Fort LeBoeuf was built by the French in 1753 in what is now Waterford, PA. The fort was built to connect French settlements in Canada with those in Louisiana. It was one of four other forts that were built to protect passage from Lake Eire to the forks of the Ohio River. The other three forts were Fort Presque Isle in Eire, PA, Fort Machault in Franklin, PA and Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh, PA.
George Washington visited Fort LeBoeuf in 1753 to inform the French that there were on English lands. Washington stopped at Fort Machault, but was directed to Fort LeBoeuf to meet with a higher ranking French official. The French did not take Washington's request to leave the area seriously.
The French maintained a presence in all four of these forts until 1759. Fort Niagara was captured by the British which cut off the supply route from French settlements in Canada to Fort LeBoeuf, Fort Presque Isle, Fort Machault, and Fort Duquesne. With no ability to supply the forts, the French decided to abandon them.
The British maintained control of Fort LeBoeuf until 1763 when it was burned in Pontiac's Rebellion. After the Revolutionary War, the Americans rebuilt a fort at the same site to protect settlers from attacks.
The Fort Le Boeuf museum is built on the site of the original French Fort. It contains exhibits on Native Americans that lived in the area, French and British fur trade, and archeological excavations of the site. It is operated by Edinboro University.
There is also a statue of George Washington wearing the uniform of a British Soldier. The statue was dedicated in 1921 and depicts George Washington presenting Britain’s demand that the French leave the area.
The city is located less than 20 minutes from Eire, PA. The map below shows the location of the LeBoeuf Musuem and George Washington statue.
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