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    RiverRat1's Avatar
    RiverRat1 Posts: 27, Reputation: 1
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    #21

    Jan 31, 2008, 06:07 PM
    I am familiar with the Gunn family name. The land they live on is still called Girty's Point. Simon Girty had a log cabin on that land that still stood when the Gunn family took over the land many, many years ago.

    As for the brass cannon, through my research, it is said that it was long ago removed from the Island. Have you came across anything that makes this fact true? I would think that long ago, a historical society would have collected this item.

    Would you know anything about a victorian amusement park that once was on the island? Or a old time dance hall? My research has told me that it was there, but for the life of me, I can't find the name of the park. I know that a steam ferry named the "Pastime" ferried people to the park (I found a picture of the boat, so I know that part is true).. That is far as I have gotten. Dead end!
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    napcop Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #22

    Feb 1, 2008, 09:44 AM
    Every time the Island comes up, someone mentions the cannon... sorta like a folk-story. I was told (unconfirmed) that a group of researchers looked for it some time ago, but if you're familiar with the river bottom, it cold have sunk to China by now. :)

    Another person you may want to contact in Napoleon is Attorney David Meekison, Sr.
    He has helped me identifiy a picture that I was researching from the 1930's. He looked at it and IMMEDIATELY told me who it was. Other than that, My Grandmother (90 YOA) has mentioned the dance hall. I'll see what I can find out.

    Just curious... do you plan on publishing your findings, or is this a personal quest?
    RiverRat1's Avatar
    RiverRat1 Posts: 27, Reputation: 1
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    #23

    Feb 1, 2008, 08:44 PM
    Yes, I am VERY familiar with the river bottom and I am still laughing! That was good! :)

    This is just a personal quest. When I first started boating, friends who grown up on the river took me to Girty's Island with the tale of Simon Girty walking the island at night. That started my research and I have been going strong now for three plus years. Doing my research on Girty's Island has taught me so much about the canal, that Providence Park was a town at one time, the building of the dams, Turkey Foot Creek, the town of Texas, Battle of Fallen Timbers, etc.. I just can't get enough. I am just amazed how much history is along that part of the river (I am originally from Michigan). To find a small piece of that history thrills me to no end. I have concentrated on the Island first since that is what started my quest and it is listed as a boater's resort, so I believe it is okay for me to walk the island.

    By researching all that was on the island long ago, will help me with dating something I may find. For example, last summer I found an old foundation unlike anything I have seen before. It wasn't a complete foundation, just corners and side pieces placed every eight to ten feet. Now I need to know if it was George Girty's trading post, the amusement park, or the dance hall. What ever it was, was built with logs. One badly decayed log remained with the metal tag still attached that numbered what wall and row that log belong to (my first treasure).

    I want to thank you for your information and the good laugh! Since you mentioned the cannon, you should know the ghost story, that started this for me, revolves around that cannon. It is said that at night, Simon Girty comes out and polishes the cannon where it used to stand. I don't think I will ever go the island at night...
    reddog56's Avatar
    reddog56 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #24

    Feb 2, 2008, 04:46 PM
    My grandfather was born on Girty's Island in 1897. Yes to amusement park, yes to dance hall, yes to the Girty brothers but also include Indians.
    RiverRat1's Avatar
    RiverRat1 Posts: 27, Reputation: 1
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    #25

    Feb 4, 2008, 07:48 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by reddog56
    My grandfather was born on Girty's Island in 1897. Yes to amusement park, yes to dance hall, yes to the Girty brothers but also include Indians.

    That is wonderful information! If your grandfather was born on the island, then a home once stood on the island also. Would you know the general location of the home? How did they get to and from the island? My research states that farming was done on the island because of the rich soil. Was your grandfather one of those who farmed the land? Another person who I spoke with through Ask Me, his father-in-law once farmed the island. If you don't mind me asking, what is your grandfather's family name. The family names that I know so far who once owned the island are Wait, Chalutz, and Chalutz.

    Is there anything pasted down in the family that states the names of the amusement park or the dance hall? The period when these structures were there?

