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Fort Ancient Continues to Reveal Peeks into the Little Miami Valley Past

By Margaret Nelsen

On Wednesday, July 17, the O.P.A.L.S. (Older Persons with Active Lifestyles) group visited Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve and attended a very interesting lecture on 15,000 years of the history of the Little Miami Valley. The guide educated the group as to what animals were hunted during the different early periods, how the people tanned hides (urine being one of the main ingredients!), and how they changed from hunter/gatherers to farmers and then moved away, destinations unknown.

These early peoples built mounds (earthworks), some of which were not for burials but were likely religious reasons and connected to the solstices. The museum houses an extensive collection of local artifacts. Outside the four mounds, which are the center of this National Historic Site (which is on the short list to become a World Heritage Site), there are other burial mounds and evidence of villages of later peoples.

Fort Ancient is managed by the Ohio Historical Society who just recently hosted an event where ordinary people could help in excavating a burial mound. Dale Lawrence, who volunteers there, arranged for this very detailed talk on the early migration through the Bering Straits down the California coast and then east to the Cincinnati area. Even though many had been to the museum multiple times, all learned something new.

After the lecture, the group drove a short distance to downtown Lebanon and had lunch at a new restaurant, Flavors Eatery. The California-style menu was varied and portions were extremely generous. Items for all diet conscious were available, from Adkins to gluten free to vegan to Weight Watchers. Everyone expressed how much they enjoyed this outing.

Check the Strengthening Parish Life page for information on the O.P.A.L.S.' August event; meetings are the third Wednesday of every month.

Pictured from lower left, around the tables are the Rev. Jason Oden, Ellen Hammond, Margaret Nelsen, Barbara Lawrence, Betsy May, Kaye Gaffney, Bob and Kathy Saul, Jim Hammond, Warren and Cilla Bamford, and Dale Lawrence.

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