Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Letter 8: Indiana: Cars, Lafayette, Ancestors, Wicks

Sunday, May 16 we attended church at the

Wayne Street UMC and found we were in their contemporary service. Not our cup of tea. However, we did hear an excellent sermon and were so glad the young families were hearing this parenting message related to scripture.

We moved to Ft Wayne, IN in time to drive further north to Auburn, Dee Stroope's home, where we “Stepped back in time to an era when the Auburn Automobile Co was on the cutting edge of the most significant and influential invention of the 20th century.” We stood in the
historically rich old showroom, now their museum, where in 1920 their products were displayed. As we walked along the showroom floor we saw
the longest wheel base (157 inches/metallic blue) automobile.

Neither of us are car buffs, so when we arrived about one hour before closing we thought an hour would be enough. It wasn’t, but we made it work. These cars are works of art. They are beautiful. Their beauty is mesmerizing. We could spend the day here and be happy doing so.

One visitor summed up our feelings. Well, our feelings aren’t nearly as strong as his! He approached Fred and told of his dilemma. He knew the museum and gift shop both closed at five and he wanted to buy some things at the gift shop, but if he did, he would miss time at the exhibits area. His misting eyes confirmed his sincerity. We guessed he arrived about the time we did so we asked him when he got here. He answered 10 am that morning! He had been there over 6 hours and couldn’t bear to leave. We were powerless to give him an answer.

Fred enjoyed looking at all the many cars in the museum but three really stood out. This
white with red trim Cord was a great example of America’s first mass produced front wheel drive auto. It’s L-29’s stance was eleven inches lower than the average car of its day. It was a very sleek looking vehicle. The custom paint only cost an additional $20.

Another white car was the Auburn Boat Tail Speedster which was their most famous product and was introduced in 1928.

This red 1931 Duesenberg Model J with its modified Lycoming straight eight, featuring dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, with a displacement of 420 cubic inches the engine was advertised to produce 265 horsepower. The Model J chassis alone cost $8,500.The most famous variation of the Murphy Convertible Coupe body was the “disappearing top” which was a feature on this vehicle. When the top is down, it is stowed under the deck lid so that none of the fabric or folding mechanism is visible.

Any of the cars could have been purchased for about $10,000 or less when new. None of the museum cars are for sale. Today, even the lesser one, if you could find one for sale would be priced at over one million.

Five of the most significant technical innovations used in Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles are still in production in today’s automobiles.
Retractable Headlights
Unit body construction
Front wheel drive
Hydraulic Brakes and

In addition to the cars, there were panels about the features of many of the cars as well as the driving forces behind their production. It was very interesting and definitely worth a visit.

In the gift shop we asked if Clive Cussler had been there or did they know of him. Sure enough he was there for the book signing of Artic Drift. During the fund raising event he auctioned off the opportunity to be a character in his next book. For those of you not familiar with Clive Cussler, he is an American adventure novelist and marine archaeologist, and his books feature character Dirk Pitt, who just happens to have a collection of Duesenberg automobiles.

Monday, May 17 we moved again. This time west to Lafayette, IN. Olivia came here in 1960 with four other teens representing the Waxahachie District Methodist Church . For those who may know them Pat Shipley and Jack Robinson were two others. They caught a train in Ft Worth that had half the cars full of Methodist youth starting from California every stop adding more teens. Along the way she saw the sunrise over the Mississippi as the train followed it into St Louis, where the train joined one from the Pacific Northwest and the combined train traveled to Lafayette and the Purdue University. For the next week they attended the National Convocation of the Methodist Youth Fellowship with 6,000 other MYF youth. Memories include walking across the huge campus, attending classes on Methodism and Christianity as well as issues of the world. Several mornings they attended an early morning jazz service. Guess that was the start of our “Contemporary” services? One night in their huge auditorium they heard Eleanor Roosevelt. It was certainly a lifetime experience.

Several weeks ago when we were following the Mississippi south of St Louis, Olivia remembered that train ride and saw the tracks she had traveled. Now she was going back to see Purdue again.

We set up camp in Prophetstown State Park at the edge of a tall grass prairie with the small, open oak woodlands dotting the prairie landscape, that greeted Native Americans and European settlers who first lived in what is now northwestern Indiana. The open woodlands are often called savannahs.

