Metroparks Meetup: Battle of Fallen Timbers anniversary
MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - Over two centuries ago -- 227 years today to be exact -- The Battle of Fallen Timbers was fought in Maumee. It was won at the expense of Native Americans as the U.S. sought expansion into the west. Today, Metroparks, along with a number of volunteers, works to protect that history.
“It’s a sacred site,” says Dave Westrick, a history buff who volunteers with Metroparks Toledo to preserve the Fallen Timbers battlefield. “There are over 100 men who died here fighting for their beliefs, and their bodies were never removed. For better or for worse, they are still here. And you just don’t disrespect these sights,”
He says the battle of Fallen Timbers is one of the most pivotal in all of American history. It established America as an aggressive young republic that was pushing westward and set the stage for what would eventually be the removal of Native Americans from their homelands.
“They actually lost more than we can actually comprehend some days,” he says. “This was their last chance to really stop the U.S. from expanding. After this, every battle was defensive for the next 100 years.”
The site was lost until the 1990s when historians identified it. Since then, there has been a figurative second Battle of Fallen Timbers to preserve the historic site. There is a walking track with markers that teach about the site’s history. The Metroparks will soon open a visitors’ center that will document a complete Fallen Timbers history. Metroparks has spent years working with historians and Native American tribes to get it right.
“It’s important for us at Metroparks to tell a holistic story,” says Metroparks’ director of education and programming, Shannon Hughes. “That we’re telling it from all perspectives, not just the winner’s perspective. At times, history does favor the winner, and we want to ensure that nobody’s history is forgotten and everyone’s voice is heard.”
If you want to visit the park, Metroparks asks that you only walk the track, not ride bikes or other wheeled transit. The agency believes that the site should be used as a sacred place of reflection, and that is more suited to moving on foot. There are bike racks in the parking lot and a fix-it station, so locking up is easy.
Metroparks is looking for volunteers to educate visitors about the battle. Learn how you can be a piece of this history at the Metroparks website.
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