Cochranton Heritage event begins today

COCHRANTON – A living history event dubbed “1750: A Gathering Storm in the French Creek Valley” starts today at the Cochranton fairgrounds.

A group of authors, historians and re-enactors will stage a full day of presentations and exhibits to explore the pivotal time period of the late 18th century and the events that happened in the area at that time.

The second annual French Creek heritage event continues into Sunday.

The event is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and will start with re-enactors representing the French, British and Native Americans that inhabited the area at the time.

Along the shore of French Creek there will be military and foraging camps.

The camps will be open to the public in which visitors will have the chance to observe and experience the way of life from the time period.

A keynote presentation will be given by Grove City native and professor David Preston. Preston is the Westvaco professor of National Security Studies at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

Preston is a highly regarded author of several award-winning books detailing events from 1700 to 1800 throughout the western frontier.

A variety of other presenters will also be in attendance at the event.

The French Creek event is a project of the Cochranton Area Redevelopment Effort, working with the French Creek Valley Conservancy to promote the long-standing and deep heritage of the French Creek watershed.

The event will showcase local history but also the unique natural resource that French Creek is to the entire region.

French Creek played a major role in the growth and development of the entire northwestern Pennsylvania region.

At age 21, George Washington surveyed the area during his 500-plus-mile wintertime expedition into the Pennsylvania frontier in 1753.

The event will showcase how Washington’s exploration and other events of the time period shaped the history of the area.

The event is open to the public and parking will be free with primary parking at the Cochranton High School.

Food and beverages will be available to purchase at the fairgrounds.