Within five years, Indiana became a state and the settlers arrived and found that Tecumseh and his brother the Prophet established the headquarters for their confederation at Prophetstown to try and preserve the Native American way of life. This led to the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

Prophet’s Town had been established as a seat of diplomacy and a warrior training center. The Native American army attacked the US army camp around 4:00 am on a cold rainy morning of Nov 7. Three hours later, the Battle of Tippecanoe was over, ending forever Tecumseh’s great dream of a confederation of Native American nations, and establishing equal rights with those of the white settlers.
Do you remember who the USA General was in this battle? And his later slogan when he ran for president?

We ventured into the town of Lafayette and arrived at the train station like Olivia did back in 1960. It still looked the same, very similar to those in Waxahachie. It is now a well used Amtrak station for students from Chicago. We met a darling student at the information center for Purdue and she walked us over the old campus for about an hour. Olivia was thinking she might recognize the older buildings, but Mr Purdue didn’t want distractions so all the buildings were to be of the common red brick.

We started by visiting a fountain and seeing Elliott Hall where Olivia thinks she heard Eleanor Roosevelt. We saw the old Memorial Hall and in the trees was John Purdue’s grave as we walked down the “Hello Walk” memorializing a century-old tradition of smiling and saying hello to everyone you meet.

In Stewart Center we viewed the“Spirit of the Land-Grant College” mural where Lincoln was signing the 1862 Morrill Act, providing public lands to any state that would use the proceeds to establish and maintain a college that would teach the “agricultural and mechanic arts.” Texas A&M also falls under that Act.

In the Purdue Memorial Union, which really looked familiar to Olivia as she thinks they ate in the cafeteria. It is the social center and contains a hotel, visitor center, twin ballrooms, an art gallery, 10-lane bowling alley, billiard room, gift shop and dining facilities.

We saw a scale model of the 2,552 acre campus. We only walked around a very small portion of this campus. They have closed off most of it from cars, so foot and bikes are the method of transportation for the students. Graduation was last week so we didn’t have any problem with crowds.

Neil Armstrong was one of 22 USA astronauts to graduate from Purdue. There is a new
Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering which houses the School of Aeronautics and Astronautic, the School of Materials Engineering and the first school of Engineering Education in the country. Notice the wording in the sidewalk.

Several times we saw a black fence and our guide told us this campus was once tobacco free and the students would lean across the fence at the edge of the campus to smoke.

Wednesday, May 19 was another moving day. This time to the Bloomington area where Olivia’s ancestors James and Nancy Mitchell lived. They came here in 1811 but the Indians were too hostile so they returned to Kentucky until 1816. James and his oldest son came back to Monroe County Indiana and cleared land for a cabin in Clear Creek Township on the southern edge of present day Bloomington.

In the spring of 1818 the family moved to Monroe County where Joseph received a grant of land in 1823 from President Monroe, on which he erected a brick house about 1835. From Olivia’s genealogy book the house was in good condition in 1942.
Our challenge was to find that house, and their graves. The two were not far apart, but hidden. The cemetery was on the top of a hill behind a forest,
but through the trees we could see stones. Sure enough after wading though the woods, there was a clearing, fenced off and mowed. Many of the stones were broken and scattered. Just as Olivia was giving up, Fred said, “Are these Mitchells yours?” and sure enough there were
Nancy and
James Mitchell. The house was another story. We found where it should be, but it is now a residential area and none of the homes looked like they were over 50 years old. The forest surrounded most so it was very hard to tell.

Friday, May 21, Back at the trailer Olivia followed a web site the librarian had told us about and we found in 1975 the home was owned by a music professor at Indiana University. Googling the last name she found an address on the correct road! We drove back to the road and found the mailbox and tried to call, with no one at home.
The Mitchell name is all over this area. A street and an area town are both named Mitchell. Their descendants must have done well like their brother did in Texas. David Mitchell was the first postmaster in Ellis County.

BUT WAIT! After we went to bed the phone rang and it was Nelda Christ, the owner of the property. She invited us to her home to see the Mitchell land and home.
Saturday, May 22 As we entered the property we were met by a 200 year old tree that definitely knew Olivia’s ancestors. We drove to Nelda’shome where it was explained to be the old barn, taken apart, each part labeled, then reassembled to a better location with sun room additions on each side. The brick house was built by James Mitchell and son Joseph in 1835. The red wood was added when the Christ’s reclaimed it in 1980. The house was of “house and parlor” design, with four chimneys. The girls room access was from the outside. They had to go on the porch, no longer attached, to gain entrance to the interior. The cellar on the right end is still used.

