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Fort Meigs State Memorial

 

 

 

Fort Meigs State Memorial

29100 West River Road

Perrysburg, OH 43552

(419) 874-4121

(800) 283-8916

www.fortmeigs.org

 

Fort Open: April - October
Museum open year-round

Hours:
Wed. - Sat. : 9:30am - 5:00pm
Sun. : 12:00pm - 5:00pm

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Museum and Education Center

The Museum and Education Center has 3,000 square feet of exhibits and artifacts - including soldiers' letters and diaries, weapons, maps, and uniforms - that describe Fort Meigs role during the War of 1812. Exhibits themes include The Lore of the Land, The Sixty Year War for Ohio, and Building Fort Meigs. Original artifacts from the War of 1812, including swords, uniforms, and maps highlight the events of the war and the impact it had on soldiers and thier families. Exhibits will emphasize hands-on and interpretive learning opportunities for students and families, as well as workshop and curriculum resources for teachers. The building also includes a gift shop, classroom and conference room.
 

Memorial

Today, Fort Meigs is an Ohio State Memorial in Perrysburg, Ohio. The 65 acre (263,000 m) park includes an entire rebuilt replica of the 1813 fort. Located on the corner of a nearby cemetery even today there still remains the original artillery positions laid by the British for use during the siege.

The Visitor Center's museum exhibits include frontier Ohio and early Native Americans, the history of the War of 1812 and the fort's role in the war, artifacts found at Fort Meigs, and military life. Outside, visitors can tour the reconstructed blockhouses and stockade.

There are several re-enactments held there yearly such as the re-enactment of the British siege during the war of 1812, an event involving the French and Indian Wars, and their Muster on the Maumee weekend (usually held on Father's Day weekend) where a military timeline event is held (soldiers ranging from the roman empire straight through to the Vietnam War). The site is very picturesque, and is even more so on the 4th of July, when visitors may enjoy a fireworks display amongst the refurbished fort and new museum building.

 

History

The fort construction was started in February of 1813 by soldiers under General William Henry Harrison in present-day Perrysburg, Ohio. The work began in harsh climate, the fort being built around land thick with swamp and there was even one documented case of a U.S sentry who froze to death during his guard duty period of two hours. The fort was the largest wooden walled fortification in North America up to that point, named in honor of Ohio governor Return J. Meigs, Jr. for his support in providing Harrison with militia and supplies for the line of forts along the Old Northwest frontier.

On May 1, 1813, the British under General Henry Proctor and Chief Tecumseh laid siege to the fort. It was during that time that Colonel Dudley had lead a party outside of the fort and they were eliminated by the British Native Allies. Similar circumstances befell on many a wood gathering party from the American army. Harrison was able to hold out against the British through the use of long and broad hills made inside the fort known as Traverses which not only absorbed many of the incoming British shells but also provided a sleeping quarters for American personnel. Once damp weather befell these dwellings, several soldiers no longer wished to live in the soggy quarters and resigned themselves to sleeping in canvas Army tents. Proctor raised the siege on May 9, 1813. Harrison, having mobilized the garrison into an army, left General Green Clay in command of the fort. Clay held the fort against a second attempted siege by the British that same year in July. Once the British had retreated from the area for good, General Harrison ordered the fort dismantled.

Fort Meigs is the largest wooden walled fortification in North America.

 

 

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