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Fort Ancient

Fort Ancient is the name given to a series of earthen monds erected by american indian mound builders 2000 years ago in Washington Twp atop the hill on the east side of the Little Miami River. Today, it is a state park and museum site operated by The Ohio Historical Society

The unincorporated village of Fort Ancient was located at the foot of the hill on the east side of the river and at one time contained a post office, hotel, etc. Most of the village is now gone with much of the site occupied by the Morgan Canoe Livery. Pages 707-708 of Beers History of Warren County says,

"Fort Ancient is situated on the east side of the Little Miami River, on the College Township road, six miles from Lebanon. At just what date the bottom land on which it is located was first settled is unknown. We know that Isaac Wickersham had a tannery here on a small scale at a very early day. He was succeeded by one Wyatt and he by Robert Jack, who, in 1813, purchased the land and enlarged, to some extent, the tannery. He resided there, opening and improving the farm, till 1838, when he sold out, and, in 1839, went West. The names of James Frazee, John Emil and William Thompson occur as proprietors prior to the time the Miami Railroad was built, in 1844, when Francis B. Howell became proprietor. He built a warehouse and storerooms, which were rented or used by his agents. Some years after, another storehouse was built and occupied by various persons till the spring of 1881, when it was burnt.

Mr. Howell built a hotel and summer residence here capable of accommodating 100 guests, which is a place of considerable resort during the summer months. For a number of years, this was a good point for buying and shipping grain and hogs and is still a good point for hogs, the grain business having decreased since other convenient points have been established. It was for a long time a place from which large quantities of peaches were shipped. Hundreds of bushels of blackberries are shipped from here annually, 1881 being an exception, from the failure of the crop.

A bridge was built over the Miami, in 1841 or 1842, by William H. Hamilton, which was swept away in the flood of the spring of 1881, by the middle pier giving way. It was replaced by an iron bridge 186 feet long, built in the same season, by the Wilmington Bridge Company, at a cost of $6,275.

Daniel Perrine keeps the hotel and summer resort and a general store; he is also Justice of the Peace, Postmaster, freight and express agent.

The Methodist Episcopal Church built a house of worship in 1876, but, a portion of the indebtedness remaining unpaid, it is not occupied.

There is in the village a public district school, one blacksmith shop and one saloon. The village is at present composed of twelve families and situated at the foot of the hill below the old fort, from which it takes its name."

At one time the railroad ran along the east bank of the river. Today the railroad right of way is used for the Little Miami Scenic Trail.

Location:
Fort Ancient is seven miles southeast of Lebanon, in Warren County, on State Route 350. Exit I-71 at Wilmington Road (exit 36) and take Middleboro Road south to State Route 350, turn right to the park.
Contributions:
If you want to share any photos, stories or biographical sketches regarding the Fort Ancient area and the people who lived there, email them to Arne H Trelvik and they will be added to the Warren County OHGenWeb project.
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This page created 26 November 2004 and last updated 25 September, 2007
© 2004-2005  Arne H Trelvik  All rights reserved