Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite is a small town with a big place in the hearts of Haitians, one of the most important battles of the Haitian Revolution was fought here at the fort of Crete-a-Pierrot.

General Charles Leclerc's French colonial army besieged the heavily barricaded fort, which was defended by Haitian forces; it was significant as it controlled access into the Cahos Mountains. The defenders, running short of food and munitions, eventually abandoned the fort but were able to force their way through the French lines and into the Cahos Mountains. The French, despite gaining temporary control of the fort, had suffered heavy losses, and the fort was never captured. This was the deciding battle that forced the French to withdraw from the war. And it was here, in February 1803, that leaders of the Haitian forces, Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Alexandre Pétion, proclaimed Haiti's independence.

Today, Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite is a quiet and friendly place with small farms and a thriving market.