From the rear we could see the two additional chimneys and the patio made of scraps of large stone and loose bricks. The bricks for the house had been made from the clay from near the creek below the house and fired in a local kiln. The pattern of the brick had a row of burned brick turned on end every fifth row.

James’s son David Mitchell went to Texas about the time of his father’s death and became the first postmaster in Ellis County, near Red Oak. This Indiana homestead belonged to Olivia’s great, great, great, great grandparents.

In the story about James Mitchell coming to this land, he and his son cleared the land then went back to Kentucky for their family. Nelda told us about needing to keep clearing each year because the ground was so fertile greenery was profuse. She also told us about there being a Sugar House to make syrup from the maples, but to her knowledge there are no sugar maples on the land today. Who cut them down?

Back at the trailer we realized the Tulip Poplar trees were blooming as one blossom had been knocked from a tree by the rain. These trees are very tall and fully leafed out, therefore hard to see the beautiful flowers.

We hooked up and headed toward Cincinnati. We drove to the Ohio River, down a bluff and followed the river
for about fifty miles. Most of the way we could see the river, through the trees and over cultivated fields.

We arrived at Campshore campground and met
Carol (Brown) and Bill Weir at their weekend retreat. They keep their fifth wheel trailer here all summer and get away each weekend from their unique business in Hamilton, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.

This campground was previously the original summer workout camp for Cincinnati Reds. At that time it had a large hotel and a speakeasy during prohibition.

The local story is that Al Capone liked to visit this place during prohibition. They have picture in the office to prove it. It’s not hard to imagine illegal booze being ferried from Kentucky across the Ohio River to this remote area. From there its not too far to Chicago.

Now it is a lazy flat space with large trees just waiting for campers. We enjoyed supper on their deck right on the Ohio!

Carol and Olivia enjoyed talking Waxahachie and all our friends.

Sunday May 23, Carol went with us to attend the Rising Sun United Methodist Church, on the Ohio River. This church was built in 1865 and they had a
huge organ. The sermon, from the sermon on the mount, was on adultery, a tricky subject, but their preacher handled it very well.

They were so friendly they gave us a sack of goodies including a 4” loaf of banana bread.

Monday, May 24 we did our laundry then later in the day we went with the Wicks for a quick tour of Cincinnati. A quick stop at their home in Hamilton then on to see their shop. Bill has patented several inventions.
Both include engineering and laser beams to help paper and steel companiesto monitor thickness of their product.

He and Carol are extremely busy and travel a lot with their very successful company. It was truly a blessing to have them show us around and for them to have the excuse to “relax” at their weekend camp.

We drove through a lot of industrial areas, to downtown and across the river to Covington, KY, where we saw beautiful homes right on the Ohio River,
where Licking River enters the Ohio. All our history lessons and reading came to life at this point. The great Miami War Chief fought to protect the Indian Hunting grounds of Kentucky and the villages of southern Ohio from American settlers. Little Turtle twice led a confederation of Miami, Shawnee and Delaware Indians in victory against American Armies. We wrote of this in our last blog when we visited Ft Recovery. When he signed the Treaty of Greene Ville after his defeat at Fallen Timbers in 1794 he declared, “I am the last to sign it and will be the last to break it.”

He kept his word. Until he scalped Fred.

The Wick’ favorite restaurant on the river overlooking downtown Cincinnati was our stop and we watched the sun set and the lights come on across the river. There was a baseball game in the Red’s field, seen below the “Big Mac” bridge.

Cincinnati is a special town. It’s a beautiful town filled with a rich history.

Tuesday, May 25 we prepared to close up the trailer and fly to Corpus Christi for a week. Granddaughter Blaire will be graduating May 28 and we will join the family and friends to give her best wishes.

We enjoyed another day and evening with the Wicks and thanked them for their hospitality this week.

The US General who led the troops at Tippecanoe was William Henry Harrison, later successfully ran for President with Tyler as VP. There was a campaign slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler too!”

