Fort Roberdeau
Historic Pennsylvania Landmark

photo of cabins at Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau photo of the fort at Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau photo of historic building at Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau

Opened from May 1st to October 31st
383 Fort Robertdeau Road
Altoona, PA 16601
Phone: 814-946-0048

Central Pennsylvania's Fort Roberdeau historic site and natural area was once the most dangerous places to live in North America during the American Revolutionary War. To combat the constant danger two types of soldiers resided at Roberdeau's fort -- the militia and the Rangers, those whose job is was to scout the area and stop the Indians that the British sent. It was estimated that there were 60 to 200 soldiers at the fort at any one time.

Fort Roberdeau is located in the Sinking Valley area of Altoona, PA. When you visit the rustic natural area it's hard to imagine the dangers and fear the settlers were feeling in the year 1778. You can't help but wonder, while roaming through the fort what on earth would bring Daniel Roberdeau to such a remote area of Pennsylvania, and what on earth were the soldiers protecting. It was lead!

photo of a sign at Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau telling the times and opening and closing dates In 1778, in America, the Revolutionary War was raging. As the British were fighting to suppress their colonists who had, two years earlier, declared independence, the patriots searched for supplies that would help them defeat what was then the strongest army in the world, including lead that was needed for bullets. Since the French and Indian War, the colonists had known there was lead in the Sinking Valley, in Central Pennsylvania. Which is unusual, since there is not a lot of lead sources in this part of the country. After the Declaration of Independence, the lead source had been cut off from the British. The provisional government had to find ways to get all kind of supplies.

Philadelphia merchant Daniel Roberdeau undertook the task of searching for lead and arrived on the Pennsylvania frontier. I this area, colonists settlers faced dander from British raiding parties and American Indians, so to help defend the frontier, Roberdeau constructed a fort to protect the surrounding area, including the minors in his employ, searching for the precious commodity.

The original fort was destroyed over time and the existing fort is a reproduction is believed to be similar in size and location to the original Fort Roberdeau.

Fort Roberdeau celebrates Revolutionary War Days each year to demonstrate those living on the colonial Pennsylvania frontier were no strangers to trouble. Revolutionary War Days are not the only outlet through which the fort's history is celebrated

photo of the inside of a cabin and desk at Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau photo of the inside steps at a cabin at Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau photo of the inside of a fort cabin and table and chairs at Central Pennsylvana historic landmark Fort Roberdeau

Daniel Roberdeau
Historic Legend Wore Many Hats

Daniel Roberdeau is known through Central Pennsylvania as the Forest Gump of their day. He was involved with everything and everybody.

Daniel Roberdeau was born in 1727 in the West Indies on the island of St. Christopher. He came to Philadelphia with his mother and sisters after his fathers death. He moved to Alexandria VA after the war and died in Winchester on January 5, 1775.

Roberdeau was a general in the Associators of Pennsylvania, a precursor in today's National Guard. He also was a member of the second Continental congress and a signer of the Articles of Confederation, the antecedent to the United States Constitution. Reberdeau, along with others, put up the money to send Benjamin Franklin to France to persuade the French to join the colonists' cause. He also kept correspondence with founding father Thomas Jefferson.

photo of a plaque inside one of the Fort Roberdeau Housing Quarters Daniel was an ardent patriot and resented sending raw materials to England, just so they could produce goods and send them back for colonists to buy.

At his own expense, Roberdeau built a stockade to protect the lead mining and smelting. The fort was a storage depot for ordnance, ammunition, and other supplies until 1780, and was garrisoned by militia of Cumberland and Bedford Counties and the Bedford County Ranging Companies. Settlers often found safety at Fort Roberdeau during times of raids by parties of British rangers and their Indian allies.

photo of the entrance to Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau photo of a reenactment tent and re-enactors staying at Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau photo of a view from the fence at Central Pennsylvania historic landmark Fort Roberdeau

Pennsylvania History comes Alive
Touring Fort Roberdeau

Visitor Information

Season Opens: May 1st to October 31st. Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday & Monday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm 383 Fort Roberdeau Road Altoona, PA 16601 Phone: 914-946-0048 For map and directions visit:

Admission Price $4.00 for admission & guided tours $5.00 Adults $3.00 Children (4 - 12 yrs.) Free for children under 4 during Revolutionary War Days Parking is free

Taking the Fort Roberdeau Tour

Your first stop is to watch a movie highlighting the history and the area. You tour guide will meet you there and guide you through the fort and explain each building, it's history and what role each building played during the Revolutionary War.

There are hiking trails and picnic areas, along with restrooms. There are no concession stands or restaurants nearby. You should bring some drinks, food and comfortable walking shoes.

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