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Shawnee Lookout Park

November 12th 2005

Photos By Jim Cummings

Link to the Hamilton County Parks Site

Thanksgiving on the Ohio Frontier

The Hamilton County Park District has a two story log home built in 1795 and a stone springhouse which originally stood at Fort Finney on the grounds of Shawnee Lookout Park, near North Bend, Ohio, on the banks of the Ohio River.

At the end of their first season, the settlers at Columbia were having a Thanksgiving feast, (1780) when they noticed about five Shawnee braves at the woodsline. Not knowing the Shawnee’s intention, they sent out a delegation and discovered that the braves were an unsuccessful hunting party and had no hostile intentions. The settlers invited the braves to join the feast.

The log home was originally built by Micajah Dunn in Elizabethtown, Ohio. It was continually occupied til the middle 1950’s, when it was abandoned. The people of Elizabethtown realized they had an artifact worth keeping and put together a fund raising drive to dismantle the home. They then donated it to the Hamilton County Park District.

The springhouse originally stood at Fort Finney, where Cincinnati Gas & Electric now has a power plant. It was in front of this building in 1786, that the Shawnee signed the first treaty with the whites, known as the Treaty of Fort Finney. There is an an actual size color photo of the treaty, from the U.S. Bureau of Archives hanging in the stone springhouse.

Micajah’s father, Captain Hugh Dunn, was an ex-rev war officer and settled at Columbia Station, to the east of Cincinnati.

After a severe flood at Columbia, Capt. Dunn moved his family west and established a new settlement near on the banks of the Great Miami River, near what is now Shawnee Lookout’s boat landing. After a few years there, he moved west again, and founded Elizabethtown, Ohio, where his son built the log home that now stands in Shawnee Lookout Park.

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