As always, please let us know what is happening in your life and send comments to:
Olivia@bobheck.com or fredharrington@yahoo.com
The laptop will be with us and we will be back next week to start another blog letter on Michigan.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Letter 8 NFL Amish Frische Forts

Sunday May 9 we moved to a commercial park at Beach City, OH to be more central to the attractions we wanted to see. We had enough time to drive into Canton to see the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As we entered we viewed displays of the
uniforms over the years.

Fred especially enjoyed looking at the Cowboy displays. In the
Hall of Fame Gallery Fred had an interesting conversation with a Phillie fan. He was nice. They talked about the Eagles recent trade of their quarterback McNabb, the Cowboys’ Michael Irvin’s escapades and Bob Hayes induction.

We were pleased to be able to see a program showing us artifacts from their archives. We saw part of a ceiling from Superdome in Pontiac.
An old nose guard and this is

wiring used to heat the field experimentally at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. But was turned off just before the NFL Championship game (Ice bowl) with Dallas. The affect was, while it was running and the pregame activities were progressing, it worked very well. It thawed the ground, so then the field became pitted and rough. When the heat was turned off, the ground instantly froze all the roughness of field. It was miserable for both teams.

One display was“The bench” featuring Johnny Unitas, Don Hutson, Sammy Baugh, Reggie White, Walter Payton, Joe Green, Jim Brown and Anthony Munos and coach George Hallas.

One area had a large display for the record holders.Emmitt Smith with 18,355 career rushing yards. Jim Brown’s career rushing yards of 12,212. was also recognized, as was Walter Payton.

The Super Bowl area let Fred almost get his hands on the

prized trophy and Olivia enjoyed reading the statistics of the big game.

Super Bowl is the Top At-Home Party event of the year, ahead of New Year’s Eve.

Sales of big screen TVs show FIVEFOLD increase during Super Bowl week.

No team has played the Super Bowl in their home stadium.

There are 7.5 Million parties on Super Bowl Sunday with 43.9 million party goers.

International Broadcasters made Super Bowl XLII available to audiences in 223 countries and territories AND

Super Bowl weekend is the SLOWEST weekend for weddings!

Downstairs Fred
competed with a 12 year old for completed passes. Fred says don’t believe the photographic work that makes the football look like it is tumbling end over end. He only throws tight spirals! Yeah, sure.

Monday, May 10 we explored the Ohio Amish area, or at least a small part. As we had arrived on Sunday we noticed lots of buggy’s at several homes. We learned on this trip the Amish are organized in small groups of about 30 families. They rotate hosting Sunday services.

Fred thought the Ohio Amish movement was rather new and was a result of crowding in Pennsylvania. We later learned the Amish migrated just like other Americans and , in fact, were in Ohio in the early 1800s.

Our first stop was at Shearer’s Marketplace. They make potato chips, cheese curls, pretzels, pork rinds, tortilla chips and on and on. This was also their outlet store and we found two huge sacks of bargains for a total of only $3.50.

The next stop was Lehman’s. This store had thousands of products we thought they quit making years ago.

There were lots ofcookie cutters, a whole department of lamps, and another full of laundry aids.

They had appliances that looked like grandma’s, but are modern like ours. The
old icebox fooled several including Fred. They tried to open the locks on the front. But it is a covering for a real refrigerator. Around the corner was a whole row of ranges, ovens and other refrigerators. Today Lehman’s ships old-fashioned, non-electric merchandise all over the world through their catalog and web site www.Lehmans.com; to missionaries and doctors working in developing countries, to homesteaders and environmentalist living in remote areas; to those with unreliable electricity living on islands and mountains; second home owners, hunters, fishers and cabin dwellers; the chronically nostalgic and even Hollywood set designers looking for historically accurate period pieces. So the Amish have a product more people can use. Dometic was the manufacturer for several of these items and they also produce products for RV’s. We spent several hours there and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Down the road a piece we saw the Troyers Trail Bologna and Fred put on the breaks. Last year we heard about the local bologna in Pennsylvania from a new friend, so we wanted to try the local Ohio bologna.

Our next stop was at the
Yoder’s Amish Home. At most of the older Amish homesteads, there are usually two homes. We were actually taken into the homes at one farmstead. One is for the parents and the son builds his home larger for children. The kitchen of the older home only had a dry sink and the older stove.

