Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Chillicothe Ohio’

“Digging the Past” at Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Dig into the past and discover facts about people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago. At Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio, those interested in archaeology had an exciting day called “Digging the Past”. Special displays by area people, who are interested in what is under the ground, provided valuable information for anyone who wished to listen.

One of the speakers at Archaeology presentation

One of the speakers at Archaeology presentation

Five knowledgeable archaeologists and collectors gave slide show lectures on various archaeological subjects. Some of my favorite dealt with the various groups of mounds around the state of Ohio. Bruce Lambardo, ranger at the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, explained why we should change the term “mounds” to “earthworks”. These structures are not just piles of dirt built by early Native Americans, but precise, geometrical art works that were not only enormous in size, but also aligned astronomically. He described the Hopewell Culture site near Chillicothe as the most spectacular configuration of Earthworks in the world.

Dr. Jarrod Burks, Director of Archaeological Geophyics at Ohio Valley Archaeology, discussed the earthworks throughout the state including Newark, Chillicothe, and Marietta. While many of the mounds have been destroyed by farming and housing developments, there are still new ones being discovered in the last fifty years.

Mound City Artifacts explained.

Mound City Artifacts explained.

There seemed to be a strong connection between the Newark and Chillicothe Earthworks when they were constructed in 300 B.C. – 400 A.D. These earth architects constructed these ceremonial mounds, where the circles had the exact same diameter, and squares measured the same corner to corner. Even more exacting was the fact that the circle would fit perfectly inside the square. How did these early people perform such mathematically correct shapes and even have them aligned to the winter and summer solstices? How did they construct Great Hopewell Road directly between the two mound centers? Either they were geniuses or perhaps they had some extraterrestrial help. Keep your mind open to all possibilites.

Wes Clark explained his finds at The Castle Museum, where pottery and earthworks artifacts have been discovered. Nathaniel Clark Pottery (1808 -1849) existed on the same site as today’s Castle, so many pieces of pottery have been discovered from red earthenware to stoneware. Earthworks artifacts also frequently appear, including flint arrowheads.

From all the buttons found at the military sites, Archaeologist Greg Shipley remarked, with a smile, that the thread must not have been very strong. A wide variety of buttons appeared in archaeological digs in western Ohio military sites while looking for footprints of an outpost there. The hot spot for buttons seemed to be in the area of the taverns.

Flint Knapper demonstrates skills.

Flint Knapper demonstrates skills.

Flint knappers displayed  the intricate methods they use to shape the pieces of flint found. Their methods are beyond my description as they magically formed arrowheads by chipping and shaping the layers of the flint. Long ago the Indians used either stone or bone to shape their arrows from flint, in much the same manner. After use, the arrowheads would need re-sharpened by removing flakes to reshape, so they would get smaller and sharper as time passed. The flint knapper at Marietta had been creating flint pieces for fifteen years so was quite excellent at his craft.

Archaeology displays filled the lobby of Campus Martius Museum.

Archaeology displays filled the lobby of Campus Martius Museum.

Numerous displays throughout the lobby included historic artifacts from collections around the state. Not only were there Indian artifacts from the Adena and Hopewell people, but also artifacts from military camps of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars as well as historic Marietta.  The Pipe Tomahawk intrigued me with a head that has an ax on one edge with a pipe bowl on the other. It enjoyed multiple uses as a pipe to smoke, a ceremonial instrument, and also a weapon.

Tomahawk Peace Pipe

Tomahawk Peace Pipe had several uses.

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta holds informative speakers throughout the year on a wide variety of subjects. If you are interested in Ohio history, check out their schedule at Campus Martius Museum website.

Marietta is located on the beautiful Ohio River just off I-77. Take Exit 1 to downtown Marietta and follow State Route 7 / 60. Turn left on Washington Street and one block down on the right hand side, you’ll see Campus Martius Museum. There is parking to the right of the building or one block behind at the Ohio River Museum. Visit both museums if time permits.




Hopewell Mound Group’s Mysterious Crop Circle

Extraterrestrial, Paranormal, or Prank? Recently the Hopewell Mound Group near Chillicothe, Ohio  became a hot spot for crop circle investigation. An unusual sight of an intricately designed crop circle was noticed from an airplane flying over the area.  Therefore, this gypsy decided it was a great time to take a road trip to learn more about the mounds, as well as the crop circle.

Hopewell Mounds Visitors' CenterHopewell Culture National Historic Park’s Visitors’ Center provides an excellent short film giving possible history and reasons for the mounds being constructed in this area.  Located in the  beautiful Scioto River Valley, easily accessible water for daily use, as well as transportation, was of great importance to that early culture.

