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Defiance in Defiance County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Fort Winchester

Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail

 
 
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 3, 2009
1. Fort Winchester Marker
Inscription.  
Fort Winchester
»»««
Built by General Wm. H. Harrison
in Oct. 1812 and named for
General Winchester.
For a time it was the only
defensive work against the
British and Indians in North-
western Ohio.

 
Erected 1930 by Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission. (Marker Number C32.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts or CastlesMilitaryNative AmericansWar of 1812. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #09 William Henry Harrison, and the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission series lists.
 
Location. 41° 17.119′ N, 84° 21.518′ W. Marker is in Defiance, Ohio, in Defiance County. Marker is at the intersection of West 2nd Street and Washington Avenue, on the right when traveling east on West 2nd Street. This historical marker is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Washington Avenue. and West 2nd
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 3, 2009
2. Fort Winchester Marker
View of this historical marker with the W. 2nd St. bridge, over the Auglaize River, in the backgound.
Street. As of May of 2009 it was on the front edge of the parking lot of the "Family Video" store. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 West 2nd Street, Defiance OH 43512, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort Winchester (within shouting distance of this marker); Defiance Historic Sites (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Winchester (about 800 feet away); Fort Defiance (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Indian Wars (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Defiance (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Defiance Flagstaff (approx. 0.2 miles away); Buffalo Were Recorded Here In 1718 (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Defiance.
 
More about this marker. When it was originally built Fort Winchester was situated on the west bank of the Auglaize River, just upstream from the location of Fort Defiance at the juncture of the Auglaize River with the Maumee River. When visiting Defiance, Ohio today, the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission (ORMC) historical marker for Fort Winchester can be viewed when traveling east from downtown Defiance on W. 2nd St. and looking on your right, just prior to crossing the bridge over the Auglaize River.

The more recent Ohio Historical Marker for Fort Winchester can be seen when looking to your left, just prior to crossing the bridge over the Auglaize River.

The featured historical marker is part of the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail series (type C) which was put in place in 1930 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Ohio's Revolutionary War era Battle of Piqua, by the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission.

In order to accomplish this, in 1929 the state of Ohio created the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission, and then in 1930 this commission created 22 military trails, throughout western Ohio, between Cincinnati, Ohio on the state's southern border and Toledo, Ohio on the state's northern border. Each of these military trails represented the routes, or trails, used by military leaders during either the Revolutionary War, the Indian Wars of 1790 to 1795, or the War of 1812. Each of these military routes connected various related historical sites, that were marked with Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission (type C) markers, along each of the military trails.

The routes of these military trails were in turn marked by type A and type B Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission markers that served as directional (type B) and distance (type A) markers.

Originally, back in 1930, there were erected 70 some of these Ohio Revolutionary Memorial
Commission, type C, markers. To date, there are only 20 some of them that have been located and posted on the Historical Marker database. A number of them are presently missing, and presumed to be permanently lost.

Of the 20 some original markers that have been included in the historical marker database only a small number of them have the original art work, sometimes referred to as silhouettes, across the top of the historical marker. This is a feature that makes these markers quite unique from most other historical markers. This "Fort Winchester" marker is one of those very few markers.
 
Regarding Fort Winchester. The War of 1812 was still in its infancy and already the American theater of military operations in the Northwest had suffered a serious setback. General Hull had marched an American army northward, through northwestern Ohio, to one of America's border's with Canada, at Fort Detroit. Once there however, instead of the anticipated successful invasion of Canada, Hull's army experienced a stunning defeat. And with the loss of General Hull's army the door was opened for the British to launch an invasion of conquest into Ohio.

To make matters worse, there was soon infighting
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, November 12, 2010
3. Fort Winchester Marker
View of the historical marker on the southwest corner of Washington Avenue and West 2nd Street, adjacent to the Family Video parking lot.
between the Americans over who would assume command of the Northwestern military theater of operations. Initially it appeared that General William Henry Harrison would be the man in charge and he began the task of scrambling to secure as much as he could of what was now the contested territory between the British up in Detroit and the Americans down in southern and central Ohio. But then another general appeared on the scene, James Winchester, and he successfully argued that technically his commission outranked that of General Harrison, and then he assumed control of the American operations in the Northwest. But his command was short lived because General Harrison's supporters quickly secured a higher ranking commission for him and General Winchester was forced to accept a secondary role and placed in command of the Left Wing of the Northwestern Army.

So while it had been under General Winchester's command that the American army had advanced into the Fort Defiance area (the area at the juncture of the Auglaize River with the Maumee River), it would now be under the command of General Harrison that a major fort would be built there.

It is in his book (copyright 1905) entitled, "History of the Maumee River Basin" that Defiance native Charles E. Slocum writes about Fort Winchester and states: "General Harrison selected the site and drew the plan for a new fort to
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, November 12, 2010
4. Fort Winchester Marker
View looking south, down Washington Avenue, of the recently erected Ohio Historical Marker for Fort Winchester, and in the distant background, across the street and beyond the intersection, of the ORMC historical marker for Fort Winchester.
embrace over twelve times the ground space of Fort Defiance....As further evidence of the desire to respect and honor the commander of the Left Wing, the new fort at Defiance was duly christened Fort Winchester. This fort was completed by soldiers working with short and often unwholesome rations, thinly clad, and with much suffering from inclement weather; but it was happily completed and fulfilled its mission during the war as an important stronghold for the defense of the territory of the upper rivers, as a rendezvous for troops and, later, for the storing of supplies to be boated down the Maumee River as wanted by the advancing troops. For some length of time it was the only obstruction against the incursions of the British and Aborigines into Northwestern Ohio."
 
Also see . . .
1. Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail System. A description of the Revolutionary Memorial Trail System developed by the state of Ohio in 1929 - 1930. (Submitted on November 17, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

2. Cartographic Map of the (Western) Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail, 1930. This is a link to information provided by the Midpointe Library System. Middletown, Trenton, West Chester, Ohio. (Submitted on September 8, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 
 
Additional keywords. William Henry
Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail Map image. Click for full size.
Image courtesy of the MidPointe Library System (www.MidPointeLibrary.org)
5. Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail Map
A view of an original Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Trail Map, from 1930. For a better view double click on this picture.
Harrison
 
Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission Marker Types image. Click for full size.
Image provided by Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission publication, dated 1931.
6. Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission Marker Types
View of the three types of markers used by the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission. The marker on the left is a type A marker, the marker in the middle is a type C (just like our featured marker), and the marker on the right is a type B. For a better view double click on this picture.
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 15, 2019
7. Fort Winchester Marker
View of the marker, looking west on 2nd Street.
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 15, 2019
8. Fort Winchester Marker
View of the historical marker showing the unique art work, sometimes referred to as a silhouette, across the top of the marker.
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 15, 2019
9. Fort Winchester Marker
A close-up view of the unique marker art work, or silhouette, across the top of the historical marker.
Fort Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 15, 2019
10. Fort Winchester Marker
A close-up view of the Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission information printed across the bottom of this marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 7, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,949 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 7, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   3, 4. submitted on November 15, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   5. submitted on September 8, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   6. submitted on June 27, 2019, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on July 16, 2019, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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