After the Revolutionary War, Colonel Josiah Harmar was put in military charge of the Ohio Country for the newly formed nation. One of his first jobs was to keep illegal settlers out while Congress tried to measure and sell off the land. But “squatters” came anyhow, and were aggravating Indian tribes, who had agreed to an earlier peace treaty.
Colonel Harmar ordered a pentagonal stockade fort to be built at the mouth of the Muskingum in 1785, and the officer in charge named it after his commander: Fort Harmar. It may be the only American fort built to protect the Indians from the settlers! Soon afterward though, it actually encouraged white settlement: the new founders of Marietta felt safe in its shadow. The fort is gone, but the old “Harmar” district across the Muskingum retains the name.