    I didn't mean to offend anyone by not mentioning Indians, but I haven't nor will I ever forget the Indians. My grandmother on my Dad's side is American Indian (she just turned 89) and I am very proud of what little part I have inherit from her. To be honest, that has been the hardest and the saddest part of this research. So much fighting and loss and I feel it deeply. It hurts me. I will never understand why everyone couldn't just live side-by-side. There was so much to share. I know it was possible because Peter Manor, the founder of the town of Providence (now Providence Park) was very close friends with a great Indian Chief. That is how Peter got his land, his friend gave it to him.
    oneguyinohio's Avatar
    oneguyinohio Posts: 1,302, Reputation: 196
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    #26

    Feb 4, 2008, 07:58 PM
    I was kind of thinking that perhaps history needs to be rewritten for Simon Girty as far as him being considered a traitor. From what I have been able to find, he was closely affiliated with the Indians... Native Americans to be PC... and I feel that his allegiance was justified. His country was that of the Native Americans and it seems to me that he tried to keep the lands from being taken from their control. It is rare in history to find someone who did not treat them as savages to be taken advantage of and forced off their lands.

    This guy was one of the earliest activists and seems to have been labeled as a traitor as a result. He really needs to be studied closer.
    reddog56's Avatar
    reddog56 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #27

    Feb 5, 2008, 07:44 AM
    Thanks for answering! I'm really just starting to delve into this whole Girty's Island thing, but my dad brought it up this past weekend when I was there for his 85th birthday! My great-grandpa's name was Michael Cramer and so far story has it that he and his wife lived on the island and got back and forth by barge. During the winter they had to move to the 'mainland' because if the river wasn't solid they couldn't get back and forth. There's something in the hisotry about great-grandpa and Simon Girty and I think a sqaw. When I get more I'll let you know.
    Also, I too think Simon Girty gets a bad rap in the history books. Don't know facts, just a feeling.
    Writing from work, so will be in touch later.
    RiverRat1's Avatar
    RiverRat1 Posts: 27, Reputation: 1
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    #28

    Feb 5, 2008, 03:41 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by oneguyinohio
    I was kind of thinking that perhaps history needs to be rewritten for Simon Girty as far as him being considered a traitor. From what I have been able to find, he was closely affiliated with the Indians... Native Americans to be PC... and I feel that his allegiance was justified. His country was that of the Native Americans and it seems to me that he tried to keep the lands from being taken from their control. It is rare in history to find someone who did not treat them as savages to be taken advantage of and forced off of their lands.

    This guy was one of the earliest activists and seems to have been labeled as a traitor as a result. He really needs to be studied closer.
    I agree with you! Here is his story GREATLY summarized: When Simon was a young boy living in Pennsylvania, the French and Indian War happened. He and his family sought safety with the Delaware Indians at Fort Granville. Soon that fort was taken over capturing everyone staying there. The Seneca Indians rescued Simon and brought him to Ohio (he was in his early teens at this time). The Seneca Indians adopted him as one of their own.
    Later down the road he was reunited with his mother. When the American Revolution broke out, Simon served as an interpreter. He worked hard to make peace, but grow tired of what was being done to the Native Americans and quit. This is why was has been stated as being a traitor in history. He was labeled "the white savage" when the Delaware Indians captured and tortured Colonel William Crawford in 1782 in retaliation for the Gnadenhutten Massacre where 96 Delaware Indians were killed. Men, woman, and their children. Simon was present during this tortured and when Williams begged him to end his tortured by shooting him, Simon did not. If he had, this would have meant his own death by this own people for stopping their justice. This one main event is what labeled him as we read about him in history.
    HistorianChick's Avatar
    HistorianChick Posts: 2,556, Reputation: 825
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    #29

    Feb 13, 2008, 01:39 PM
    Hello All! I was "invited" to this thread with a specific question... and then invited to post the answer! Cool! :) I love personal invites... makes me feel special!

    Here's the original question asked of me in a PM: Hey, I wanted to ask if you've ever came across much information on Simon Girty in your historical research? There has been some discussion of him on here, but I thought you might be interested...

    Seems he was raised by Indians after being captured... was present at numerous Indian battles. He was considered to be a traitor to the Americans... he sided with Americans and then with English at various battles... I am wondering if there is a way to have history take another look at him...

    Seems like he may have been playing both sides in an effort to promote the best advantage for native americans...

