Fort Laurens | Bolivar, OH
Visit the place where Ohio’s only Revolutionary War fort once stood, and see the Tomb of the Unknown Patriot of the American Revolution
About Fort Laurens
ort Laurens is Ohio’s only Revolutionary War Fort. In
early 1778, General George Washington prepared a
military plan to attack the British. The plan was to attack
Fort Detroit because the British were encouraging their
Indian allies in the area north of the Ohio River to
attack American settlements in the frontier region.
Due to political pressure from the states of
Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the inability to secure
the necessary numbers of men and supplies, the
expedition’s original purpose was changed by the Continental Congress to simply attacking Indian towns and villages along the southwestern edge of Lake Erie.
Following a well-established Indian trail known today as the Great Trail, an American army of 1,200 men and their Delaware Indian guides marched west into the Ohio territory from Fort Pitt in the fall of 1778 under the command of Georgia native General Lachlan McIntosh. Twenty miles down river from Fort Pitt near present-day Beaver, Pennsylvania, Fort McIntosh was constructed to store provisions and supplies. On November 4, 1778, McIntosh departed from there to head west toward the Sandusky towns.
As they neared the end of the year and the weather worsened, McIntosh arrived in the Tuscarawas Valley. He decided to forego the attacks on the Indian towns and to build a fort near the crossing of the Great Trail and the Tuscarawas River.
He would then leave a small garrison of 172 men and women at the fort and return to the area the following spring to continue his march toward Detroit or the Sandusky Towns.
The fort was abandoned in 1779. Today, only the outline of the fort remains, but a museum commemorates the soldiers and archeological artifacts from the fort's excavation are on view. The large park surrounding the museum is used for military reenactments and is an ideal picnic site with two shelters. It serves as a Towpath Trailhead and is a popular stopping spot along the America's Byway.
Did you know? The Netawotwes District, Buckeye Council held it's 2017 Fall Family Adventure Camp at Fort Laurens!
FORT LAURENS STATE MEMORIAL
11067 Fort Laurens Rd.
Bolivar, OH, 44612