Hamilton in Steuben County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Native Americans have had a presence in this region for almost 10,000 years. During that span, several different cultures moved through the area.
Earliest artifacts found nearby daie to the Paleo Period (11,000 B.C. to 8,000 B.C.). Archaic people frequently buried their dead in naturally formed glacial kames, mounds of sand and gravel left over from the ice age. Items such as gorgets and birdstones were found in the graves.
Pottawatomie: Keepers of the Fire
When European settlers arrived in the area, they were met by the Pottawatomie people. It is believed that the Pottawatomie had settled in Indiana in the early 1800s, arriving from the Lake Huron area. Many Pottawatomie were Catholic, the result of influence from earlier French fur traders and missionaries.
The Pottawatomie were seen as an obstacle to white settlement of the region. The political pressure was strong, and even those sympathetic to native people saw their removal as inevitable.
"They had a camp in the thick wood. Three sides were logs chinked and caulked with moss. The east
Jane Powers Staynor, early settler of Steuben County
According to one anecdotal account:
Mrs. Fec related that the lake (Ball Lake) was a favorite hunting place for the Indians who came down from the general direction of what is now Walnut Street (C.R. 300 Eas). Also, there was an Indian cemetery west of her home and she often saw their ceremonial dances. To them the spirits of the dead were very real. They would build big bonfires and dance around them, throwing the choice meat of the buffalo and the pigeon into the fires, showing the spirits they were not forgotten.
Indian Trails near Hamilton
A Pottawatomie! village was located north of Hamilton Lake near Otsego Center Many times criss-crossed the region and over familiar roads such as Bellefontaine Road.
All artifacts pictured are from the Stone Age, 8000-1000 BC, and were found locally.
"When they went away for good we all went over to see them start. They packed their things in large bundles tied in blankets around a pole. The big copper kettle was carried in the same way."
Jane Powers Staynor, early settler
The Trail of Death
On September 4, 1838, 859 Pottawatomie began the forced march to Kansas (Madison, 1991). Poorly organized illness and hardship devastate d their numbers. By the time they reached their destination, 150 had died, most of them children.
10,000 years ago: Glaciers retreat from Indiana
14,000 years ago: Spruce forests replace tundra
Before 10,000 years ago: Paleo Indian Tradition
10,000-3,000 years ago: Archai Tradition
9,000 years ago: Hardwood forests dominate
8,800 years ago: Prairies established
3,000-1,000 years ago: Woodland Tradition
1,000-400 years ago: Mississippian Tradition
400 years ago: Europeans arrive
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Churches & Religion • Colonial Era • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is September 4, 1838.
Location. 41° 31.999′ N, 84° 55.2′ W. Marker is in Hamilton, Indiana, in Steuben County. Marker can be reached from East Bellefontaine Road west of Peninsula Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3779 E Church St, Hamilton IN 46742, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the Early Settlers (here, next to this marker); Early Hamilton (a few steps from this marker); Waterway History (a few steps from this marker); Arthur Russell Perry (a few steps from this marker); Fish Creek Restoration (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Fish Creek Restoration (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to the Fish Creek Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Site Of First Settler In DeKalb County (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hamilton.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 25, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 25, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.