Fort Loramie, Ohio

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Fort Loramie is a village in Shelby County, Ohio, United States, along Loramie Creek. The population was 1,344 at the 2000 census. The village was founded in 1837.



In 1769 Pierre Loramie, a French-Canadian fur trader (and possibly a Jesuit missionary) built a trading post just north of the present-day village of Fort Loramie. Loramie traded in furs with the Wyandotte and Shawnee Indian tribes. During the 1782 campaign of General George Rogers Clark, Col. Benjamin Logan led an attack on the trading post, and it was burned to the ground.

In 1794, Anthony Wayne ordered the construction of Fort Loramie. It was located at the portage between St. Mary's River and modern-day Loramie's Creek. Wayne initially intended Fort Loramie to be an actual stockade, but after defeating the natives at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794, he determined a blockhouse and several storage buildings were more important. He now intended Fort Loramie to be a supply depot for American fortifications, including Fort Wayne, Fort Adams, and Fort Defiance, in modern-day northern Ohio. In December 1795, the American military finally completed construction of the buildings. During the War of 1812, Fort Loramie served as a supply depot for forts in northern Ohio as well as for military forces sent against the British in Michigan and Canada. In 1815, the United States sold Fort Loramie to James Furrow, who created a tavern and post office out of the buildings. In 1820, Furrow gave up the business. Despite this, a village had begun to form. Many people had moved from eastern Ohio, seeking better land and increased opportunity. Most of the early migrants were of German descent.

After the War of 1812, settlement began in the Fort Loramie area, and a town was laid out and surveyed by Jonathan Counts. Lots were sold at auction, and the name Berlin was given to the town. When work started on the Miami-Erie Canal in 1836, German immigration began in earnest. The immigrants came mainly as laborers on the canal and soon purchased land and became permanent settlers. The canal was opened in 1841, bringing finished goods, groceries, clothing and machinery to the area, and taking wood products, grain, pork and other farm items back to the cities.

The first flour mill was built in 1858, and the first general store, Willman's, was established the same year. Other early establishments included Quinlan's pharmacy and two taverns, Bruckens and Vogelsang's Café, both of which are still in operation. The first church, St. Michael's Catholic Church, was completed in 1851. The one-room school house for the grade school (grades 1-8) was built in 1874 just east of St. Michael's Church. In 1883 the Fort Loramie Community Fire Co. was established.

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