm
Subject: [at-l] Franklin and Fort Dietrich Snyder

Philadelphia. And before the American Revolution, Reading was a fledgling 
illage laid out by the sons of William Penn.
The Blue Mountain ridge at Berks' northern edge provided a natural barrier to 
urther settlement.
his was in yesterdays Reading (PA) Eagle; I have, somewhere, a reference that 
enjamin Franklin went on an extended trip from Philadelphia in order to lay out 
he line of forts for their western defense. When I reached this spot on my thru 
 took special care to find the water source for the fort, still accessible to 
ikers. --RockDancer
Q: Did forts once exist along the Blue Mountain in Berks County?
At one point in history, Berks County was the frontier. Think about it. The 
picenter of early Pennsylvania was Philadelphia. And before the American 
evolution, Reading was a fledgling village laid out by the sons of William 
The Blue Mountain ridge at Berks' northern edge provided a natural barrier to 
urther settlement.
At the time of the French and Indian War in the 1750s, most Pennsylvanians lived 
lose to Philadelphia, and lands beyond the Susquehanna River were under Indian 
ontrol, said Dr. Michael Gabriel, chairman of the Kutztown University history 
"This was still the Wild West," he said.
So, it makes sense that the Blue Mountain ridge, one of the highest points in 
he region, would be home to a series of forts and outposts.
Recognizing the danger that existed from Indian raids from the north, settlers, 
acked by the territorial government, built a string of forts along Blue 
ountain, Gabriel said.
The forts were set in strategic points of the mountain, mostly at natural gaps 
nd Indian trails, to offer early detection for the settlements below.
"The guys that had to live in them had pretty tough lives," Gabriel said.
None of the forts remains today.
But along the Appalachian Trail, which runs along the spine of the Blue 
ountain, a monument stands as a silent reminder to the forts that protected 
arly Berks settlers.
Placed by the Historical Society of Berks County, the monument is about a 
uarter-mile off Route 183 in Upper Tulpehocken Township. It marks the site of 
he former Fort Dietrich Snyder.
Stephen Wakefield, a Shillington native now living in Washington, D.C., recently 
rote to the Reading Eagle to learn more about Berks County's role in the French 
nd Indian War.
Wakefield is an avid hiker who has traveled on the Appalachian Trail in Berks 
ounty and remembered coming upon the monument.
Scott Birchman, who patrols the Berks County section of the trail for the Blue 
ountain Eagle Climbing Club, said the fort was close to a mountain spring, 
hich made it an ideal location.
When he walks by, Birchman sometimes tries to picture the fort and how it looked 
hen the area was teeming with activity.
Much of the terrain is now state game lands, and even though it's near the 
ighway, the site still consists mainly of unbroken wilderness.
That makes it easy to imagine what this section of Berks County was like when it 
as the frontier.
Arthur Gaudet (RockDancer)
ockdancer97 at comcast.net
The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon."
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