While the son’s home being newer had the sewing machine and
indoor plumbing. Young ladies were baking in the
big kitchen and we were ushered upstairs to learn about the clothing. The hats have various size brims for different orders. Black is always worn on Sunday. The ladies wear solid color dresses and during the week their aprons match the dress. On Sunday they wear a white apron that is pinned on with straight pins. The ladies bonnets vary with age, but they all looked alike to us.

The boys room had a sample of the male pants. They have no fly, but the front has buttons on the sides with a lap over.

We learned there are many types of Amish, some stricter than others. This area also has Mennonites (such as our guide) and they are less strict. If you noticed the doll in a picture above, it had no face. The strick Amish feel putting a face on a doll would be a graven image.

A very brief history and customs of the Amish faith were explained. It originated in Switzerland several centuries ago.

There were two little girls on our tour and they stole the show from the docent several times, especially in the barn. As we came down the steep stairs we followed our noses to the summer kitchen where they had all kinds of cookies, jams and jellies. We purchased some cookies and their peanut butter cream. It is made with peanut butter, marshmallow cream and maple syrup. As we walked out the door two dogs followed us all the way to the barn, just knowing we were going to share our cookies.

The brown wagon by the barn is a communal bench wagon. Each church division has one. When it is a members turn to host Sunday meeting they take the wagon home. It has enough benches for all the members. The host takes all the furniture out of the living room and kitchen and places the rows of benches for their three hour service. The men on one side, the women the other, facing each other. The speaker stands in the doorway between the two rooms.

The barn was full of lots of animals and they all had babies. We could really tell spring was here.

The farms are about 80 acres and have no electricity.

Another stop was Heini’s Cheese Chalet with free samples of over
50 locally produced cheeses. Yum!

From there we drove to Sugar Creek to see theirtheir “little Switzerland” motif on the store fronts. We were getting tired so we skipped going inside.

Instead we headed to Wilmot to The Amish Door for an Amish meal. We both chose roast beef with “real” mashed potatoes. Too much for one meal so we had another meal in the refrigerator. On the way back to the trailer we saw a farmer in the field with his horses.Tuesday, May 11 we were going to move to western Ohio but we woke up to rain and decided to stay put and see some more of the Amish area.

Keim Lumber Company was our first stop and we spent at least 1.5 hours. The quality of their wares were outstanding. The
wood for paneling and molding was unbelievable. And they offered free samples of over 150 types of molding.

Fred was especially impressed with the exotic lumber. This purple wood was from Africa and was extremely heavy. Also pricy! One board about the size Fred is holding made from sheoak cost $600. But if you wanted something special, you could get it here.

We talked to wallpaper specialist about our front bedroom for wallpaper and were shown a heavy paper lining to apply horizontally instead of putting up sheetrock.
The walls of our 100 year old home are shiplap and originally the wallpaper was hung on a cheesecloth fabric. We have been having trouble agreeing on whether to put a thin layer of sheetrock or ??? Something else. This might be our solution.

They had several rows of beautiful doors.

Back east to Dover was another interesting stop. This was Warthers. Mooney Warther was a steel worker who loved to carve. It became more than a hobby and he had a workshop
behind their home. He also collected arrowheads and some are displayed in the workshop. Our very knowledgeable docent took us through the home and we learned of their meager life. Freida collectedbuttons. And displayed them by sewing with dental floss, then glued the back. No duplicates in all the thousands of buttons.

The center button of this star was from Mrs. Lincoln’s inaugural dress. TheGoodyear display included all rubber buttons. She even had
cracker jack buttons.

When Mooney was a young boy a hobo taught him how to fashion a pair of pliers out of one piece of wood with only eight cuts. This started him. He found a knife and his career started.

We saw his model of the steel mill with the workers doing their job, one eating his dessert first and another drinking a bottle of buttermilk. All of this moved with a motor and belts below.

Later he took a one foot piece of wood and cut all these pliers. They are not carved. There is no scrap. These sixty sets of pliers are all connected. In fact, they can be gently refolded into the same one foot plank. The look on the men’s faces behind the display says more than we can.

Then he started carving
steam engines and trains. The first were out of walnut, a common wood in this area and graduated to include ivory, which was available in the early part of the 1900’s. This was taking place between 1912 and 1980’s.

Ebony, a very heavy wood was used for the bridge and other trains including the
the Lincoln Funeral train which had details inside, including the open casket with Lincoln inside.

