Fort Harmar

Fort Harmar was an early United States frontier military fort, built in pentagonal shape during 1785 at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, on the west side of the mouth of the Muskingum River. It was built under the orders of Josiah Harmar and took his name. The original intention of the fort was to protect Indians, i.e., to prevent pioneer squatters from settling in the land to the northwest of Ohio River, until later agreed by treaties. “The position was judiciously chosen, as it commanded not only the mouth of the Muskingum, but swept the waters of the Ohio, from a curve in the river for a considerable distance both above and below the fort.” It is notable for the 1789 Treaty of Fort Harmar, between the United States and several Native American tribes.

The presence of Fort Harmar was influential in the founding of Marietta, Ohio in 1788 across the Muskingum. During the one-year anniversary celebration of the founding of Marietta, the distinguished physician Solomon Drowne orated:

While the fort is no longer existent, that area of Marietta is still referred to as Harmar, and the historic value had been registered as the Harmar Historic District.

Nearby forts

The Campus Martius fortification of the Marietta settlement was built on the east side of the Muskingum and upriver from Fort Harmar during 1788, and fully completed in 1791 at the start of the Northwest Indian War. The Picketed Point fortification of Marietta was built directly across the Muskingum from Fort Harmar, on the east side of the mouth, during 1791.

  • Hildreth, S. P.: Pioneer History: Being an Account of the First Examinations of the Ohio Valley, and the Early Settlement of the Northwest Territory, H. W. Derby and Co., Cincinnati, Ohio (1848).
  • Zimmer, Louise: More True Stories from Pioneer Valley, published by Sugden Book Store, Marietta, Ohio (1993), chapter 5 entitled David Ziegler.
  • Zimmer, Louise: True Stories of Pioneer Times, published by Broughton Foods company, Marietta, Ohio (1987), chapter 2 entitled Fort Harmar.

Building Activity

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