Thursday, May 15, 2014

Where In the World is Green Camp, Ohio? #OhioHistory

This week I decided to merge my first Shawnee History post with my Marion, Ohio post because I want to tell you about an important Native American site in Marion County, Ohio. Green Camp.

Most of you have probably never heard of Green Camp, Ohio. This small village with a population of 374 people plays a significant role in my new book, Field of Grace.

Green Camp was established as a village in 1838 where the Little Scioto and Scioto Rivers merge. (The Scioto River has played a significant role in Ohio history. We will cover more about the Scioto River in a future blog posting.) Marion County, Ohio is divided into fifteen townships. Green Camp lies in the Green Camp Township and is the only Green Camp Township in Ohio. Green Camp Township borders the following Marion County Townships:

  • Big Island Township - north
  • Marion Township - northeast
  • Pleasant Township - east
  • Prospect Township - southeast
  • Jackson Township, Union County - southwest
  • Bowling Green Township - west 
Most native Marion County residents will refer to a township such as "Over in Green Camp....,"Out towards Pleasant...." She lives in "Prospect....." You rarely use the name township. All of the townships are located relatively close to county seat, Marion. Green Camp is 6.2 miles from Marion.

Although Green Camp was established in 1838, it has a long history of human occupation. The oldest known human occupancy was sometime during 8000 BC to 1000 BC. Twenty-five graves of the Glacial Kame Culture were discovered close to Green Camp in 1963. The site, known as The Old Blockhouse Site, also contained the remains of six white settlers, seventeen War of 1812 Veterans and eight others.

The Old Blockhouse Site
By: Charles Carper
The Old Blockhouse Site was given its name because it is the site of a blockhouse that was built during the War of 1812. A blockhouse is a small, isolated fort built to serve as a defensive unit. The blockhouse in Green Camp had been established to protect settlers and defend the Treaty of Greenville Line.

 The Treaty of Greenville had been signed by various Ohio Tribes and Anthony Wayne after he defeated the Blue Jacket at the battle of Fallen Timbers. Several tribes who lived in the western Ohio region realized they could not win a war against the settlers and sued for peace. Wayne met with the tribal leaders of the Shawnee, Delaware,  Wyandot, Ottawa, Miami, Eel River, Wea, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Kickapoo Indians,  Piankashaw Indians, and the Kaskaskia at Fort Greenville. The tribal leaders and Wayne negotiated for eight months.

According to Ohio History Central, "The natives agreed to relinquish all claims to land south and east of a boundary that began roughly at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. It ran southward to Fort Laurens and then turned westward to Fort Loramie and Fort Recovery. It then turned southward to the Ohio River. The Indians, however, could still hunt on the land that they ceded. The whites agreed to relinquish their claims to land north and west of the line, although the natives permitted the Americans to establish several trading posts in their territory. The United States also provided the Indians with $20,000 worth of goods for signing the treaty. The American government also agreed to give the natives $9,500 every year in goods. The Indians were to decide how the goods would be divided among them."

The settlers believed since the tribal leaders had signed the Treaty of Greenville that all of the members of the tribes would comply. They didn't understand that the nation was made up of several chiefs and a chief did not speak for his entire nation. Many tribes did not agree to the terms and continued to attack settlers in order to persuade them to leave Ohio forever.


  1. The Little Scioto played an important part with Indian transport from Lake Erie to the Ohio River and beyond. Is there any record of the headwaters of the Sandusky. and the headwaters of the Little Scioto where the Indians travelled overland ? Maybe 4 to 6 miles?

  2. That's an interesting question. I've been having a hard time finding that. I'll keep looking. It wouldn't surprise me if the trade routes extended further north.