POINT PLEASANT — In addition to the legendary stories of the Mothman, Point Pleasant is also known for events surrounding Chief Cornstalk and an annual event to commemorate that historical time is set for next week.
Events with the annual Siege at Fort Randolph will begin on Friday, May 17, with the main event, the re-enactment of Cornstalk’s visit to Fort Randolph in 1777 and the siege on the fort in 1778, taking place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Admission will be $3, and children under six are free.
According to Craig Hesson, president of the Fort Randolph Committee, this year marks the 13th year of the annual re-enactment of the siege. Hesson said attendance varies from year to year, but as a whole as continued to grow, saying around 400-500 people typically attend the outdoor drama reenactment. Hesson added a larger crowd is expected this year, since there are more presentations and activities for those attending.
“This area has a great history and we want to continue to share it with visitors to Point Pleasant,” Hesson said “We began this event to share the history surrounding the event of 1777 and Chief Cornstalk’s death at the fort and also the siege that the fort was placed under in the spring of 1778. There are many myths and legends surrounding Chief Cornstalk’s death and we want to share the history of what really happened.”
For any who don’t already know the story, Cornstalk made a diplomatic visit to Fort Randolph in 1777 and was detained by the fort commander. When American soldiers were killed nearby by unknown Indians, soldiers at the fort executed Cornstalk, his son Elinipsico, and two other Shawnee Indians on Nov. 10, 1777. In May 1778, a war party of over 200 Shawnee warriors form a line stretching from the Ohio to the Kanawha River, placing the fort under siege.
A schedule of events for the entire weekend is as follows:
Friday, May 17 — Gates open, 9 a.m.; School tours, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.; Gates close, 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 18 — Gates open, 9 a.m; Life Skills Demonstrations, 9 a.m. to noon; Indian Blanket Trade, 12:30 p.m.; Magistrate Court, 1 p.m.; The Siege at Fort Randolph re-enactment, 2 p.m.; Running of the Gauntlet, 3 p.m.; Auction, 4 p.m.; Gates close, 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 19 — Gates open, 9 a.m.; Church services, 10 a.m.; Break camp, 2 p.m.
The outdoor re-enactment is the only event where there is a charge for admission. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and wear sensible shoes. Concessions will also be available.
Also, this year, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Gordon and Mildred Jackson Foundation, a new 12-feet-by-14-feet cabin will be constructed at the fort to showcase the role women played in the history of early America. The new cabin will feature displays on looms, spinning wheels, candle making, etc.
For more information, visit www. fortrandolph.org, or contact Hesson at 304-675-7933 or email@example.com. Information on the siege and other events is also available from the Mason County Convention and Visitors Bureau, at 304-675-6788, or www.masoncountytourism.org.