BOLIVAR (WJER) (July 26, 2022) – The site manager at Fort Laurens is detailing some of the improvements that will be taking place there ahead of America’s 250th birthday.
Tammi Shrum says the museum will be getting some new exhibits next year, which is also when archaeological research is set to begin for a partial reconstruction of the fort.
“Twenty-one soldiers lost their lives at Fort Laurens, so really to have a fort and to be able to better interpret the site and tell that story is really going to help pay homage to those soldiers that gave their lives for the American Revolution.”
Fort Laurens was abandoned after the war and razed years later during the development of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Shrum says plans to rebuild it have been in the works for more than a century.
“It really picked up steam in the 1990s and then the last kind of torch over the finish line really started in 2019 with the Fort Laurens Rebuild Committee really just kind of bringing everyone together to develop a plan of action for Fort Laurens knowing that the 250 was approaching.”
There’s no cost estimate at this point, although Shrum says fundraising is off to a good start.
“The Friends of Fort Laurens who have been raising money $100 for a log at a time for the past 30 years, they have about $330,000 already and then we were able to match that with some state capital funding, so even though we know we will need more it’s really nice to have a little bit over $500,000.”
She says if the project doesn’t get finished in time for America’s 250th in 2026, it will definitely be ready when the fort reaches that age in 2028.