Oldest European Inland US Fort Found In Appalachians

Spanish moat, corner bastion, entryway, looking north. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan)

Oldest European fort in the inland U.S. discovered in Appalachians

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 08:37 AM PDT

The remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of what is now the United States have been discovered by a team of archaeologists, providing new insight into the start of the U.S. colonial era and the all-too-human reasons spoiling Spanish dreams of gold and glory.
Spanish Captain Juan Pardo and his men built Fort San Juan in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in 1567, nearly 20 years before Sir Walter Raleigh’s “lost colony” at Roanoke and 40 years before the Jamestown settlement established England’s presence in the region.

 

 

 

On The Fringe of Life: A Tour of Appalachia’s Biodiverse Frontier

Earth First! Newswire

By Molly Moore / the Appalachian Voice

Crouch Knob in Randolph County, W. Va., might be home to the largest remaining cluster of running buffalo clover in the world. As its name suggests, this particular clover once flourished alongside buffalo, sending “runners” of floral clones across the bison-trodden earth of eastern North America.

In 1825, the last eastern wood bison was killed near the source of West Virginia’s Tygart River. Running buffalo clover also seemed to disappear from the Central Appalachians until a population was rediscovered in the New River Gorge in 1983. Since then, small numbers of the federally endangered flower have been found in several states, typically along trails or in mowed areas where human disturbances echo the buffaloes’ impact on the land. Yet while running buffalo clover might be adjusting to the modern world, its eastern namesake doesn’t have a chance.

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