Mooney discovered the importance of knives that would hold their edge against ebony and ivory. He decided to make his own. He developed his own techniques for tempering and sharpening a steel blade that would keeps its sharp edge. Today, the Warthers are in their fourth generation of knife making and only sell in their gift shop or mail orders. go to www.warthers.com to see more of all of this wonderful place.
We were glad we had stayed over to see both of these places.

Back at the trailer Fred pointed out a bird on it’s nest in the gravel of vacant camping spot. He discovered it when he walked out and the bird started acting hurt and diverting his attention from the nest. When Olivia opened the trailer door to take her picture on the nest, she would be gone before Olivia could get out the door. Finally Olivia took her picture out the window. Can you find her? We were able to get a picture of the eggs. Also very camouflaged

Wednesday, May 12 While growing up in Waxahachie, Olivia and her parents were very good friends with Ruth & John Frisches. Olivia and their daughter Rebecca went to school all 12 years together and our parents were in the same bridge club. Both our mother’s name was Ruth. Ruth F played the piano for our dancing instructor. After the parents retired they traveled all over together. When we went to Europe the Frisches did too. Ruth played the organ and John sang at our wedding. Fred and I enjoyed their company all during our married life.
All this to say John Frische grew up in Wapakoneta, Ohio, he married a girl from Waxahachie and their last name was Frische. Try spelling or saying g that without help! Today we arrived in Grand Lake St Mary’s State Park just a few miles from Wapakoneta. From Rebecca, we understand her cousin lives on the farm where John grew up. This is a beautiful park and just happens to be where Mother broke her back when they were camped here in 1984. I promise not to do the same.

Shortly after arriving the Canadian geese couple we have been seeing at most campgrounds arrived to meet us. This time they had babies! They were proud to show them off as they walked up very close to Olivia. There were other couples with chicks too, but this couple had the most and showed them off the best.

Thursday, May 13, we made contact with Barbara Frische and she offered to share their world with us on Friday evening. Plans were made to come later in the day. We drove into Wapakoneta, visited CVS, Wal-Mart and drove around town a little. We attempted to find the Frische farm on the way back to St Mary’s and Kroger's.

Friday, May 14 we caught up on housekeeping and laundry, then met Rob & Barbara Frische at their office.We ate at an interesting local place called the “In Between” as it is between two small towns. It was very popular and we were glad we arrived early as there was a line when we left. Our conversations varied through out the evening. Talking about John, Ruth, and Rebecca, Wapakoneta Frische’s, stories of our parents, their stories, our stories the conversation was like we had known each other forever.

We followed them to the Frische Farm, a tour of the
house and a stroll behind the barns to the orchard and pine trees. They have about 100 acres and a farmer friend rents the farm for crops. Olivia remembered John Frische telling about walking to school in the snow. Well at the end of Frische Lane was the
elementary school he attended. Now we’re sure he did walk to school. The building has been bought and now is a well cared for home. Down the road a short piece was a cemetery with Frische graves. Rob had not done genealogy, but he knew they were ancestors.

Rob took us into Wapakoneta, named after Chief Wapa and his wife Koneta, which was the Shawnee Council House (Capitol) from 1798-1832, when they were moved to Kansas. Another sad Indian story. Wapa was also the home of Neil Armstrong and there is an Air & Space Museum here.

We stopped in front ofBloom High School were John and brother Carl went to high school. It is now a senior retirement home, probably with some of it’s students now living there. Our next stop was their church, the St Paul United Church of Christ. This is the church of the Frische’s for generations. He pointed out a window in memory of his great, great, great grandmother Mary Frische Taeusch. The last name was a second marriage for her.

Back at the farm the talented
Barbara was in the middle of decoration hundreds of cupcakes for a wedding party the next day. We enjoyed visiting them and seeing the Frische history and wished for Rebecca to be with us, but we enjoyed it for her.

Again we realize we live in a great country with a lot of good friendly people in it. Too bad the few bad apples get all the publicity.

Saturday, May 15 we awoke to a beautiful clear and windless day. The campground had filled when we arrived home last night, and visitors were walking around our little portion of the lake.

We prowled to Ft Recovery near the Indiana border and found their stockade.
Did you know?
That the defeat of the US Army in 1791 was the greatest victory of a Native force over a white invading force in the history of the world?

