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The Northeast Ohio Home of the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Of The Revolutionary War

Memorial Day weekend is for remembering those who gave their lives for the nation in military service. That incldues those who died in the Revolutionary War – and who died in that war in the remote wilderness of what is now northeast Ohio.  

It's 1778, and the Continental Army’s 8th Pennsylvania Regiment marches into the Ohio country to build Fort Laurens, 

Museum Mannequin of Soldier of 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, 1778
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Museum Display - Soldier Of The 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, circa 1778

where the Tuscarawas River meets the Great Trail. It’s to be a base for attacking British-held Detroit. But, Redcoats and Native Americans besiege the fort. By the time it’s abandoned a year later, 21 defenders die.

Tomb of The Unknown Soldier Of The American Revolution
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Tomb of The Unknown Soldier of The American Revolution

Nearly 140 years after that, the unidentified remains of one of those men has become the unknown soldier of the Revolution. 

Museum Director Tammi Mackey-Shrum
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Tammi Mackey-Shrum, Director Fort Laurens Museum

Tammi Mackey-Shrum heads the Fort Laurens Museum.

“Ohio Historical Society acquired the land in 1915, and then 1917 it officially opened as a park. There was a circle for touring cars. And, the fort, instead of a mulch outline like we have now, they had a whole hedge of the outline.”

A century later still, in 2017, Ft. Laurens Park is to celebrate its own centennial.