Fort Laurens was built beside the Tuscarawas River in the fall of 1778 near present day Bolivar, Ohio
The rear gate was the "watergate" overlooking the river below. Cabins inside the fort housed the officers and men.
The front gate and guardhouse. The stockade was made of split logs with the split face outwards.
The southwest bastion overlooked the hospital building to the right and a smaller cabin, both outside the protection of the stockade.
An earlier view of the hospital and terrain without stumps and other features
Looking north from the southwest bastion, the front gate is on the left. The barracks and other cabins are surrounding a central parade ground.
Looking south. The path to the river was protected by a zig-zagging palisade.
Looking soouthwest. There is some uncertainty about the exact looks of the flag they would have been flying.
Overview from the front.
Hospital cabin and small cabin.
Fort interior from the front, looking NE.
Looking south from the parade ground.
Were some or all of the cabins heated? If so, were the fireplaces made all of stone or, more likely, stone base with a wood and mud chimney as seen on the cabin in the distance.
The fort was laid out a bit lopsided; a ditch and dirt mound surrounded all sides except the east side, toward the river.
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The Friends of Fort Laurens group wanted to recreate the fort in a "virtual" mode, inside the computer. These photos show a 3D model in stages of development. The model was created using Autodesk 3DS Max.
An archaeological dig established the size and shape of the fort and its interior buildings. Going by all available historical evidence, the fort itself is probably quite accurate. The surrounding landscape is more open to conjecture. For example, the stumps shown in the surrounding flat land may not be accurate, as some evidence exists that many of these river bottom lands were often free of trees, either by nature or because the Native Americans burned them off periodically. The soldiers' reports mention having to go a long way to cut and bring back their logs.
While still a work in progress, this is an example of how historic buildings and landscapes can be recreated for video projects.
Click on any image for a larger view.
© 2014-2020 Shelburne Films -- Reedsville, Ohio 45772 -- All images copyrighted & all rights reserved