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18th Century fort gives glimpse of West Virginia winters long ago


Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT, W.Va.  — Seeing the old-fashioned architecture and period-accurate technology, clothing and settlers going about their days at Pricketts Fort feels like a step back in time.

Interpreter Justin Riggs holds a decommissioned rifle while looking at some artifacts and tools kept in the fort.
(Times West Virginia photo by Tammy Shriver)

But a weekend in October actually brings visitors forward in time a few months into a somewhat colder, snowier and jollier season.

Pricketts Fort celebrated its Christmas in October weekend Oct. 13-15, when visitors came to not only buy gifts, but also to learn about history.

“We have the whole place decorated to the time period,” said Greg Bray, director of Pricketts Fort. This allows visitors and opportunity to see what Christmas celebrations in the past would have looked like.

The history within in the walls of Pricketts Fort resonate with stories dating back to the time in which the real fort was first built. Originally constructed in the 1770s, the fort served as a fortified safe-space from Native Americans for settlers in colonial times, used by the Prickett family. The fort was restored through reconstruction in 1975 and is now a certified West Virginian state park, dedicated to Jacob Prickett, of the family who created the fort.

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