Located at the high bluff on the Ridgeley side of
the Potomac River, less than 500 feet north of the WV end of the
This store house was established here about the year 1748, when George Washington, engineer Genn and George Fairfax made the survey of the Patterson Creek Valley for Lord Fairfax.
The commissary of the Ohio Company was supplying citizens of Patterson Creek. They were obtaining their home supplies and purchasing grain and hogs from their surplus supplies.
At the time of the surrender of Washington to the French at Fort Necessity, Gov. Dinwiddie wrote to him to confiscate the Ohio Company store-house and convert it into a Fort for the protection of soldier of that outpost, to build a rampart around it and to fortify it with a cannon.
Two years later, Washington wrote to Gov. Dinwiddie that Fort Cumberland is so poorly protected and in an out of the way region, that he advises men and supplies be moved to the fort on Patterson Creek, in a more thickly settled region and near a "blazed trail" to the west.
The store house of the Ohio Company was evidently kept by members of the Abram Johnson family. They lived on Patterson Creek near Reese Mill. (George Washington and his survey party stayed with Abram on March 23, 1748).
Papers, evidently in possession of Abram Johnson, not only account the numerous citizens of the Patterson Creek region, but also chief articles sold to households of that region. Among articles bought were "red stroud", "half-thicks", "liker"(for every article of clothing or estable there are two items of liker) and "ches".
The chief articles sold to the Ohio Company by the residents of the Patterson Creek Region were hogs, corn and "fat".
From the papers, it shows that Abram Johnson was the assessor for that section of Frederick County, VA ("up the Potomack river and up Patterson Creek so far as Solomon Hedges").
George Washington along with his surveying party stayed with Solomon Hedges on March 24, 1748, and when they came to the table in the evening, "there was neither ye cloth on ye table nor knife to eat with."
Solomon Hedges was one of his majesty's justices for Frederick Co as well as Deputy Sheriff for Samuel Canel, sheriff of Frederick County.
In the colonial days of VA, dues for the church were collected by the sheriff, and one of the Johnson papers has a receipt of his payment for his county tax and church levy for the year 1747 and was collected by Solomon Hedges.
While all that territory comprising the Patterson Creek Valley and area between Patterson Creek and Knobley Moutains ending at Ridgeley was prosperous agricultural
land at the beginning of the French and Indian War. But the inhabitants were soon driven east to the Blue Ridge.
Washington, when writing to Gov. Dinwiddie from Winchester in 1756, states that all the inhabitants of the Hampshire County west of the South Branch Valley have been driven out and the land is a barren forsaken section.
An idea of the conditions of Fort Ohio during these times is taken from the dairy of Col. Andrew Lewis, who accompanied Washington with a VA regiment from Winchester to relieve Fort Cumberland after Fort Ohio had been abandoned in the fall of 1756.
Col. Lewis says: "October 15th: "e marched from Patterson Creek and passed many deserted houses. I has, this day very curious in the examination of the mischief done in the households and was shocked at the havoc made by the barbarous and cruel Indians. At one MacGriggans, I found the master of the household, who had been buried but slightly by his friends after his assassination, half out of the grave and eaten by the wolves; the house burnt; the cornfield laid in waste; and an entire ruin made." At half after six we arrived at Fort Cumberland cold and hungry. We had this day, by orders of Col. Lewis, two women ducked for robbing the deserted house. Traveled this day 14 miles.
Among the names in the account books and papers of the Ohio Company of residents of the valley are:
MATTHEW ROGERS, CHRISTOPHER HEARSMAN, ROBERT ALLEN, QUINTER MCCULLOM, JOHN DECKER, BENJ'M KOUKENDALE, SOLOMON HEDGES, SAMUEL MARTIN, SAMUEL LOCKHART, JOHNATHAN ROLF, JOHN TUTTERER, OKEY JOHNSON, ANDREW CAMPBELL, SHERIFF 1747, NATHANIEL COOPER, NICHOLAS REASONER, THOMAS CHESTER, RICH WILLIAMS AND JOHN KOUKENDALE.
(From JC Sanders Papers)
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