Williamsburg’s McCoy Fort deconstructed for upcoming archeology work

For too long, the site of McCoy Fort was a sad one, with a falling down, monstrous barn which encased the pioneer home of William J. McCoy, who came to this area before 1770. Now the two-story log structure has been carefully deconstructed and stored for future reconstruction after the archeology is finished.

Fort Mccoy
During the deconstruction process a volunteer takes a break. Eric Judy (pictured), Peter Stephens and Ralph McClung carefully tagged and lifted every log.

William J. McCoy was a Lieutenant in the Militia and was involved in protecting the settlers from Indian uprising. He and his family went to Fort Donnally when the word came that there was going to be some Indian trouble, but a small group of settlers from Sinking Creek area, around his home, went to his house which was fortified and protected by a militia contingent from Renick.  Two days after Fort Donnally was attacked, and the militia was on the Indian’s heels retreating to Ohio, a small band attacked William McCoy’s home, but were repelled by the militia soldiers stationed there.

This home/fort is considered part of a string of forts erected from Pocahontas, through Greenbrier, and into Monroe Counties and the sites have been documented through research of Drs. Kim and Stephen McBride. Kim works in Kentucky at UK and Stephen teaches at Concord. They both will join forces to supervise the archeology work at hand in Williamsburg. The exciting thing that makes McCoy Fort special is that it still exists, where the other forts are represented by markers in open fields. We think that the barn was built over it around 1900 and protected the logs from acid rain and other weather deterioration which took all the known parts of Fort Donnally.


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