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Shirleysburg Borough

Shirleysburg Borough Hall is located at 15858 West Street, Shirleysburg PA 17620; phone: 814-447-3524.

Beginnings [1]

Shirleysburg, A post town in Aughwick valley, near Aughwick creek, in the east part of the county, 16 miles south of Huntingdon, contains between thirty and forty dwellings, several taverns and stores. Population about 275. In the early history of this county, a fort had been erected here, or near this place, called Fort Shirley, as the following account will exhibit: Between the date of that event and 1756, a place called Aughwick is frequently mentioned in the old provincial records ; but whether a settlement of whites or Indians it does not distinctly appear. It was probably the same place where Fort Shirley was subsequently built, in Jan. 1756, one of the line of frontier posts. After the defeat of Gen. Braddock, in the summer of 1755, scalping parties of Indians roamed throughout the whole frontier, cutting off all the defenseless settlements. The following extracts, from Sargeant's Abstracts of the Provincial Records, relate to this region: 1755. From Aughwick, Oct. 9. That 14 days before, 160 were about leaving the Ohio to attack the frontiers. That the Indians meant to draw off all the Indians from out of Pennsylvania and from the Susquehanna, before they attacked the province. 1755. Nov. 2. Accounts from C. Weiser and others, that the people of Aughwick and Juniata were all cut off. March 4. Conference with a number of Indians, one of whom had returned from his visit, in Dec. last, to the Indians on the Susquehanna, and the Six Nations; and those who lived at Aughwick before Braddock's defeat, and since at Harris's. 1756. Aug. 2. Mr. Morris informed the governor and council, that he had concerted an expedition against Kittanning, to be conducted by Col. John Armstrong, who was to have under his command the companies under Capt. Hamilton, Capt. Mercer, Capt. Ward, and Capt. Potter; and to engage what volunteers he could besides: that the affair was to be kept as secret as possible, and the officers and men ordered to march to Fort Shirley, and from thence to set out for the expedition. And he had given Col. Armstrong particular instructions, which were entered in the orderly book; and in consequence of his orders, and agreeable to the plan concerted, Col. Armstrong had made the necessary preparations, and has wrote to him a letter from Fort Shirley, stating that he was on the point of setting out. Letter from Col. Armstrong, containing an account of the capture of Fort Granville by the French and Indians, and the garrison taken prisoners. That they designed very soon to attack Fort Shirley with 400 men. "Capt. Jacobs said he could take any fort that would catch fire, and would make peace with the English when they had learned him to make gunpowder."

  1. Rupp, I.D., ed., History and Topography of Northumberland, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Centre, Union, Columbia, Juniata and Clinton counties, Pa., Gilbert Hills, Lancaster City PA, 1846
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