'Friends' of Fort Necessity to Play Key Role in Supporting National Park

By Kroeger, Judy | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 12, 2009 | Go to article overview

'Friends' of Fort Necessity to Play Key Role in Supporting National Park


Kroeger, Judy, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


About 20 people gathered Wednesday evening at Fort Necessity National Battlefield to begin organizing volunteers to help support the National Park Service site.

A steering committee has been formed and will develop bylaws, apply for nonprofit status and develop a charter during the coming months.

Toni L'Hommedieu, president of the Friendship Hill Association, a group of volunteers that works with the National Park Service site in Point Marion, facilitated the meeting and told participants what volunteers can do to boost the site.

L'Hommedieu said the Friendship Hill Association raises money by selling food at events such as FestiFall. The group has purchased equipment for the site and, during an especially lean time, bought gas for the site's lawn mowers.

Friendship Hill National Historic Site and Fort Necessity National Battlefield are the only national parks in Fayette County.

Albert Gallatin, secretary of the treasury under presidents Jefferson and Madison, lived at Friendship Hill. His tenure is most remembered for purchasing the territory of Louisiana, which vastly increased the size of the new nation and for financing the Lewis and Clark expedition into the country's interior.

Fort Necessity is the site of the opening battle of the French and Indian War, which took place in 1754. British, French and native Americans fought for control of the continent. A young Colonel George Washington was defeated by the French at Fort Necessity, which his troops built in haste to defend themselves. This was his only military surrender.

The French and Indian War ended in 1763, with the removal of French power from the American colonies.

The National Park Service recreated Washington's fort at Great Meadows in Farmington based on archeological excavations. …

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