    In that way, he may have been one of the first Civil Rights advocates??? Any ideas or something you might be interested in???

    My answer:
    See, this is the perfect example of why I love history! History is a record of what happened, but through the eyes of so many different opinions.

    I have heard both sides - the side that he was branded a traitor leading to his ultimate settling in Canada, rather than the US. And also the side that he was simply misunderstood and mis-recorded in the pages of history.

    The basic facts stand true:

    - He was captured and raised by the Indians.
    - He was 23 when he was "returned" to civilization.
    - When he was returned, he left the Indians with detailed knowledge of over 10 Indian dialects - a useful and viable commodity for that day.
    - Due to his fluency in Indian dialects, he was immediately claimed by the British Indian Dept (is that what it was called?) and served as a liaison.
    - He befriended Simon Kenton (a very important character trait that comes up again in his history)
    -He was disenchanted with the British Dept because of his lack of promotion, even though he deserved it, but could not bypass prejudice and yes, civil rights issues.
    - He saved Simon Kenton from death (stake? Burning?) at the hands of Iroquois? Mohawk? Can't remember exactly.
    - He tried to save Colonel Crawford but was told that he would take his place if he continued in his appeal... this tells me that he didn't just simply stand by and watch, but that he really appealed and did what he could.

    All this adds up to a man who was what you say, a civil rights activist. Not because of his color or his heritage, but because of his experiences. He was raised by the Indians, an obvious no-no at the time... but he made the most of it, tried to make a difference, and was still rejected by the societal norm.

    So, yes, I do believe that he was one of the first Civil Rights activists, and yes, I do believe that history should take another look at Simon Girty.

    Great question! I tend to look at the whole picture - pro and con if you will - and then form a conclusion.

    There is so much more to his story - the British Dept... being a Lieutenant in the Virginia Militia... so much more... but in my humble opinion, he was a misunderstood man who was trying to make the best of his past and coming to terms with who he was.

    Forgot to say that yes, I agree with your interpretation of Simon Girty as doing what was necessary to secure the fairest of treatment to the Native Americans.

    I think he really did have a respect and a personal "duty" to protect the interests of the Native Americans. Historical documents and history books have recorded his efforts to do what he could to give back to the Native Americans that raised him... despite what seemed to be traitorous actions. Historical records have proven that everything wasn't as black and white as we would like to believe it was when it came to the Native Americans.

    And I would love to know more...
    explorer90's Avatar
    explorer90 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #30

    Mar 13, 2008, 03:05 PM
    If I remember hearing correctly girty's island was also the site of 4-H camp before Camp Palmer.

    Also I would like to know what you know about the area especially the turkeyfoot region(its my backyard), and where to find more. Please email me at toddpcfps@gmail.com

    Thanks
    oneguyinohio's Avatar
    oneguyinohio Posts: 1,302, Reputation: 196
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    #31

    Mar 16, 2008, 08:52 PM
    Sorry I know nothing of the Turkeyfoot region other than some reference to it on line.

    I did go out to see Girty's Island today from the road. What a mess! From what I could see, a huge tangle of trees, weeds, and whatnot that looked like it was soaked in a lot of mud. It looked so different in the early autumn!

    I also heard mention of the cannon story while I was checking to see if I was looking at the right place...
    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 11,188, Reputation: 508
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    #32

    Mar 19, 2008, 06:26 AM
    Here is something on Turkeyfoot?
    toledoblade.com -- History on the rocks: Researcher says Turkey Foot Rock is upside down
    oneguyinohio's Avatar
    oneguyinohio Posts: 1,302, Reputation: 196
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    #33

    Mar 19, 2008, 10:13 PM
    I'm watching an old Daniel Boone movie tonight, and guess who was portrayed as a major bad guy... Simon Girty! The name of the movie is Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer.

    Just found it interesting. That led me to search for a little more information...

