On June 23, 2022 we took a ride down Route 77 to visit the Fort Laurens Museum and Fort located in Bolivar, Ohio. We didn't know much about the fort, only that it was haunted and the only American Revolutionary War fort in Ohio. Of course we had to visit.
The fort was built under the orders of Lachlan McIntosh, an American commander in 1778. The commander was sent to the Ohio territory to defeat the British-allied Wyandot people and attack the British in Detroit. With winter approaching, McIntosh decided to delay any affirmative action or attacks until the spring. The men constructed the fort along what is now call the Tuscarawas River to wait out the hard Ohio weather and elements. The structure (which no longer exists) was completed in early December of 1778 and was named after Henry Laurens, the president of the Continental Congress.
We put together the following video about our visit to the fort.
Getting to the Fort is quite simple. It is located right off the main highway (Rt. 77). The Fort Laurens Museum is located at 11067 Fort Laurens Rd NW, Bolivar, Ohio.
The tour starts inside the visitor's center with a film about the fort and the location (sections of that video is in our video above). Once you are done viewing the film, you can then walk through the museum viewing some of the artifacts, a model of the fort.
After the soldiers were stranded in the fort during a harsh winter, they were forced to boil their moccasins for nourishment until aid arrived. Several soldiers were ambushed during an excursion outside of the fort to attempt to collect firewood and food. These soldiers were buried on the grounds and later interfered in a tomb within the visitor's center after an archeological dig in 1976.
One of the unknown soldiers was honored in a tomb outside of the visitors center in a "Tomb of the Unknown". This soldier was re-interred with a full military funeral services. Below are photos from the tomb and the placard that explains the re-interment.
After you finish with the tour inside the museum. You can walk around the outside and see various placards all around the grounds and see an outline carved into the ground of where the exterior walls of the fort once stood. It is a bit eerie to walk about and imagine what stood there at one time...
Well, eerie until you come to the sport of the former hospital and graveyard. This is the location where the soldiers were found buried. Of course, Marianne had to sit within these location where the graves once held the soldiers that died at the fort.