Hopewell MoundsThese historic mounds were the ceremonial center of the Hopewell culture from 200 BC – 500 AD. A stretch of land along the North Fork of Paint Creek contains the most striking total set of Hopewell culture remains in Ohio. This enormous legacy of geometric landmarks was created by unknown inhabitants prior to the time of the American Indians living on this land. Their name actually comes from Confederate General Mordecai Hopewell, who owned the land when the mounds were first discovered back in 1840. No one actually knows what name those original builders called themselves.

Interesting similarities, shared by the five mound groups in the Hopewell Culture, make them part of a larger picture.  Each field usually has a small circle, a larger circle and a square. Each square is 27 acres and the larger circle would fit perfectly within the square. The large circles all have the same diameter and encompass 20 acres. Many of these appear to have been laid out for their astrological significance.

Hopewell Mound 25The main section is often called the “Great Enclosure”, a six foot high, rough, rectangular, earthen enclosure measuring approximately 2800′ X 1800′. Mound 25 is located within this area and was the site of early excavations in the 1800’s. This treasure trove contained shells from the Gulf Coast, copper from Lake Superior region, and obsidian from Wyoming.  It appears that when the ceremonial life of a site was finished, they built a mound much like we would put up a headstone or monument.

Hopewell Crop CirclesThe recently sighted Crop Circle seems to be located very near this enclosure, but on the other side of the treeline, in the old channel of the North Fork of Paint Creek riverbed.  Since it is on adjoining property and under study, access is not permitted at this time. Circles were first seen from an airplane on September 20, 2012 as the pilot was headed toward the Serpent Mounds. This forty-three circle pattern in standing corn is not visible from any nearby road.   Some thought this pattern resembled a “reversible electric motor” and felt it appropriate to have been drawn near high tension power lines, which are located about 330 yards away. Was there a message intended?

Hopewell Mound Group MapThis map of the Hopewell Culture Group shows its boundaries as well as the location near the upper right hand side of Mound 25. From all information received, the crop circle appeared to the right of the Mound 25 circle and across the tree line. When explored by the Independent Crop Circle Researchers’ Association,  it was determined that the cornstalks were smoothly bent in many swirled and intricate patterns at heights from 2 inches to 4 feet. No footprints were found or any evidence of stepping on plants.

One significant difference came in comparison testing of the length of growth nodes in the crop circle vs those in the untouched field. Those in the circle were elongated, an unhoaxable effect, producing accelerated growth. These effects are often brought about by high levels of radiation.

Hopewell Hiking TrailTook a relaxing walk around the entire Hopewell Mound Group using their hiking trail, which was rather muddy and slippery in spots, and ending on the Bike Trail. Felt accompanied on that walk by someone from that long ago time. Believe I passed close to the spot where the Crop Circle was located from all the clues given, but could see nothing from the ground view.

When asked about the Crop Circle at the Visitors’  Center, the answer was  “there is no tangible evidence”, but they reminded visitors that Hopewell Culture is a very spiritual place.  Guess everyone will have to reach their own conclusion. The mysteries persist! Any ideas?

Actually, this is not an easy spot to find as it’s located in the middle of south-central Ohio without any nearby interstate access.  The Hopewell Mound City Group Visitors’ Center is located at 16062  SR 104, about 1.5 miles north of US 35 just outside Chillicothe, Ohio.  The Visitors’ Center is the best place to start your tour and they have maps available for each mound group. Rangers on hand are very helpful in giving driving directions. If anyone knows the location of Crop Circle University, please respond.

Adena Mansion Pictures Life in Early Ohio

“No ghosts – not even rumors of ghosts here,” explained the guide as she began an interesting tour of the Worthington Mansion at Adena State Memorial near Chillicothe, Ohio.  Built in 1806-07, this beautiful mansion home was designed by what many consider the first American architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Usually Latrobe was busy with larger projects, such as designing the United States Capitol, but as a friend of Thomas Worthington he agreed to design a beautiful home on the 2000 acre estate.

The Worthington home, Adena, was the most magnificent mansion in the area at that time, and fascinated crowds of visitors. Large panes of window glass and papered walls were novelties which especially attracted attention. The sandstone blocks for the house were all dug from a quarry on the property.

