ARGYLE - As they sat down to their noon meal in a remote farmhouse, six members of the Allen family and three slaves were massacred by Indians.
Their deaths 225 years ago are overshadowed by the killing of prominent loyalist Jane McCrea, but the death of the Allen family is still remembered as another turning point in the Revolutionary War. A marker commemorating the family's murder will be unveiled today, marking the 225th anniversary of their death.
Jane McCrea's death at the hand's of Indians serving with Gen. John Burgoyne's army sparked a turning point in the Revolution. She was a loyalist and her fiance was a solider in the British Army, but the same Indians who killed the Allen family are believed to have killed her as well.
Her death enraged militiamen across the Northeast and more than 6,000 men grabbed their guns to join with the Continental Army.
Kingsbury Town Historian Paul Loding said the death of the Allen family is overshadowed by the murder of McCrea.
"This is nine people killed all at once," Loding said. "This was a massacre."
During the Revolution, Indians joined forces with Burgoyne's army against the Continental Army. The Indians were responsible for several attacks in and around Washington County, said Joe Cutshall-King, Washington County historian.
John Allen, his wife and three children were joined by other family members and three slaves at their noon meal in the remote family cabin when a group of Indians came upon them.
The entire family was slaughtered. The three children had attempted to get away by hiding under their beds, but they were discovered and killed, Cutshall-King said.
"The Indians (Burgoyne) secured were warriors in it for the booty," Cutshall-King said. "They became indiscriminate in who they killed."
The Washington County Historical Society plans on unveiling a new state marker at 7 p.m. today at the corner of county Route 49 and Allen Road.
The new marker will replace one stolen several years ago and will have more details about the massacre, Loding said. Descendants of the Allen family are expected to attend, he said.
A smaller marker on Allen Road sits closer to the home. Allen Road, named after the murdered family, is a narrow dirt road populated with a few homes. The family is buried in an unmarked grave in a field adjacent to the road.