Thursday, August 11, 2011

#43-1 and #43-27 - Native American History and pre-Lake County, Ohio

The Lyman site in Leroy and the Indian Point Fort just east of Painesville are two little known pieces of early American history that are in our own backyard.  While history has much to document about Lake County circa 1800 to the present, it is the existence of these two Native American sites that merit mentioning today.

Historic Marker #43-27    Indian Point / The Whittlesey People

Located at 13165 Seeley Road in Leroy is the old Lyman property.  On its grounds are the remains of a prehistoric Native American earthen enclosure.  Two earthen walls bordered by ditches run along a steep portion of the property.  Archaeological digs have unearthed pottery sherds, tools, pipes and like items.  Analysis indicates that these artifacts belonged to tribes who roamed the area from 140 BC until approximately 1650 AD.  Known as the Whittlesey People ( the name comes from Ohio geologist Charles Whittlesey who mapped their lives), they occupied this Leroy area site from 1200-1650.  They hunted bear, elk, and deer.  They fished and grew corn and squash near their villages.

Historic Marker #43-1   Indian Point Fort

The remains of Indian Point Fort are located just east of Painesville.  Homes built from saplings and tree bark were part of the stockaded Indian villages that flourished in this local around 1200.  Known as the Prehistoric Erie Indians, their culture was destroyed by the Iroquis around 1653.

Visitors interested in these sites or seeking more detailed accounts of this Native America era in history may visit the Indian Museum in downtown Willoughby, Ohio.  The museum is open daily and is located in the old Willoughby Union High School building.

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