When the War of 1812 began, the Griswolds, the Phelps and other families who had moved into the area began to worry about safety. Many of the fathers of the pioneer families were part of the militia. When the governor of Ohio called out the militia (like our National Guard today) to report for duty, these men had to leave their wives and children behind, take their muskets and join their fellow soldiers. These pioneer families did not live in a town but lived in log homes scattered throughout the forests. At this time of conflict and danger, being separated from others in your community was frightening.
The pioneer men decided to build a log fort that could offer protection for their families when they left to join the militia. The fort was built on South State Street where Pioneer Cemetery is located today. It was a sturdy log building and served the women and children well. They left their log homes and congregated at the fort when the men went with the militia. There was comfort and strength in being together.
After the danger of the War of 1812 passed, the pioneer families decided that the log fort would make a good schoolhouse for children. The Phelps barn was fine for the children of just two families, but the community had grown. The fort was well built so they decided to recycle it. It became a place of learning for the pioneer children and also became a place for worship on Sundays.
Last updated: 2/15/2018