Fort Dobbs State Historic Site, known for being “the only permanent provincial fort in the colony of North Carolina,“ is valuable to Iredell County in terms of its great history.

Settlers from Pennsylvania came to the area, originally known as the Fourth Creek Settlement, during the French and Indian War and the Anglo-Cherokee War. 

Located at 438 Fort Dobbs Road near Statesville, the historic site was compromised at the end of April, according to Site Manager Scott Douglas.

Douglas and another employee discovered approximately three dozen holes in the ground around April 29. One or more people dug these holes in an effort to unearth artifacts, Douglas said.

This happened after normal operating hours. Douglas said it’s clear, based on the way that the holes were dug, that perpetrators knew what they were doing.

“The disturbances compromised crucial archaeological information that gives insight into life at the fort,” he said.

Although archaeological exploration began at the site in 1967, the work is not complete.

“It takes time and money to continue the digs,” he said. “There is more work to be done.”

It is illegal to remove artifacts from government property. There are signs clearly posted at Fort Dobbs warning visitors not to remove anything from the site.

“This is protected land by the government,” Douglas said. “Taking objects removes important clues about the life here.”

This is not the first time Fort Dobbs has been compromised, but Douglas hopes it will be the last.
He implores the community or anyone driving through to alert authorities if they see any suspicious activity.

Douglas is grateful that Iredell County Sheriff’s Office deputies regularly patrol the area.

“They help us keep Fort Dobbs safe,” he said.

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