This old stone fort near Coshocton Ohio may be the oldest structure in the Midwest but no one knows for sure. Read more about this mysterious structure that I learned about during a visit to Coshocton County in east-central Ohio.
What’s the Story of the Old Stone Fort near Coshocton Ohio?
Who built the Old Stone Fort that stands off the side of a country road on the eastern side of Coshocton County? Is it even a fort at all or was it simply part of a farm built centuries ago?
The Old Stone Fort is said to be the oldest building in the state of Ohio, possibly the oldest building in the Midwest, yet little is known of its origins. The stone building is thought to have been constructed around 1679, nearly 100 years prior to the American Revolution. Yet no one knows why it was built or by whom.
According to the metal plaque displayed on the outside of the fort, it was is believed to have been built by d’ Iberville, LaSalle’s successor who built French forts in the Mississippi Valley from 1679- 1689. It’s also believed that this French Canadian built the fort to guard against the English in the battle of the fur trades.
This theory is not proven and another belief is that an Irish fur trader, George Croghan, built the fort in the 1700’s. Could it be the fort is not as old as some historians thought it to be? Research has shown that Croghan did build a stone trading post in Pickaway in 1750.
Wait…there’s another Theory Surrounding this Old Stone Structure
Another theory is that the fort was built by a farmer who once owned the land, though his descendants debunked the theory, stating that the fort looked pretty old when they first laid eyes on it.
Today, historians and roadside attraction enthusiasts can visit the mysterious fort, which was restored in the 1950’s by the Coshocton County Historical Society.
Tips on Visiting the Old Stone Fort:
- Pulling up to the fort, I was surprised to see a privately owned mobile home within 15 to 20 feet of the fort, which made me a little bit uncomfortable stopping to check out the fort.
- Parking is available alongside the road.
- The fort is unmanned and free to visit.
- The door was open and I was able to enter the fort for a look around. It’s not very big and there really isn’t much to see so the stop doesn’t take long.
Directions to the Old Stone Fort
From Coshocton, travel east on US 36 to US 751. Turn right on 751 and take the first road to the left, County Road 254 which runs along the Tuscarawas River. Follow 254 around a sharp curve to the right and continue roughly ¼ of a mile to the Old Stone Fort on the right-hand side of the road.
Add some of these Nearby Attractions to your Itinerary:
A Touch of Nostalgia at the Unusual Junction and Lava Rock Grill
Step Back in Time at Historic Roscoe Village
The Wilds: Perfect for Multigenerational Family Fun
Wednesday 15th of February 2023
Further Information of Ancient Stone Fortresses of the Ohio Valley can be found by reading: 'Graves of the Golden Bear' by Rick Osmond
Saturday 13th of June 2020
Oh, it's probably aliens who built it! It's so cool finding really old things that no one knows the origin of. If I'm down that way again, I will have to stop for a look!
Monday 6th of July 2020
I agree. If there is no logical answer it must be aliens. LOL Though it is a pretty traditional design. Something to ponder.
Wednesday 13th of April 2016
Your travel instructions say follow 254 around a sharp curve to the left. Shouldn't that say sharp curve to the right? Also, is this accessible to general public?
Wednesday 20th of April 2016
Hi Steve, Yes, it should say turn to the right. I sometimes get my right and left confused. :( Yes, this is accessible to the general public, but as I mentioned in the post, it is close to the home beside it. It is listed on the Coshocton County Visitor Center page, which is how I heard about the structure. http://www.visitcoshocton.com/things-to-do/historical-sites/the-historic-trail/223-old-stone-fort
Wednesday 1st of October 2014
I like the oldest theory the best - the French/English fur trade battles were legendary. Was the "Old Stone Fort" engraving above the doorway added when they did the restoration? I wonder what all they did to restore the fort while maintaining authenticity? This would be the perfect rest stop, although the mobile home is odd!
Thursday 9th of October 2014
I have no idea about the engraving, Gretchen. There isn't a whole lot of information available about the fort but it was a fun stop.
Monday 29th of September 2014
So interesting! Wonder if we will ever know the real story?