Maclean Clan Event at Fort Duart - September 22, 2013

The MacLean Clan Event was held to commemorate the building of Fort Duart on the Forbes Road during the French and Indian War in August 1758 by Captain Sir Allan MacLean, 22nd Clan Chief.  The event was planned by the Folmont Property Owners Association, the Clan Maclean Heritage Trust and Clan Gillean.

The Fort and over one mile of the historic Forbes Road on Allegheny Mountain is owned and managed by the FPOA.  The attendees gathered at the home of Bill and Helga Nuzzo about 200 yards from the fort. Over 40 members of Clan MacLean and Clan Gillian from around the world came to the event, including Sir Lachlan Maclean, 28th Maclean Clan Chief, of Castle Duart on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, along with members of the FPOA, which is now in the process of getting the site added to the US National List of Historic Places.

The attendees gathered at the Nuzzo home to meet and greet each other and then marched to the fort behind a bagpiper and re-enactors of the 77th Scots Highlanders, where a dedication ceremony was held to unveil a storyboard about the fort and a boulder-mounted brass plaque for Clan Maclean. Speeches were given by Sir Lachlan Maclean, Ian Maclean of the Maclean Clan Heritage Trust and Peter Folen of the Folmont Property Owners Association. 

After the event the guests re-assembled for a reception and luncheon.  Historic artifacts from Fort Duart, Miller's Tavern and other sites along the Forbes Road were displayed by the Somerset County Historical Society.  Larry Andrews, the artist who created an original painting of the building of Fort Duart as displayed on the storyboard, was also there to offer prints of his work.  Bill Nuzzo gave a brief talk about the history of the Forbes Road after the war and then presented a hand-made commemorative plate of the event to Sir Lachlan to be lodged at Castle Duart in Scotland. A duplicate plate will remain at Fort Duart. Below are pictures of the plate and explanatory parchment.  The embedded coin is a Silver Shilling minted in 1758.


                               


Fort Duart Commemorative Plate (#1 of 2)
(for Castle Duart)

This plate of native cherry and walnut was made by William L. Nuzzo and presented to Sir
Lachlan Maclean, 28th Maclean Clan Chief, by the artist and the Folmont Property Owners
Association to commemorate the clan gathering and dedication of an historical storyboard and
 Maclean Clan Plaque at Fort Duart, Allegheny Mountain, Pennsylvania, September 22, 2013.

Fort Duart, named for Castle Duart on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, was built by Captain Sir
Allan Maclean of the 77th Highland Scots Regiment in August, 1758. It was a key encampment
on the Forbes Road during the British campaign to drive the French from Fort Duquesne during
the French and Indian War.  Sir Allan was commended by Colonel Henry Bouquet for his
work on the fort. He went on to a distinguished military career.  He died December 10, 1783.
 

  
Sir Allan MacLean of Brolas Ė 22nd Clan Chief


After the war Fort Duart languished in the wilderness while countless American pioneers
passed by on their way to Pittsburgh, often stopping at the nearby Millerís Tavern.  The
forest gradually reclaimed the site and, after the Forbes Road was replaced by the Lincoln
Highway in 1925, it was nearly forgotten. Then, in 1930 it was recognized again and marked
with a granite monolith by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission. In 1965 an archeological
dig was made at Fort Duart and Millerís Tavern.  Many artifacts were unearthed.  In 1972
the fort and over one mile of the Forbes Road were acquired by The Wilderness Club, the
partnership that created the surrounding community of Folmont.  Recognizing the historic
significance of the area, the site was set aside as an historic park and incorporated into the
Folmont Community park system. In 2012 the Folmont Property Owners Association
began the process of adding Fort Duart to the National List of Historic Places.

A duplicate of this plate (#2 of 2) will be kept at Fort Duart
(Inset coin - 1758 British Silver Shilling)


  To thank Sir Lachlan for making the long trip to the USA to attend the event, Bill also presented him with a personal gift - a musket ball found at Fort Duart mounted on a plate of cocobolo wood.


Here are some pictures of the event:
 

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