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Custaloga Town

French & Indian War Encampment

Saturday June 14 & Sunday June 15, 2008

Event Schedule *Coming Soon*

The French Creek Council of the BSA and the French Creek Living History Association will host a series of living history events at Custaloga Town Boy Scout Reservation on Father's Day Weekend, June 14 and 15, 2008. Reenactors will depict life during the French & Indian War. At least 300 reenactors and more than 20 sutlers (merchants) will attend. Highlights of this two-day encampment -- among other things -- will include children's programs, a blacksmith, 18th-century gunsmiths/gun dealers, an 18th-century doctor, powder horn makers/engravers, a colonial furniture maker, a colonial sign engraver, a woodland Native American camp, cannon and musket firing demonstrations, sutler camp, French Creek canoe landing by French and Natives and then resultant fur trade scenario takes place, live tactical engagements, and nationally renowned living historians and French & Indian War era painters.

Paul Stillman will be conducting workshops on quill pens, powder horns, and turkey calls. There will be a workshop fee of $5.00 per person for the pens and turkey calls, and $10.00 for the horns.  Paul will also do a brain tan program and will sell quill, reed, and bamboo pens.  He'll also dress as Ben Franklin and play his glass armonica.  

Come see the site where an actual Delaware/Mingo town existed!! Custaloga Town is a place rich with colonial-era history!!

Custaloga Town Scout Reservation is located near Carlton, PA:

This free event is held for public education. For more info, call Jim Brown at 814-763-5857.


From Erie area:

Take I-79 south. Get off at the Geneva/Cochranton Exit #141 (there will be signs marking the way in from this point).

Follow Rt 285 East until it ends at Rt 173. Turn right (south) and follow Rt 173 for about five (5) miles until you enter the village of Milledgeville (don't blink; it's only a few houses past the French Creek Township Building). Turn left on Creek Road (just before the bridge) and follow it about four (4) miles. Custaloga Town will be on your left.

From Pittsburgh area:

Take I-79 north. Get off at the Sandy Lake/Greenville Exit #130 (there will be signs marking the way in from this point).

Follow Rt 358 East (towards Sandy Lake) until it ends at Rt 173. Turn left (north) and follow Rt 173 for about seven (7) miles until you enter the village of Milledgeville (after New Lebanon). You'll go down a big hill just before the village. At the bottom of this hill you'll go over a small bridge. Immediately after crossing this bridge,  turn right on Creek Road and follow it about four (4) miles. Custaloga Town will be on your left.

A Look Back at t he 2007 Encampment at Custaloga Town

History of Custaloga Town

More History of Custaloga Town...

From The Papers of Henry Bouquet:

Patterson and Hutchins: Journal of March from Pittsburgh to Presque Isle (1759)

Thursday, the 11th of October

...March'd thro' a Rich Bottom well Timbered three Miles to Custologoes Town . This Town is Situate on the West Side of French Creek (the creek is 60 yards wide) and has 20 houses in it, 40 fighting Men, 50 Women and Children and 30 White Prisoners, the land is very Rich. Stayed here fryday, Saturday, and Sunday Occassioned by Rainy Weather.

Following excerpts from Paul Wallace, Indians in Pennsylvania, 1999:

Among the last Delaware towns in PA were Custaloga's Town on French Creek and Kuskusky and Shenango in the Beaver River area; Custaloga moved to the Muskingham River at the time of Pontiac's War; and when the Indians agreed, in the 1765 peace treaty, to return to their former homes, he resettled at Kuskusky instead. After this place was attacked by American militia, the Delawares abandoned their remaining towns in PA.

Custaloga (Packanke)
A Delaware chief whose first known residence was on French Creek. The Senecas reportedly had given him and his followers the land between French Creek and the Beaver River and regarded him as spokesman for the Delawares in councils at Venango (site of Fort Machault and present day Franklin, PA), where George Washington met him in 1753. He was on friendly terms with the French during their occupation of Western PA until 1759, but afterwards made peace with the English. He was the principal chief of the Wolf lineage in Newcomer's "Delaware Nation." He joined the hostile Indians in Pontiac's War and moved to a site near present Coshocton, Ohio. When peace was concluded and the Indians were instructed to return to their former places, Custaloga resettled at Kuskusky, near present New Castle, PA. On his invitation the Moravians established a mission at present Moravia, PA, in 1770. He died in 1776 and was suceeded by his nephew, Captain Pipe.

From The Papers of Henry Bouquet:

Captain Lee's Journal of his Journey from Niagara to Pittsburgh (1759):

September 1759
Sunday we proceeded down the River (French Creek) about 13 Miles when we arrived at a very large Delaware Indian Town (Custaloga Town), of which Cartologue (Custaloga), the King and Chief Some of their Indians Treated us in a Surly Manner, till we had Spock'd and Shew'd them the Belts of the Foreign Nations, who had Made peace with us, after which they were very Civil and Moderate, Suplied us with Provisions, and Detained us all Night.

Monday having persuaded, a Mingo Indian to procure us a Boat, and to Accomptaine us himself we proceeded down the River about 40 miles [JB note: Venango is only about 14 miles away as the crow flies] and arrived at Winango, The River above is about 80 miles from the Source, Narrow, an Winding, as well as Inconsevably Rapaid, the country on each side Low and Swampy, the Lower part of the river, the Stream Excessively Fine, and Thickly Settled by Delaware Indians, who have amongst them a Prodigious number of English Women and Children Winango is Situated between the River Ohio, & Fort au Bauf, we did Much take Notice of it, as we Imagined Sum body had already been there to Take Draughts of it.

The following excerpt comes from a 1977 Franklin newspaper article entitled: Destroy Log Cabin at Custaloga Town:

...It became known as the Charles Heydrich farm and the remains of the 15-20 wigwams which occupied the site when the first settlers arrived were still evident when Heydrich took over the land. The first settlers told of Indian cornfields, which had only a small growth because of years of tilling the soil without replenishing it with fertilizer.

Heydrick took the "utmost pains to preserve all the graves and has never used the field where they are situated for agricultural purposes," according to county history. "For the unusual care he has exhibited in the preservation of these relics, Mr. Heydrick deserves special praise."

About 1832, Heydrick dug a mill race on the property and when he did stalks of tobacco, such as grown by the Indians, sprang up and for many years he raised this type of tobacco as a tribute to the early occupants.

Other early settlers recalled these Indian settlers and their return visits after they went to the reservation near the headwaters of the Allegheny.





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