PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WJW)– Fort Meigs, located just south of Toledo in the city of Perrysburg, is one of our state’s most important historical sites.
It was built in 1813 to defend what was then the northern border of the United States. At that time, it housed as many as 300 troops.
“A lot of people don’t think of Ohio when they think of major U.S. battlefields in major U.S. conflicts, but right here it is secretly in everybody’s backyard,” said John Thompson, manager of programs.
“The US Army has lost a lot of territory and a lot of battles, and they were backed up to this point. Here is where they will make their stand. We are right on the Maumee River. It’s an excellent place to build a fort because you can watch all the avenues into the state.”
Bordering the walls of the fort are seven blockhouses. They are essentially guard towers with walls that are 2-feet-thick to provide protection from cannons and musket fire.
“There will be artillery crews on the ground floor, firing out of what are called porthole windows, just like on a ship. And then rifle or musket men upstairs on the second story firing out of small loophole windows,” Thompson said.
The weapon of choice was a flintlock rifle, which would often misfire. “It is a smooth bore weapon, which means it’s going to be fairly inaccurate. You have to have a target inside of 100 yards to hit it effectively. And they are fairly unreliable. There are a lot of working parts that have to work in quick succession for it to go off,” Thompson said.
Visitors should also check out the Legacy of Freedom Museum, which contains hundreds of artifacts recovery from the fort.
And best of all, it’s just a One Tank Trip.
Check our map to Fort Meigs and other stops: