Bushy Run Battlefield upgrades to include trail, signs, landscaping
One year after the dedication of a monument marking the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Bushy Run, efforts are under way to further enhance the historic site.
That project includes the addition of the Byerly Trail, a walking trail from Route 993 in Penn Township to the monument to the British soldiers and Native Americans who died during the 1763 battle.
Andrew Byerly ran an outpost at the site, which British troops patronized as a supply stop on their way to Fort Pitt and Fort Ligonier.
Also planned are wayside signs, landscaping and two benches, according to Kelly Ruoff, Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society treasurer.
“We had hoped to start work in the fall, but we ran out of time. We will bid the project again in the spring. It’s probably a 10-day project,” Ruoff said.
The project is much smaller in scope from the $252,000 monument featuring three granite pedestals and three bronze statues representing the forces that fought during the pivotal battle. The second phase is estimated to cost $25,000.
“We have most of it; we could use more,” Ruoff said. “The memorial benches already are sponsored.”
They will sit on bases of engraved bricks, which are being sold as a fundraiser. The wayside signs will share the history of the battlefield and Byerly’s story.
The battlefield’s website encourages Byerly’s descendants “to honor and preserve your family legacy” by purchasing the bricks, or sponsoring the signs. Sponsors’ names will be included on the text on the wayside panels.
“The biggest expense is for trees and grading the trail,” Ruoff said.
Plans call for about 20 “good size” trees.
“We will try to keep the trees native to the area and hardy to withstand harsh winters,” Ruoff said. “It’s just a real peaceful, reflective area.”
The heritage society has been raising money since 2006, garnering sales of engraved bricks and “some major donor contributions,” Ruoff said.
Artists Robert Griffing of Gibsonia and John Buxton of Allison Park conceived the monument.
Bedford County bronze artist Wayne Hyde was the sculptor.
The monument shows a ranger on flour bags below the Native American and the Highlander, who aim weapons at each other.
On the first day of the conflict, wounded soldiers laid behind a flour-bag stockade, Griffing said prior to the dedication. Other soldiers then guarded the circle from the outside.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or [email protected].