Sunday, August 06, 2000

Fort Washington . . . why?

How it got its name

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Fort Washington Way is named after Fort Washington, the U.S. Army's first outpost in this area of the country. The fort was established in 1789.

        The fort was located on the eastern end of what is now downtown — the eastern block of Broadway between Third and Fourth streets to be exact. It served as base for troops who cleared out much of the area's Indian population.

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        Many credit the presence of the fort with the survival of the fledgling city that grew to be Cincinnati. The fort closed in 1804 and was later relocated across the Ohio River to Newport.

        Cincinnati City Council officially adopted the name for the highway in March 1959, upon a suggestion from a local historical group. For years the highway was known by its original name the “Third Street Distributor,” however.

        The city erected a monument commemorating the location of the fort in 1900, and it moved in 1963 to be accurate. It was taken down when construction on the new Fort Washington Way began, although another plaque on an office building — the former Guilford School — on Fourth Street commemorates the fort.