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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Archbold in Henry County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Draining the Great Black Swamp

 
 
Draining the Great Black Swamp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, November 2, 2007
1. Draining the Great Black Swamp Marker
Inscription. The landscape of northwest Ohio was formed by melting ice and glacial lakes left behind in its wake. Because of the low gradient (3 feet fall per mile) to the northeast, the flat lacustrine plain evolved into a large swamp. A massive swamp forest with huge hardwoods, broken only sporadically with intermittent wet prairies and savannas, dominated the landscape. Both prehistoric and historic Indians farmed the flood plains of the Maumee River and its tributaries: Auglaize, Tiffin, and Blanchard rivers.

The geography of the swamp retarded major settlement up to the Civil war. The 1859 Ohio Ditch Law, a harbinger of drainage legislation nationally, created a cooperative system for individuals to petition county government to surface drain the area. Simultaneous to the surface drainage projects, a massive effort was underway timbering the former swamp forest. Virgin timber for the fleets of America and Europe, grade lumber for the farms and the emerging cities of the area, stave wood for the barrel and stave mills, and the left-over slabwood to fuel the hundreds of clay tile mill kilns dotting the counties of the swamp nearly denuded the landscape of these giant trees. The family-owned clay tile mills allowed under-drainage to transform the swamp into Ohio's most contiguously farmed and productive region.
 
Erected
Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, November 2, 2007
2. Side 2
2003 by The Ohio Bicentennial Commission, Northwest State Community College, The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 2-35.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 41° 27.079′ N, 84° 18.022′ W. Marker is near Archbold, Ohio, in Henry County. Marker can be reached from Ohio Route 34 one mile from Ohio Route 66. Touch for map. The marker is located in front of the main doors to the Northwest State Community College. Use the west driveway. The second road to the right is a drop-off at the front doors. The marker is on the left as you approach. To park, continue around to the back and park. You'll have to walk a little or a lot, depending on the time of day and day of the week. Marker is at or near this postal address: 22600 State Route 34, Archbold OH 43502, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Ohio Art Company (approx. 4.8 miles away); Evansport (approx. 5.3 miles away); Erie J. Sauder (approx. 6.4 miles away); Stryker Depot (approx. 7 miles away); Stryker's Railroad Heritage (approx. 7 miles
Picture from the front of the marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, November 2, 2007
3. Picture from the front of the marker
away); Stryker (approx. 7 miles away); Civil War Camp Latty (approx. 9 miles away); The Henry County Courthouse (approx. 10 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Archbold.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .  The Great Black Swamp. A link to information on the Black Swamp, it's history and the history around and through it. (Submitted on December 7, 2007, by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureEnvironmentNatural ResourcesSettlements & Settlers
 
Approach to the school and the marker is barely visible image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, November 2, 2007
4. Approach to the school and the marker is barely visible
Draining the Great Black Swamp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, November 2, 2007
5. Draining the Great Black Swamp Marker
Draining the Great Black Swamp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, November 2, 2007
6. Draining the Great Black Swamp Marker
Bare fields after harvest, reveal the flatness of the land that once was encompassed by the Black Swamp. This is south of the school campus.
Harvest from the productive swamp lands image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, November 2, 2007
7. Harvest from the productive swamp lands
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 6, 2007, by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana. This page has been viewed 6,150 times since then and 188 times this year. Last updated on December 11, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 6, 2007, by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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