Ohio Mounds: Earthwork in Miami County, Ohio

Earthen Enclosure in Miami County, Ohio




    The enclosure here represented is situated on the left bank of the Great Miami river, two and a half miles above the town of Piqua, Miami county, Ohio, upon the farm of Col. John Johnston, a prominent actor in the early history of Ohio. It occupies the third terrace, which here forms a bluff peninsula, bounded on three sides by streams. The banks of the terrace vary from fifty to seventy-live feet in height. The embankment is carried along the boundaries of the peninsula, enclosing an oval-shaped area of about eighteen acres. It is composed of earth intermixed with large quantities of stone, and is unaccompanied by a ditch. The stones that enter into the composition of the rampart are water-worn, and must have been brought from the bed of the river; which, according to Dr. Drake, for two miles opposite this work, does not at present afford a stone of ten pounds weight. A mound, five feet high and surrounded by a ditch, occurs within the work. There is also another, exterior to the walls, upon the second terrace, towards the river. This is classed as a defensive work, for very obvious reasons
Below this entrenchment, and on the present site of the town of Piqua, a group of works formerly existed, consisting of circles, ellipses, etc. These have been described at length, by Major Long.There are also various small works on the opposite bank of the Miami. Indeed, the whole valley is here covered with traces of a former dense population.