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Fort Harmar
Part of the Northwest Territory of the United States
Marietta, Ohio
Fort Harmar near Marietta by Joseph Gilman
FortHarmar plaque.jpg
Fort Harmar plaque at Marietta
Site history
Built 1785
Built by John Doughty
Battles/wars Northwest Indian War
Events Treaty of Fort Harmar
Garrison information
Josiah Harmar, John Doughty, David Ziegler
Occupants United States troops
Fort Harmar
Location of Fort Harmar in Ohio
Location of Fort Harmar in Ohio
Location of Fort Harmar in Ohio
Location Marietta, Ohio
Coordinates 39°24′35.38″N 81°27′27.72″W / 39.4098278°N 81.4577000°W / 39.4098278; -81.4577000Coordinates: 39°24′35.38″N 81°27′27.72″W / 39.4098278°N 81.4577000°W / 39.4098278; -81.4577000
Governing body Private
Part of Harmar Historic District (#74001645)
Designated CP 1974

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 Colonel Josiah Harmar and took his name. The fort was intended for the protection of Indians, i.e., to prevent pioneer squatters from settling in the land to the northwest of the Ohio River. “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.”[1]

It is notable as the site 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 to the east across the Muskingum. During the one-year anniversary celebration of the founding of Marietta, the physician Solomon Drowne said:

But to whom is this settlement more indebted than to the generous chieftain [Josiah Harmar] and other worthy officers of yonder fortress, distinguished by the name of Harmer [Fort Harmar]. With what cheerfulness and cordiality have ye ever entered into every measure promotive of the company's interest. Important is the station ye fill in every respect, and not least in this, that you seem reserved to exhibit to mankind a specimen of that military splendor, which ornamented the arms of America, and would do honor to the troops of any potentate on earth.[2]

The fort was abandoned and later demolished, as the area has been redeveloped for other uses, and Marietta expanded to the west side of the river. This area of Marietta is still referred to as Harmar. For instance, a group of historic buildings has been recognized as the Harmar Historic District when listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nearby forts[edit]

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. It was the first settlement of Marietta.

The Picketed Point fortification of Marietta was built in 1791 directly across the Muskingum from Fort Harmar, on the east side of the river's mouth.

See also[edit]


  • 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.
Fort Harmar[3]


  1. ^ Hildreth, Pioneer History, 317.
  2. ^ Hildreth, Pioneer History, 521.
  3. ^ Lossing, Benson (1868). The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812. Harper & Brothers, Publishers. p. 39. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Harmar — Please support Wikipedia.
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A US military post established in 1785 at Marietta, Ohio, this fort was already on the way to becoming obsolete when it was first established. It was the site of the ...

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23 news items

Aurora Advocate

Aurora Advocate
Tue, 17 Nov 2015 22:00:00 -0800

One house that is open, however, is the Henry Fearing House in Harmar Village, where Fort Harmar was situated in the late 1700s. Built in 1847, it is an example of federal-style architecture, with Italianate influence on the exterior of the 1870 addition.

Marietta Times

Marietta Times
Wed, 07 Apr 2010 05:54:18 -0700

You could say historian Bill Reynolds fell in love with Fort Harmar, the region's first frontier military fort, on his first trip to Marietta's Campus Martius Museum when he was 10 or 12 years old. "My parents brought me here... and I thought, 'Wow ...
Marietta Times
Mon, 19 Oct 2015 21:52:30 -0700

Unlimited access to all stories from The Marietta Times on your computer, tablet or smart phone. Access MariettaTimes.com, view our digital edition or use or All Access apps. Get more information at www.MariettaTimes.com/AllAccess. One payment of ...

The News Center

The News Center
Tue, 26 May 2015 15:41:15 -0700

Once a year in the state of Ohio, those in law enforcement have to pass gun and taser tests and training. The Washington County Sheriff's Office is holding their training from Tuesday till Friday at the Fort Harmar Rifle Range in Marietta. The members ...

The Independent

The Independent
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:38:18 -0700

Steamboats gather for dedication ceremony of Davis IslandLock and Dam in 1885. Photo by Captain Frederick Way Jr. Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 3:54 pm. History traveled the Ohio River By G. SAM PIATT For The Independent The Independent Online.

Marietta Times

Marietta Times
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 00:03:45 -0800

Community officials, first responders and local businesses are hoping for an extended comment period to address unanswered questions about the impact of converting four existing wells near the Washington County Career Center into Class II injection wells.


Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:50:02 -0800

Among them was the Ohio Company of Associates who came ashore at Fort Harmar. Among the people on the flatboats descending the Ohio was the Goodale family. Cynthia Goodale became the first free child to step foot into Ohio. Other children had been ...
Marietta Times
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 23:22:30 -0700

Officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources received 42 letters, including a petition with 26 signatures, commenting on Heinrich Enterprise, Inc.'s application for permits to install four brine injection wells on property located off Ohio ...

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