The federal Department of the Interior designated the Fort Wood Creek site, located on the Fort Bull near Rome-New London Road, to the National Register of Historic Places in March, according to a release from the Rome Historical Society.
Fort Wood Creek dates to 1756, when it was constructed by the British to replace Fort Bull after it had been attacked and destroyed by 362 French soldiers and their Indian allies.
Though there were various efforts to preserve the property stretching back generations, it was not until 2015 that the Fort Bull Research Group nominated the site for review by the state Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Office for listing on the state and national historic registers.
“The Rome Historical Society, on behalf of its members and the general public would like to thank the Fort Bull Research Group for its instrumental and continuing role in the preservation and interpretation of the Society’s Fort Bull/Wood Creek property,” said Society executive director Arthur L. Simmons III. “Their effort along with those of the State Historic Preservation Office and in consultation with local independent historians was the first truly collaborative effort of its kind to recognize and protect the property for future generations.”
The National Register is the nation’s official list of properties worthy of historic preservation. Listing on the National Register recognizes the importance of these properties to the history of our country and provides them with a measure of protection. Properties owned by not-for-profits are eligible to apply for state historic preservation matching grants.
Fort Wood Creek and the Fort Bull property was also in the news recently, when an American Battlefield Protection Program grant totaling $68,000 was awarded to the public Archaeology Facility at SUNY Binghamton to conduct an archaeological survey of the fort and surrounding area in order to identify the remnants of the Battle of Fort Bull on March 27, 1756. The survey is set to begin this spring.
“We cannot be more excited about working with the Public Archaeology Facility on this project,” Simmons said. “This is the first time in over 25 years that any legitimate attempt has been made to identify the remaining historical resources at and around the site.”
Also known to be in the vicinity of the Fort Wood Creek/Bull property are the remains of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Canal, the First Contract Portion of the Erie Canal, and the currently watered remains of the Improved Erie.
“This is where it all came together, the original gateway to the west, the Oneida Carrying Place. From its Native American origins through 18th century conflicts to 19th century channeled waterways, there is no other place in North America that would have such a diverse role in our nation’s history that this small strip of land,” Simmons said.
The Rome Historical Society is located at 200 Church St.. For information, call 315-336-5870, like the Society on Facebook, or visit their website at romehistoricalsociety.org.