EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles about Huntington's past written by Paula Kimmel.
In its original days Huntington was a home for Native Americans, whose history can be traced back for several thousand years. Miami occupation of the land began as a result of the rivers in our area. By 1700, Indiana and the neighboring states were thought of as the Miami and their related tribes’ homeland.
The Historic Forks of the Wabash area of HuntingtonCounty, located along U.S. Highway 24 and State Road 9 South, was at one time covered with forestlands. The rivers and surrounding lands provided excellent passage for the Indians to our area. The land was also noted for its mineral wealth and an extensive area of flint nodules were found four miles west of the Forks.
The Native Americans referred to this deposit as “Father Flint,” and they came from long distances to mine it for the raw material for their tools and weapons. The abundance of flint near the Forks provided one of the early names for Huntington, Flint Springs. It is also the name awarded to the honorary leader of Heritage Days each year, Chief of the Flint Springs.
As Europeans began to arrive in the Huntington area, the Native Americans supplied furs and skins, maple sugar, tobacco, potatoes, peppers, herbs, moccasins and bear grease for the European market. The Europeans supplied them with metal tools, utensils and weapons, cloth materials, blankets, coats, beads and much more. This established a relationship and way of life between the two for over 300 years.
Trading posts and settlements developed in strategic places along the river. Huntington’s Historic Forks of the Wabash was one of these places. Today the Historic Forks is a working historic recreation of Native American and pioneer culture from our earliest days. Names such as Richardville, Godfroy, Lafontaine, Tipton, Roche and Nuck continue to echo across the landscape.
The Historic Forks will be open for tours during Heritage Days on Saturday and Sunday from
Remember to turn in Heritage Days Parade and activity entry forms. The coloring/essay contest forms are due to the Chamber or Visitors’ Bureau offices no later than June 7.
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