The history of Fort Wheeler is detailed in Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties Pennsylvania.

Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties Pennsylvania

by J.H. Beers & Co., Chicago, 1915.

"In April, 1778, Lieut. Moses Van Campen began the building of Fort Wheeler, on the farm of Isaiah Wheeler, on the banks of Fishing creek, about three miles above the present town of Bloomsburg, on the Bloomsburg & Sullivan railroad, in Scott township, near the site of the Paper Mill. It was built of logs and surrounded by a stockade sufficiently large to accommodate the families of the neighborhood. They had hardly completed the fort before the Indians arrived and attacked it, but the defenders soon put them to flight.

Van Campen made this fort his headquarters when not engaged in scouting. One of the attractions to him was the daughter of Wheeler, for whose hand Van Campen and Col. Joseph Salmon, another scout, were rivals. Salmon finally married the girl. Van Campen's father also for a time lived near the fort.

Fort Wheeler was the only one of the long line of defenses in this section of the State that was never abandoned or destroyed by hostile hands. Time alone did the work of disintegration. Peter Melick, one of the committee of safety for Wyoming township, lived near here. The old graveyard where the soldiers were buried is still recognizable, and the spring that supplied the fort with water is still running. The land is now owned by the Creveling family. John Crawford, grandfather of Joseph Crawford, an old citizen of Orangeville, was the second child born in this section, his birth taking place inside the stockade of the fort soon after its completion, in 1778. No vestiges of the fort are now to be seen, but the site is known to most of the residents of that section.”

The commemorative stone and tablet dedicated by the Moses Van Campen Chapter DAR was relocated in 2015 to nearby Lightstreet Park 

Included in this collection are the following photos: 

  • Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Fort Wheeler Marker located in Bloomsburg, PA. The marker reads, "On this site in Bloomsburg, PA in 1778, Moses Van Campen built Fort Wheeler to protect Pennsylvania's pioneer settlers from Indian attack during the American Revolution." Photo by D.C. Hopkins for MosesVanCampen.com.
  • Fort Wheeler commemorative tablet dedicated by the Moses Van Campen Chapter DAR in 1915. The tablet reads, "Fort Wheeler, Built by Moses Van Campen, 1778, This tablet erected by Moses Van Campen Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Berwick, Pennsylvania, 1915." Photo by D.C. Hopkins for MosesVanCampen.com.

 

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“His Christianity was pure,
his views of religion sound
and scriptural, and his fidelity
and integrity of character
were like his own well aimed rifle,
true to the mark.”

 

– Rev. Thomas Aitken

Obituary of Moses Van Campen

"I was nurtured in the school of the rifle and the tomahawk."

 

- Moses Van Campen

“The notes of war are hushed,
The rage of battle o’er,
The warrior is at rest,
He hears our praise no more.
The soldier nobly fought
For all we dearly love,
He fought to gain a heavenly crown,
And now he reigns above.”

 

- Rev. Thomas Aitken
Inscription, Moses Van Campen's tombstone