Recently returning from a trip to eastern Indiana to negotiate the acquisition of the Yorktown Enclosure, Midwest Director Paul Gardner stopped by TAC’s Fort Adams preserve in western Ohio. Unfortunately winter had not loosened its grip on the place, as seen by the photo the St. Mary’s River frozen and out of its banks. The preserve is under water to the right of the river.
More about Fort Adams:
Who: General “Mad” Anthony Wayne
What: An obscure fort built by Wayne’s army to help secure their route from Fort Washington to the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
Where: Northwestern Ohio
Historical Affiliation: Northwest Indian War
In 1783 the Treaty of Paris transferred all the land east of the Mississippi River to America. The area was of course inhabited by American Indian tribes, and as American settlers began to move into the Ohio region, armed conflicts ensued. President Washington organized an army with Wayne at its command after two unsuccessful (for the military) tribal attacks. In 1794 Wayne led a third expedition against the confederacy of Midwestern tribes down the Ohio river to present day Cincinnati, then onward to the site of St. Clair’s defeat along the present-day border of Ohio and Indiana. Fort Adams is a short-lived encampment for Wayne’s travels towards the Battle of Fallen Timbers, where the military defeated the native confederacy. Today, the fort has no remaining visual ruins. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources purchased 60 acres of the land to preserve its wetlands, and the Archaeological Conservancy purchased 20 acres of high ground that includes the area where the fort was located, in addition to the surrounding encampment site.
Fun Fact: The fort was originally named Fort Randolph, and Wayne later renamed it Fort Adams after Vise-President John Adams. It was the first fort built in the Maumee River watershed.
Want to learn more about some of our preserved fort sites? Check out our blog piece on the “6 U.S. Forts You Didn’t Learn About in History Class”