Local historians this month are marking one of the biggest events in the history of the area, including a rare opportunity at the Henry County Fair later this week.
This month marks the 225th anniversary of the victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers involving Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne and a confederacy of native tribes led by Chief Blue Jacket of the Shawnee, Buckongahelas of the Lenape and Chief Little Turtle of the Miami.
The battle took place Aug. 20, 1794, in the area near the present-day Fallen Timbers shopping area near Maumee.
“Fallen Timbers is very significant for Henry County and all of northwest Ohio because it was the last great battle of the Indian Wars,” said Taylor Moyer of the Henry County Historical Society and historical re-enactor.
“It solidified a treaty with all the Indian tribes in the area, and the next year the Treaty of Greenville was signed, which ceded lands that became Ohio,” Moyer said.
Wayne arrived in present-day Defiance on Aug. 8, 1794, and ordered a fort to be built at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee rivers. On his way to the battle of Fallen Timbers, his army made camp along the Maumee River in Henry County.
On his way back to Fort Defiance from the battle, Wayne ordered all native villages within a 50-mile radius to be burned to the ground, including a trading post in Damascus (Henry County) and a village in what is today Florida, Ohio.
“Henry County is the crossroads of this major event,” Moyer said.
The Henry County Historical Society will hold a historical re-enactor camp at the historical society area at the Henry County Fairgrounds the first four days of the Henry County Fair.
The event will feature re-enactors portraying Wayne, Blue Jacket and Tecumseh.
“We’ll also have a woman who will be playing Francis Slocum, who was a white woman who was taken captive and raised by the natives,” Moyer said.
“For us to be able to recreate some of that historic moment is really cool,” he added. “We’ve never done anything like this at the fair before, and this is our 16th year there.”
He added other re-enactors will portray fur traders, fishermen and natives, and there will also be various demonstrations.
He also said there will be recreations of what is now the Village of Florida, but in 1794 it was known as Snake Town.
“It’s a very exciting time for us,” Moyer said. “Pennsylvania has Gettysburg, and this is our own battlefield right in our backyard.”