Myths, Lies and History
There are times when misconceptions, erroneous stories and sometimes deliberate untruths are accepted by the public as fact. Some of these are harmless, amusing stories but some can distort our understanding of our history. We will present a series on some of these stories affecting our local history in the next few months.
Myth No. 1: The Battle of Fallen Timbers:
This one is the longest held, widely accepted story of our local history and appears in most of the journals and books of the history of Toledo and Lucas County. The story holds that the battle was fought on the hill and flood plain above the river where the monument now stands, and gave rise to the legend of Chief Turkey Foot. (We will pursue that myth next.) The story says the Indians were routed and retreated across the river. This story arose because the locals in the mid-1800s found many downed trees in that location and assumed these were the fallen timbers of the 1794 battle and then created their own story. Fact check! The Indian Confederation fighters were not stupid. No army would take a defensive position in lowlands where the enemy could fire down on them and with a physical barrier like the river blocking their retreat. Unfortunately no one questioned the story until recently when learned professors of history looked into the existing journals of the men who were actually there in 1794 and calculated a logical pathway for General Wayne’s army to march down river from his Fort Deposit at Waterville to the actual battlefield where the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Park is today. Archaeological researches unearthed many artifacts proving this area was the actual battlefield. We must now rewrite over a hundred years of commonly accepted but incorrect history.