This drawing by Henry Howe in 1846 shows the beautiful garden vista at Adena that inspired the Great Seal of Ohio. Looking across the front lawn, the Scioto River flowed between the cultivated fields and Mount Logan.  On the Great Seal of Ohio, the sun displays thirteen rays of light symbolizing the thirteen colonies. In the field is a shock of wheat representing the prominent field of agriculture in the state. Nearby, resembling a shock of wheat but showing Ohio’s Indian heritage, is a sheaf of seventeen arrows proclaiming Ohio as the seventeenth state.

Today the house has been restored to appear much like it did during the time the Worthingtons lived there.  Much of their original furniture can still be seen. Worthingtons’ actual skeleton key was used to unlock the door to begin the tour, and felt lucky to have it in my possession for a short while. Upon entering the mansion, a beautiful large clock made by George McCormick and costing $35 at that time stands beside a beautiful staircase, which appears to be marble but was actually painted with a feather to achieve that effect. Throughout the house a shade of pink paint was used. Paint was very expensive at that time and the pink tint was achieved by crushing a special insect into the paint.

Ten children were raised in the nursery, which strangely enough had no heat. Guess they had to be strong to survive, but none of those children died.  The parents’ room was next to them and had a nice fireplace so hopefully they kept the door open. Worthington’s wife, Eleanor, taught the children in the parlor while running the household from there at the same time. On the wall was a list of Family Maxims to live by, for example: “Keep everything in its proper place, do everything in its proper time, and delay not till tomorrow what should be done today.”

The rooms on the second floor were all bedrooms, except one which was perhaps a servant’s room, and a large dark closet where, it was told, they placed children when they misbehaved. Many famous guests stayed here including Henry Clay, General William Henry Harrison, and President James Monroe.  Of special interest was the screen on the left side, which hid from view their bathing area.

Among the  four bedrooms upstairs, there was one for the boys and another for the girls. Although there were ten children, there were seldom more than three in a room at one time. On the dresser in the girls’ room was a set of cards for learning the alphabet with a flexible Mr Hodge Podge to bend to the shape of the letters.  Guess the girls had homework even way back then. Education was very important to the Worthington family and they even thought it important to educate the girls, which was not a common occurrence in the 1800s. Imagine they took a break now and then and looked out the window at the beautiful gardens surrounding their home.

After reading a book on ancient history, on Sept. 18, 1811, Thomas Worthington wrote in his diary: “Adena” a name given to  “places remarkable for the delightfulness of their situations.”  It becomes apparent that visitors experience this same type of feeling by the smiles on their faces as they explore this beautiful mansion from years gone by.

The Adena Mansion is located Northwest of Chillicothe, Ohio just off State Route 35. Directions are well posted to the Adena State Memorial, which includes the Mansion and Gardens.  It is a short walk through the Gardens to arrive at the Mansion. Admission is reasonable but you need to check their schedule for hours opened.

Adena Mansion and Gardens Education Center

“Father of Ohio Statehood” describes Thomas Worthington, original owner of Adena Mansion near Chillicothe, Ohio.  Before visiting the Mansion, an interesting tour of the Education Center there provides background information.

A short film, “Debate for Statehood” at the Adena Mansion and Gardens Education Center, describes the battle for Ohio becoming a state starting back in 1801. Many of the discussions for and against statehood were held at Gregg’s Tavern, which has been reproduced here.  The tavern provided food, drinks, entertainment and a place to sleep. This is where people heard all the news from travelers and locals, and even read the newspaper.

Protests were held at Gregg’s Tavern to oppose Northwest Territory Governor Arthur St Clair’s proposition to divide the land, which we presently know as Ohio, by an entirely different plan than originally proposed by the Northwest Ordinance. Opposition, led by Thomas Worthington, was so strong in the Chillicothe area that St Clair was burned in effigy outside Gregg’s Tavern on Christmas Eve. Eventually St Clair’s plan was not accepted and  in 1803, Ohio became the 17th state with its capital located in Chillicothe.

A tomahawk ceremonial pipe belonging to Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief, is featured in The Tomahawk Room.  When Tecumseh visited Thomas Worthington at Adena in 1807, he found that Worthington was a man of peace and said he would never raise his tomahawk toward him. He presented the ceremonial pipe to Worthington for his efforts to bring peace between whites and Indians. Blue Jacket, warchief for the Shawnees, and Tecumseh were frequent guests at the Worthington home.  Mrs. Worthington was actually afraid of the Indians and often stayed in a different area of the house when they arrived. Even though the Indians were friendly, they always slept outside.

Another area of the Education Center replicated the Dry Goods Store of that era.  Merchandise here was usually paid for either by trading another item or put on credit.  There was a ledger on the counter to track the credit purchases. At this time people were lucky if they received fifty cents a day in pay, so prices of goods were considerably lower also. For example, a chicken cost about six cents, while you could get a barrel of flour for four dollars.  The Dry Goods Store was also the post office where you paid twelve and a half cents to pick up a letter.