That the two largest Indian battles in the USA occurred here at Ft Recovery?

That on November 4, 1791 the US Army suffered its worst defeat in American history? Almost 65% of the ENTIRE US Army was killed in three hours?

That the very first US congressional investigation occurred as a result of the defeat led by General St. Clair in 1791?

That the largest confederation of Indians ever organized fought here at Ft Recovery in 1794? Over 1200 Indians were organized in a loose confederation by Chief Little Turtle.

That the Battle of Ft Recovery on June 30 & 31, 1794 broke up the Indian confederation forever?

That the Battle of Ft Recovery (Wayne’s Victory paved the way for US westward expansion and insured the very survival of the USA?

Time for a little history lesson:
Following the Ordinance of 1787 the Indians, aided by the British, fought fiercely for their homes. The first US Army sent to break the Indians resistance was commanded by General Harmar. It met defeat in 1790 at the Miami Indian villages, presently Ft Wayne, IN.

General St Claire made the second attempt with a sadly trained army. He marched north from Ft Washington at Cincinnati and reached this place on Nov 3, 1791. The following morning the army found itself surrounded by an Indian force commanded by Chief Little Turtle. After a furious battle, St Clair’s troops broke through the enemy encirclement and retreated southward. Here on this field they left approximately 900 dead and wounded.

In 1793 Gen “Mad” Anthony Wayne led a third expedition against the Indians on this site. He build a post significantly named Ft Recovery. Dec 23-26, 1793 here was won the battle of Ft Recovery, the most signal victory of the Indian wars. A force of nearly 2,000 Indians, under Chief Little Turtle, together with Canadian Militiamen and British officers, attacked a supply convoy near the fort, this detachment retreated within the stockade. The battle continued into the following day, then the Indians retreated, beaten and divided, never again to gather in such force to challenge Wayne.

The battle of Ft Recovery was followed by Wayne’s decisive defeat of the Indian confederacy at Fallen Timbers, near Toledo, Aug 20, 1794. The following year the Treaty of Greene Ville was signed which placed the Indians under the control of the US and opened the Northwest Territory, in part, to peaceful American settlement.

During the St Clair’s defeat, there were over 300 camp followers of women and children.

Strong, tall, red headed Nance clung her baby tight and ferociously wielding her frying pan, held of the brutal Indian attackers, 1971.
Olivia couldn’t help but laugh about the frying pan. When we were first married and Fred went to work for IBM, they sent him to California for ten weeks. Olivia was concerned in a new house with Angie about two years old. Olivia took her iron skillet to bed with her for defense! Guess it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

From there we traveled east and a little south to the birthplace of
Annie Oakley. She was born Phoebe Ann Moses in Patterson township, Ohio in 1860 in a log cabin east of this marker. She was the fifth of seven children. Her siblings called her Annie and later she took the stage name Oakley, after Oakley, Ohio.

Widowed, her mother remarried but was widowed again and Annie was put in the county poor farm where she learned to sew and embroider.

Annie began to shoot game at age nine to support her mother and siblings. She became a crack shot. Word of mouth about her spread so much that by age 16, Annie was off to Cincinnati to enter a shooting contest with Frank E Butler. He was an accomplished marksman but Annie beat him by one point and won his heart at the same time.

They were married in 1876. Frank soon realized she was more talented and gave her the limelight, becoming her manager. In 1885 they joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

She died in 1936 at the age of 66 of pernicious anemia and her husband died three weeks later. They are buried in the Brock, Ohio cemetery.

On the way back to the campground we drove through Ft Laramie and couldn’t resist the pull of ice cream at the Dairy King. It was next to a parkway down the middle of town, where we discovered had been the Miami and Erie Canal, which ran from the Ohio River at Cincinnati to Lake Erie at Toledo. At it’s height 400 boats plied the “Big Ditch” between 1845 and the coming of the railroad. The canal provided western Ohio with badly needed transportation and water power and was instrumental in welding the state together politically and economically. Grand Lake St Mary, where we are camped was built from a swamp to provide water for this canal. At the time it was the largest manmade lake in the USA.

So much for this week and all these pictures posted.

Next letter will be Indiana.

Let us hear from you by emailing us at olivia@bobheck.com or fredharrington@yahoo.com