Fort Laurens Ohio – Guarding of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

On Friday July 28th members of Sons of the American Revolution from chapters around Ohio will meet in Bolivar Ohio at the Fort Laurens State Memorial to honor the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

This event will precede the State of Ohio SAR Board of Management meetings on Friday evening July 28th and Saturday morning July 29th.

There will be a special memorial service held on Saturday morning complete with wreath laying, commemoration of Patriots and a presentation about the progress being made on the Fort Laurens rebuild efforts.

From 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, members of the SAR Color Guard will stand guard and march similar to the proceedings which take place at the Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington DC.

The events of the day will conclude with a musket salute honoring the brave souls to sacrificed their lives for the cause of liberty and a nation of free men and women.

Some photos of the 2022 event are shared in this post.

Fort Laurens, located in Bolivar Ohio, is the only American Revolution-period fort in Ohio. Active for just nine months, from December 1778 to August 1779, it was built to defend the local area and provide support to attack the British at Fort Detroit. 

Artist Rendition of the Fort Laurens site in Bolivar Ohio

Each year, in July, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) holds a commemorative ceremony there to honor the 21 soldiers who died while defending the fort.

The fort has special significance for the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (OHSSAR), so much so that an image of the fort is central to our State Society emblem.

Interested in Visiting?


11067 Fort Laurens Rd NW
Bolivar, Ohio   44612-8944

(lat:40.6397 lon:-81.4552) map location

Named in honor of Henry Laurens, then president of the Continental Congress, Fort Laurens was built in 1778 in an ill-fated campaign to attack the British at Detroit. Supplying this wilderness outpost was its downfall, as its starving garrison survived on boiled moccasins and withstood a month-long siege by British-led Indians. The fort was abandoned in 1779.

Today, only the outline of the fort remains, but a small museum commemorates the frontier soldier, houses a video giving the fort’s history and archaeological artifacts from the fort’s excavation.

The large park surrounding the museum is an ideal picnic site, with two shelters, and the location for periodic military reenactments. The remains of the soldiers who died defending the fort are buried in a crypt in the museum wall and at the Tomb of the Unknown Patriot of the American Revolution.

Recently in 2023, there was a commitment by the Ohio SAR and the State of Ohio to explore building of a replica of the fort in the original location or adjacent to it.  This project is underway and updates will be provided.

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