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Fort Dobbs, Statesville

#2 of 8 in Things to do in Statesville
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Military Facility
Fort Dobbs was an 18th-century fort in the Yadkin–Pee Dee River Basin region of the Province of North Carolina, near what is now Statesville in Iredell County. Used for frontier defense during and after the French and Indian War, the fort was built to protect the American settlers of the western portion of what was then Rowan County, and served as a vital outpost for soldiers, traders, and colonial officials. Fort Dobbs' primary structure was a blockhouse with log walls, surrounded by a shallow ditch, and by 1761, a palisade. It was intended to provide protection from French-allied Native Americans such as the Shawnee and Delaware, and French raids into North Carolina.

The fort's name honored Arthur Dobbs, the Royal Governor of North Carolina from 1755 to 1765, who played a role in designing the fort and authorized its construction. Between 1756 and 1761, the fort was garrisoned by a variable number of soldiers, many of whom were sent to fight in Pennsylvania and the Ohio River Valley during the French and Indian War. On February 27, 1760, the fort was the site of an engagement between Cherokee warriors and Provincial soldiers that ended in a victory for the Provincials. After this battle and other attacks by Cherokee warriors on North Carolinan settlements, several successful counter-attacks were inflicted by the Provincials against the Cherokee, largely quelling their incursions.

Fort Dobbs was abandoned after 1761, and disappeared from the landscape. Archaeology and historical research led to the discovery of the fort's exact location and probable appearance. The site on which the fort sat is now operated by North Carolina's Division of State Historic Sites and Properties as Fort Dobbs State Historic Site. The reconstruction of the fort was completed on September 21, 2019.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
86 reviews
  • The fort is an awesome reconstruction, but what really set this site apart was the excellent tour guide. He was very engaging and tailored the experience for out 9yo son. Will definitely visit...  more »
  • My girls and I visited over the weekend on our way to visit family and they loved it! Tour guide was great!  more »
  • This will be a must see on your list of things to do once up and running. It's very impressive to see from the outside. It wasn't in operation yet to go through, but will be a must see once it is.
  • So much history!! The renovations are being done and everything is being made by hand. Very cool.

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