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Winameg Mounds are on the National Register of Historic Places

 

Winameg Mounds (added 1974 - - #74001500)
Also known as Council Oak
Address Restricted , Delta

 
Historic Significance: Information Potential
Area of Significance: Historic - Aboriginal, Prehistoric
Cultural Affiliation: Hopewell, Potawatomies
Period of Significance: 499-0 BC, 499-0 AD, 1825-1849, 1000-500 AD
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Funerary
Historic Sub-function: Graves/Burials
Current Function: Agriculture/Subsistence, Landscape
Current Sub-function: Agricultural Fields, Park
   
 

Delta is known to have been an Indian Village before the pioneers settled here. From historical evidence it appears that an even older and larger Indian village once stood northwest of Delta in Pike Township in area now known as Winameg. The mounds are located in Winameg along the north side of Bad Creek on the property once owned by Col. Dresden W H. Howard where the famous Council Oak once stood. The majority of these mounds are located to the north of the old Howard home now owned by Lawrence McClarren. They were excavated back in 1893 and a report of their findings were published in the newspaper. Vashti Seaman republished the article in 1974 in her column of the Delta Atlas she called "Pioneers Around Delta".


The children of three nations sleep in this historic hill. The Mound Builders of whom we have little or any history, the Indian, whose sun is now setting in gloom in the western sky and the Saxon, who has later taken possession of the American continent.

 

Download an Adobe Acrobat pdf file of the
Transciption of the Excavation Report of the Mounds in 1893
It was transcribed in 1974 and published in the Delta Atlas newspaper

   
  Mound building Indians of this area lived here before 8000 BC and possibly even as early as
15,000 BC, determined from the dating of early Indian artifacts found in Northwest Ohio.

 
 
  Council Oak
 
  Home of Dresden Howard
 
   
 

Fulton County, Ohio, Historic Mounds

By George P. Monagon and George M. Liscombe published in 1877

A very singular feature of this locality (which however is not uncommon in Northwestern Ohio) is a circle of mounds embracing within their circumference about three acres of land.  Those mounds are each distinct and from thirty to sixty feet in diameter, and from two to three feet in height and were filled with the bones of human bodies, indicating that it was the site of an ancient burying ground, or of a battlefield where many had been slain.  I learn from my much esteemed friend D. W. H. Howard, that not even a tradition existed among the Indians at that date, the time of its use, but tradition points somewhere down the vista of time, a great battle was fought between the inhabitants of the Mississippi and the east, and this burying ground was the result of this sanguinary strife. Time and the plow has lowered them somewhat, but are still plain to be seen. In uncovering one of these mounds for the purpose of building thereon, Mr. Howard tells me he found the bones and carefully collected and reburied them in other mounds.  He is truly the friend of the Indian who can so carefully preserve the ashes of their dead.

This village was called Nesenowbo, or Junenowbo, which signifies in the language of the Pottowatomies, the two boys or twin boys.  It was called by the whites twin Naba, which was not correct.  There were a number of other smaller settlements, one on bean creek (in early days called Tiffin River) at the north part of the County, and one on the banks of Swan creek on the eastern verge of the County, it was a trading post kept by one Lakins who long since passed away, &  his Indian customers to their happy hunting grounds.

Also at Spring Hill in Dover Township was situated one of the Indians favorite camping grounds, as its fine springs furnished what to the Indians, was only second to his beloved fire water (Whiskey) pure sweet water.  The remains of their dead may still occasionally be seen when turned up by the plow share, or thrown out by the spade.

History gives to us the hardships the early pioneers had in settling in this wilderness, the privations they endured, and the labor and toil to make for a growing family a home, living on hominy made from corn pounded in wooden mortars, and what wild meat might be obtained in their intervals of labor, but history does not record a case, that blood was ever shed by Indian hands within the precincts of this County, which in itself is very remarkable considering the nature of the Indian and the grievances they bore towards the white man for the encroachment made upon their domain, "to this land he held the right of the pre-emption the time whereof the memory of man ran not to the contrary, and superadded to this a patent from the great spirit which established his title on solid ground," (Lanman's Michigan) There were about three thousand Indians upon this territory at the commencing of the early white settlements, their manners and customs were the same as other tribes of Ohio or those who inhabited the Maumee Valley. They exchanged furs for other merchandise.  In the treaties with our government after the extinguishment of the Indian titles to these lands, they were gathered together and removed beyond the Mississippi, the first leaving about 1828, and the balance at a later period 1832 or 1833; what few preferred to staying the land of their fathers have passed away, hence, to day we have no Indians upon the soil of Fulton County.  Much might be written by the Historian of the habits, manners and customs, and the mode of living, not only of the Indian in his wild state, but of the hardy pioneers in the early settlement of this wilderness country that would be of interest to the present generation.  Many of to day have but a very imperfect idea of the hardships and privations endured by the early settlers.

 
 

A Standard History of Fulton County, Ohio

By Frank Reighard

published 1920

Volume 1 starting on page 56

 

The principal Indian village within the present limits of Fulton county, was that of the Pottawatomie chief, Winameg, located on the banks of Keeg (now Bad) Creek, and the high ridge crossing the creek near the post-office of Winameg (in Pike township), named for the old chief by his early and lifelong friend, D. W. H. Howard, whose residence is immediately upon the site of the old village and near where his father, Edward Howard, built in the early years of the thirties a trading house, in which was opened a lucrative trade with the remnant of this (then) scattered and wandering people, the remnant of a once powerful nation, now principal inhabiting a small reservation west of the Missouri. Smaller settlements were located on Bean Creek and the upper branches of the St. Joseph, but were of a more temporary character. At the time of the writer's first visit to the village of Winameg, in the spring of 1827 or 1828, the aged chief, Winameg, whose head was whitened by the snows of a hundred winters, yet who was still active in mind and body, ruled the tribe and directed its affairs, aided by his son (Wi-na-meg) and other chiefs of less influence. Much of the earlier history and tradition of these people was learned by the writer some years later from the great Pottawatomie chief, " Billy Colwell," an Englishman by birth and without a drop of Indian blood in his veins, who was taken prisoner when a child in one of the expeditions from the Mohawk by the Iroquois, from Canada, and who was afterwards sold to the Pottawatomies of the peninsula of Michigan and adopted by them and eventually made their Great Chief By his superior intelligence and tact he became the " Head Chief" of all the Pottawatomies and Ogibewas. Within the boundaries of the village of Winameg, or more properly Neshe naw-ba, or Due-naw-ba (the Twin-Boj's),and at a still earlier day, named De-mutre, "the Beaver,"  for the many ponds in the immediate vicinity, were numerously inhabited by this sagacious little animal, was located the "Mounds,"  which are still plainly seen, although the plow has done much to reduce their height in the yielding, sandy soil; tradition has it, as related to the writer by " Billy Colwell," many years previous to their removal west, that a great battle was fought between the Pottawatomies (the pioneers of the land) and a powerful tribe of invaders from beyond the Mississippi.  Great slaughter was the result of the battle, and the slain of both armies were interred in these mounds by the Pottawatomies, who defeated the invaders and still held the place. Billy Colwell died in 1841, and lies buried on a high bluff overlooking the muddy waters of the Missouri, near the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Chief Colwell led the Pottawatomie warriors against General Harrison, at the battles of Tippecanoe and the Thames, and was also at the siege of Ft. Meigs in July, 1813.

 
  More Indian History of the Area

"History of Northwest Ohio"

 By Nevin Otto Winter, printed in 1917

 

pages 152 to 201


  Mastodon Bones Unearthed at Winameg in 1978
   
 
  Back Reservoir & Bad Creek Page
   
 

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