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Fort Antes

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Source: Dincher

Fort Antes was a stockade surrounding the home of Colonel John Henry Antes, built circa 1778 in Revolutionary Pennsylvania in the United States. The fort was built under the direction of Colonel Antes, who was a member of the Pennsylvania militia. It was on the east side of Antes Creek, overlooking and on the left bank of the West Branch Susquehanna River on a plateau in Nippenose Township south of modern day Jersey Shore in western Lycoming County. The local militia held the fort for a short period of time until it was ordered to abandon Fort Antes during the Big Runaway by Colonel Samuel Hunter. Despite being abandoned and attempts by the attacking British forces to burn it down, Fort Antes was one of only two structures in the valley to survive the Big Runaway.
John Henry Antes settled along the West Branch Susquehanna River circa 1772. His property was on the very edge of the Pennsylvania frontier. Antes’ neighbors on the north side of the West Branch Susquehanna and west of Lycoming Creek were outside the jurisdiction of the colonial government of Pennsylvania. They banded together to form the Fair Play Men. Antes, as a Justice of the Peace for what was then Northumberland County, worked closely with the Fair Play Men. He conducted their weddings and his stockade provided some protection against raids conducted by local Native Americans, who began fighting back against the encroachment of the Europeans. Antes built a gristmill along Antes Creek in 1773. It was the most advanced construction of any kind in frontier north-central Pennsylvania. John Henry Antes served as a Justice of the Peace from July 29, 1775 until January 24, 1776 when he was appointed captain of 58 militiamen under Colonel James Potter. After participating in a raid conducted by Colonel William Plunket against settlers from Connecticut in the Wyoming Valley near Wilkes-Barre, Antes returned to his gristmill, home and future fort in mid-1777. He also was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel that same year.


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