Fort Gaddis was built in 1764 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, by Thomas Gaddis, who was in charge of the region’s defense.
The post was located on the Catawba Trail. This important north-south route extended from New York to Tennessee and passed through Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Morgantown, West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The fort was utilized as a place of refuge from the hostile Indians and a site for community meetings. The 1-1/2-story, 1-room log structure measures 26 feet long and 20 feet wide. Gaddis later served as a colonel in the Pennsylvania Continental Line during the American Revolution.
During the Whiskey Rebellion, a Liberty Pole was erected at the house during a rally supporting the rebel cause. The choice of this site for a political demonstration indicates its importance as a focal point for community expression.
In the 19th century, the Catawba Trail became locally known as the Morgantown Road. It is now Old U.S. Route 119.
The building still stands today and is called the “Thomas Gaddis Homestead.” It is the oldest known building in Fayette County and the second oldest log cabin in Western Pennsylvania. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.
Forts & Presidios Across America