Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania,|
near Egypt, Pennsylvaina
Engraving of Fort Deshler (1895).
|Built by||Adam Deshler|
|Controlled by||Province of Pennsylvania|
|Battles/wars||French and Indian War|
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Fort Deshler, located near Egypt, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, was a French and Indian War era frontier fort established in 1760 to protect settlers from Indian attacks. The fort was near the location of what is presently the intersection of Pennsylvania Route 145 and Chestnut Street, between Egypt and Coplay.
The fort was built by Adam Deshler, who was employed during the French and Indian War furnishing provisions for provincial forces. The fort was actually a fortified stone blockhouse, 40 feet (12 m) long and 30 feet (9.1 m) wide, with walls 2.5 feet (0.76 m) thick, that also served as Deshler's home. Adjoining the building was a large wooden building, suitable as barracks for twenty soldiers and for storing military supplies.
There appears to be no evidence that the fort was either garrisoned with provincial troops or served any military purpose beyond functioning as a place of refuge and rendezvous for settlers of the region.
The fort remained in the Deshler family until 1899, at which time the building and its remaining 151 acres (0.61 km2; 0.24 sq mi) of property were sold to the Coplay Cement Company for $100,000.
Historian Charles Rhoads Roberts, in his 1914 History of Lehigh County Pennsylvania and a Genealogical and Biographical Records of its Families, wrote the following about Fort Deshler:
This old stone mansion, the only building standing in Lehigh County which was used as a fort in the colonial period, should by all means be preserved and marked as a historic spot, not only as a memorial to the pioneers of this location but also as a reminder to the coming generations of the hardships which their staunch and sturdy ancestors were compelled to undergo.
Fort Deshler was not preserved, and stood in ruins until it collapsed around 1940. Today, its former location is commemorated by a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission marker.
- Lehigh County Historical Society
- List of Forts in the United States
- Roberts, Charles Rhoads; Rev. John Baer Stoudt, Rev. Thomas H. Krick, William J. Dietrich (1914). History of Lehigh County Pennsylvania and a Genealogical and Biographical Records of its Families. 1. Lehigh Valley Publishing Company. Page 111.
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1896). Report of the Commission to Locate the Site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: Clarence M. Busch, State Printer of Pennsylvania. Page 175
- Roberts, Page 111.
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pages 174-175.
- Roberts, Page 113.
- "PHMC: Historical Markers Program - Fort Deshler". http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/DOH/markerresults.asp?secid=31&namesearch=Deshler&Submit=Search+by+Marker+Title. Retrieved 2008-06-21. [dead link]
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1896). Report of the Commission to Locate the Site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: Clarence M. Busch, State Printer of Pennsylvania.
- Roberts, Charles Rhoads; Rev. John Baer Stoudt, Rev. Thomas H. Krick, William J. Dietrich (1914). History of Lehigh County Pennsylvania and a Genealogical and Biographical Records of its Families. 1. Lehigh Valley Publishing Company.
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