Before leaving the center to tour the Adena Mansion, had to stop and play a video game…which definitely wasn’t around then.  An interesting game, River Trader, let you load your boat with products of your choice and transport them to a final destination.  There were problems and choices along the way as you might get stuck on a sandbar or have your produce spoil.  But at the end of the journey, you were given a profit for your trip.  Made $6,381 profit on my first trip and became a Great Trader.  The caption said: You should run for County Commissioner.  What fun!

Stop by to learn more about early Ohio history as well as the influence of Thomas Worthington, one of the founding fathers and first United States Senator from Ohio. See how early pioneer families lived, worked, and played.

Adena Mansion and Gardens Education Center is located Northwest of Chillicothe, Ohio just off State Route 35.  Directions are well posted to the Adena State Memorial, which includes the Mansion and Gardens.  Admission is reasonable but you need to check their schedule for hours opened.

Tecumseh Only Sleeps

Brothers, we all belong to one family; we are all children of the Great Spirit. We walk in the same path, slake our thirst at the same spring, and now affairs of the greatest concern lead us to smoke the pipe around the same council fires.

These were the words of a wise Tecumseh as he requested support from all Indian tribes to battle the white man’s encroachment of their lands. Filled with vision and purpose, he frequently mentioned the Great Spirit and there was an attitude of prayer before all decisions were reached.

At Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre near Chillicothe, Ohio a spectacular outdoor drama presents the story of “Tecumseh” each summer with a cast of nearly one hundred.  Since 1973, over 2.5 million visitors have sat beneath the stars surrounded by night sounds, to watch the story of a remarkable Indian legend. This beautiful amphitheatre seats approximately 1,700 guests and every seat gives a great view of the saga written by Allan W Eckert, Pulitzer Prize and Emmy recipient.

Before the show, cast members lead interested fans on a Behind-the-Scenes Tour, the only place cameras were permitted. The stuntmen of “Tecumseh” displayed firing of various weapons used in battle including the Brown Bess, Kentucky Hunter Rifle, and our guide’s favorite the 12 Gauge Shotgun.  At this point, the Indian shot another cast member off a cliff to display how they fell and the protection they were provided.  He said they always screamed before they fell for two reasons: first, to get all the air out of their lungs so a lung wouldn’t burst, and second, because it was really scary.

After visiting the stables where ten horses were kept, another cast member gave us some make-up and effects information.  She showed us how they were able to give the appearance of bleeding easily by using bags crushed to their body, eggs usually used on the head, and a knife where the handle was filled with red detergent.  Would have been nice if they had a knife like that for sale to fool friends!

Those are just a few of the highlights as it was an hour tour back stage and highly interesting.    Would definitely recommend it if you happen to attend a performance next season.

If you desire, there is a nice buffet available under a pavilion so you feel like you are eating outside with a fresh breeze relaxing the scene.  Also available is a snack bar, a mini-museum of Indian artifacts, and of course,  no tourist attraction is complete without a Gift Shop.

This is also a great time to exchange Tecumseh stories. An interesting one heard that day at dinner occurred when Tecumseh was visiting with William Henry Harrison. Tecumseh and Harrison were sitting on a log near the joining of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers.  Tecumseh began to move closer to Harrison causing Harrison to move down the log.  This continued until Harrison was ready to fall off the log.  He questioned Tecumseh as to why he kept moving closer and closer to him.  Tecumseh answered by saying: “It is what you are doing to my people.  You are pushing them into the Great Waters.”

Time for the drama to begin and this scene to be filled with Shawnees as they planned how to save their land. Actual performance was about two and a half hours of non-stop drama with galloping horses, firing cannons, and dazzling battles.  Everything was spectacular including scenery, costumes, lighting, and sound effects.  At times the cannons and guns were so loud and fierce that you felt like you were in the midst of the battle.  A traditional Indian War Dance brought an impromptu round of applause from the crowd.

While Tecumseh attempted to be a man of peace, he saw the need for attack to drive the Whites from their country. This performance tells  the story of that quest ending with the Battle of Thames where Tecumseh went over the great divide.  No white man or Shawnee knows where their beloved Tecumseh is buried, but they feel his Spirit will return one day.  Tecumseh only sleeps.

Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre is located north of Chillicothe, OH at 5968 Marietta Road, just off State Route 159.  Signs are posted frequently so access is exceptionally easy.

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