On April 29, 1813 the fate of a young America was far from certain. A scant three decades after the end of the revolution that resulted in its independence, the United States was once again at war with Britain; and it was going badly for the fledgling nation. From June 1812 to February 1813, American forces lost Forts Mackinac and Detroit in the Michigan Territory, as well as Fort Dearborn in the Illinois Territory, and were defeated in battle at the River Raisin in Michigan.

But ten fateful days changed all that. From April 30 through May 9, 1813, twelve hundred American troops at Fort Meigs stood fast against the combined forces of British and Canadian soldiers and Native American warriors. Handing Britain and its allies their first major setback on America’s northwest frontier, these gallant soldiers turned the tide of the War of 1812.

Today, your students can tour this key frontier fortification and experience the life of a soldier or piece together the past by examining historic artifacts. Through these various educational programs your students will begin to unravel the conflicting interests of Native peoples, European empires, and the desires of a young nation.


If you are interested in learning about virtual programs, including options for educators, please visit our Virtual Teaching Tools page.


Reservations are required for all programs. For questions or to sign up please call Fort Meigs at 419.874.4121.


Available April – October

What you’ll do & learn:

  • Costumed interpreters lead students through Fort Meigs, giving a detailed narrative and answering questions along the way
  • Students learn about the causes and effects of the War of 1812 and the events at Fort Meigs
  • Students learn about how the War of 1812 influenced the development of Ohio and the United States as well as how regional geography affected events in the Northwest Territory

Associated Costs:

  • Students: $5.00
  • Chaperones: $5.00
  • Teachers & Bus Drivers: FREE

More Details:

  • Recommended time: 1 ½ – 2 hours
  • Tours are modified by grade level
  • Minimum of 15 students required
  • Developed to compliment Ohio Social Studies Standards
  • Standards Addressed


Available September – October only

What you’ll do & learn:

  • Students assume the role of soldiers in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812
  • The student army learns the manual of arms and the military step to illustrate how armies fought in 1812
  • Students debate their individual needs against the common good of defending Fort Meigs
  • The student army does laundry by hand and participates in a court martial to learn about daily life and compare it to today

Associated Costs:

  • Students: $6.00
  • Chaperones: $6.00
  • Teachers & Bus Drivers: FREE

More Details:

  • Required time: 2 hours
  • Designed for grades 3 – 5
  • Minimum 10 / Maximum 40 students
  • Developed to compliment Ohio Social Studies Standards
  • Standards Addressed


Available Year-Round

What you’ll do & learn:

  • Use reproduction artifacts, documents, and other visual materials related to the War of 1812 to supplement student understanding of Ohio’s early statehood and the War of 1812
  • A teacher resource guide is included with lesson plan suggestions and activity ideas

Associated Costs:

  • $48 for a two-week rental. Cases may be picked up at Fort Meigs or shipped to your school for an additional fee. Return shipping costs are the responsibility of the renter.

More Details:

  • Materials designed for a wide-range of grade levels
  • Teachers can modify activities to best meet curriculum goals and individual student learning needs
  • Available on a first-reserved, first served basis

Student Activities

"In the return of the present Detachment of Ohio troops to their families, and homes, it is due to Ohio and her sons to record their honorable Services."

~ Brigadier-General Green Clay
August 4, 1813

Photo credit: Adam Sakel