Ohio History Journal

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[Editorial in Toledo Blade, January 24, 1903.- E. O. R.]

Fort Industry existed: that is, there are men still living

who can recall its remains. But that is all we know about it.

In boyhood, they saw the clay bluff, afterward cut down, which

occupied the site of the block bounded by Summit, Water, Mon-

roe and Jefferson streets. On its summit, some six or eight doors

north of Monroe street, was an excavation which had apparently

been a cellar under a cabin, and at least one citizen recalls that

a few of the old uprights of the stockade remained in his boyish


The date of its erection, by whom,- and for what purpose,

have never been determined. The tablet on the Monroe street

side of Fort Industry block recites the popular legend; but no

historic proof of the statements has ever been found. One of

the most persistent searchers for the truth of history in the

Maumee Valley is Dr. Charles E. Slocum, of Defiance. Else-

where in this issue of The Blade, we give a communication from

him which recites all the proved historic facts regarding Fort In-

dustry. It is a valuable contribution to local history, which we

are glad to present to the people of this city and of Northwesern


The conclusion of Dr. Slocum as to the date of and motive

for its erection is hypothetical, of course: but it is the only hypoth-

esis yet advanced which fits in with the negative evidence against

the popular tradition and the assertions of historical compilers

- not investigators - regarding the matter, like Howe and

Knapp. Unless a statement can be proved, it should not be

written up as a fact, and both these historians committed this

error. Legend is not history.

Another fact, to which Dr. Slocum does not refer, is that

no authoritative picture of Fort Industry exists. Several years

ago the writer endeavored to find out all that he could concern-