Man Uncovers a Pre-Revolutionary War-Era Fort Inside His Own Home
In Monroe County, West Virginia, a remarkable discovery was made by John H. Bryan, a civil rights lawyer and YouTuber.
Inside an old plantation house, he uncovered a Revolutionary War fort, a find that connects directly to the early days of the United States.
The Initial Purchase and Discovery
The New York Post revealed that Bryan, upon acquiring an old plantation house, suspected that it concealed a piece of American history. His belief that a Revolutionary War fort was buried within the home’s walls led him to purchase the property.
“We closed on the place and literally drove the mile down the road, and I took a crowbar to it like 10 minutes later,” Bryan said, describing his eagerness to confirm his suspicions about the house’s historical significance.
Unveiling Bryrnside's Fort
Behind a thick layer of plaster in the home, Bryan discovered evidence of Bryrnside’s Fort, a log fortress dating back to the American Revolution, as reported by The New York Post.
This find was a significant historical revelation, providing a tangible connection to the nation’s formative period.
Sharing the Discovery on Social Media
Bryan took to social media to document his findings, creating a viral thread on X, formerly known as Twitter, that showcased the process of uncovering the fort.
His posts, filled with photos of the house’s transformation, captivated thousands of online followers, attracting widespread interest and engagement.
The Restoration Process
The Daily Mail reported that the restoration of the house revealed its original structure, with walls lined with perfectly preserved wide-plank oak.
Bryan’s dedication to uncovering and restoring these historical elements transformed the modern home back into a piece of living history, showcasing the craftsmanship and materials of the Revolutionary era.
Discovering a Family's Past
The New York Post shared that in addition to uncovering the fort, Bryan found a vast array of antiques within the house and its grounds.
These items, ranging from a Civil War-era dress to a family photo in a gilded frame, offered a glimpse into the lives of the families who had inhabited the home across centuries, preserving their legacy and connecting the present with the past.
War Artifacts and Memorabilia
Among the discoveries were artifacts from World War I, including a gas mask and other memorabilia.
The Daily Mail notes that these items belonged to the father of the house’s last occupant.
Public Reaction and Support
Bryan’s project garnered enthusiastic support and admiration from the public. The Daily Mail shares that followers of his social media thread expressed their appreciation for his efforts in bringing this slice of American history to light.
Comments ranged from expressions of amazement to gratitude for the opportunity to experience a unique historical journey through his posts. One user commented: “What a treasure trove of great finds, along with a lot of painstaking work.” Meanwhile, another said, “Thank you for letting us all go back in time.”
Renewed Motivation for the Project
The positive response to his social media posts reinvigorated Bryan’s commitment to the renovation project.
The New York Post notes that while his YouTube channel’s success had previously slowed progress, the public’s enthusiasm inspired him to continue working on the property, with the goal of eventually opening it to visitors.
The Significance of Byrnside's Fort
Byrnside’s Fort, dating back to 1770, is believed to be the last of its kind remaining along the original Virginia frontier.
Bryan emphasized its uniqueness to The Daily Mail, saying, “Most, if not all, are nothing but stains in the ground … this one, you can see and touch all the original architectural features that nobody living has ever seen.”
The Challenge of Restoration
Restoring the fort to its original state was a labor-intensive process. The Daily Mail reports that Bryan meticulously removed layers of 19th-century plaster to reveal the fort’s original white oak logs.
This process also led to the discovery of numerous artifacts, each telling a story of the house’s past occupants.
A Continuation of Historical Exploration
Bryan’s dedication to historical exploration extends beyond the restoration of Byrnside’s Fort.
His passion for pre-Revolutionary War history led him to pursue other historical sites as well. “Tracking down the old forts can be very difficult,” he told The Daily Mail. “Some of them are known, some of them are unknown. And you have to do some investigation work, look at the old handwritten deeds, and compare sources and metal detectors to actually locate sites.”