After 100 years, there is movement to redevelop the only Ohio Revolutionary War site.
Ft. Laurens is a fort in Northeast Ohio which served troops in the American Revolutionary war.
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Part of the original fort structure was demolished during the building of the Ohio and Erie Canal. The current museum was also built over part of the fort’s western wall before archaeological research revealed its location.
For that reason, there has been discussion over whether to partially reconstruct the replica fort on its original footprint or move it into a nearby field with adequate space for a full reconstruction.
The redevelopment is in its early planning stages, but will also include plans for the museum and exhibits, in addition to the fort reconstruction.
The project will be paid for in part with fundraising money and $330,000 from the State Capital Budget.
Archaeological research will begin in 2023. The goal is to complete much of the work by 2026, in time for the American “Semiquincentennial” celebrating the nation’s 250th birthday.
“If all those folks could come together to build a fort by hand, hacking it out of the woods [in 1778], we think our government and private individuals and our committee can come together in the same spirit of cooperation and rebuild the fort again,” Darrell Markijohn, Chairman of the Fort Laurens Rebuild Committee said.
The current museum and historical site currently attracts about 3,000 visitors per year. Markijohn hopes the addition of the fort and upgrades to the site will help attract more visitors, and in turn, highlight the fort’s historical contribution.
“By making this an attraction, we know we can generate more interest,” he said. “And then it gives us a platform to really share this rich, historical story of what happened here.”
Fundraising efforts are still underway at Fort Laurens. You can find more information about how to contribute to the preservation and restoration efforts by clicking on this link. or copy the following link for more information: https://www.fortlaurensmuseum.org