Preserving Ohio’s Ancient History in Chillicothe

04 Apr

Preserving Ohio’s Ancient History in Chillicothe

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Junction Group Earthworks Stark Farm Chillicothe Ohio The Herlihy family has a long and proud history in the Chillicothe Ohio area. And we’re excited that we were able to preserve part of that history for generations to come. Our mother’s family farm, which contains important Native American earthworks and shelters rare fish species, is now destined to become a public park!

The earthworks sprawl across nearly 90 acres of farmland just outside the city limits of Chillicothe Ohio. The mounds can no longer be seen with the naked eye, but the entire complex rests beneath the surface. The earthworks include several mounds and were most likely used for religious ceremonies, burials and as a gathering place. The farm also borders nearly a mile of Paint Creek, which is a refuge for rare and notable fish species. This video describes some of the wonders found on the farm.

Until recently, the Stark Farm was proudly owned by descendants of the Stark and Herlihy families. Now the whole family is very excited to see a big part of the farm transition into a nature preserve to protect an important part of Ohio’s heritage.

We are especially grateful to the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System, The Archaeological Conservancy, Heartland Earthworks Conservancy, Rivers Unlimited, Friends of Serpent Mound and the Central Ohio Preservation Society. And then there are the over 800 generous people who stepped up and made the pledges that fueled this whole project. We are humbled by their outpouring of support!

Nancy Stranahan of Arc of Appalachia Preserve System and Paul Gardner of The Archaeological Conservancy headlined the effort and arranged state funding to match the private donations. Altogether, the preservation coalition spent about $1.3 million and acquired 192 acres of field, forest and river frontage habitat. Watch this video from 10TV to learn more about the sale.

Plans call for archaeological excavation of the mounds so that more can be learned about the Hopewell culture. Eventually, it is hoped the lands may be transferred to Hopewell Culture National Historic Park for permanent preservation and public interpretation.

Joe and James and the Herlihy Moving & Storage team are grateful to everyone who pulled together and made preservation of the Stark Farm possible. Thank you!


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