    Re: Jacob Teter/ Update, Samuel G Teater Simon Girty

    Not sure that is all correct, but has some interesting connections... and talks about the Girty's

    The name Gibson is also in my family tree, so I'm going to have to do a bit more research on that line... It's a very difficult one to trace though.
    oneguyinohio's Avatar
    oneguyinohio Posts: 1,302, Reputation: 196
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    #34

    Mar 30, 2008, 03:10 PM
    I went to the Henry County Ohio courthouse on Friday, and was told that Girty's Island belongs to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
    squirrel59's Avatar
    squirrel59 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #35

    Apr 18, 2008, 05:52 AM
    I am a Girty, on my father's side and I claim Simon Girty as a distant uncle of mine. Yes, I have read of Girty Island in a History of Ohio book I found in the reference section of the Toledo, Lucas Co. Library. I have also read many Historically based novels that have had details of the escapades and movements of the Girty brothers. (James A. Thom, "Warrior Woman") I pass across the Maumee River each morning going to work and looking at the mist on the water it brings to mind "Girty Island" and all of the actions of those times. This morning I googled "Girty Island" and found this site. Good luck in your search. If I discover any more factual information I will pass the references on to you.
    Simon Girty is often referred to as a "Scoundrel" but we must remember who wrote in those times, well off white men who had their stolen native lands and property to protect from the Girty's who ran with the natives trying to preserve their right to exist in their native lands. (I am also part Cherokee.):)
    MPratt's Avatar
    MPratt Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #36

    Apr 28, 2008, 05:57 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by RiverRat1
    Happy New Year Everyone!

    I am currently researching Girty's Island in the Maumee River, near Florida Ohio. Looking for artifacts from a time long ago.

    So far I know that Simon Girty hid there and his brother George had a trading post, both in the 1700's. I have also learned that there was other structures built on the island in the early 1900's, one being a victorian amusement park. I have also heard rumors that there was also a dance hall at one time.

    This past summer, I found the remains of an old foundation and the remains of a log used in the building with the log tag still attached. This foundation is nothing like what we see today. I am looking for information that may lead me to what remains I have found so I can identify the time period in which it was built. I am also looking to know what all structures once stood on the island. This would help date any artifacts I may find.

    Sincerely hoping someone know something. :)
    My husband's grandmother's parents owned this island in the early 1900's, and she did a nice history and map of the island. It had amusements and a dance hall, refreshments along with the beach and lodging, and ferrying transportation for visitors. I will try to get this typed and copied so you can view it for comparison today.
    RiverRat1's Avatar
    RiverRat1 Posts: 27, Reputation: 1
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    #37

    May 13, 2008, 09:38 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by MPratt
    My husband's grandmother's parents owned this island in the early 1900's, and she did a nice history and map of the island. It had amusements and a dance hall, refreshments along with the beach and lodging, and ferrying transportation for visitors. I will try to get this typed and copied so you can view it for comparison today.
    Good Lord, if you could get me a copy of the map showing the lay out of the park words could not describe how thankful I would be.

    I contacted a very nice gentlemen from the Henry County historical Society over the winter and he sent me a write up with pictures that someone sent to the historical society. Your husband must be related to the Voights I am guessing.

    This past Saturday, I spent four hours walking the entire island. Leaving the island was bitter-sweet for me. I discovered a lot and a lot of pieces of the puzzle are still missing. The saddest part was knowing this park (and the island itself) truly is a historical sight on the Maumee River and so little of it remains because of the Maumee River. I only hope that my postings will help keep this history alive.

    The write-up I received placed structures as it related to the ferry landing. My husband was the one that found the ferry landing. One very large timber remains and a short piece of cable anchored in the ground. A tree still stands that shows the marks where the cable once wrapped around it.

    Just to the west of the landing, I found what remains of what I believe to be the ice house. Going north from the ferry landing, I found an old arch which I believe may be the entrance to the park, leading to the house. I have not found any remains of the house as of yet. I believe in later years, this area may have been farmed and the foundation covered. If you can find out if the park entrance did have an arch, then I will know the area behind it is where the house once stood. The pictures of the house that I have may have been taken while standing under this arch. Without the house location, I am missing the location of the refreshment stand that stood next to the house. The area behind the arch has trees, but they are young enough to tell me they weren't there a 100 years ago. To the northwest of the arch, I ran across the strange foundation I found last fall. With the information I received this winter, I believe this to be the stables where visitors stabled their horses while on the island. Next to this structure, I uncovered a coil of cable which I am sure was used for the ferry. North of the stable, I found a very small foundation, which I haven't a clue what it is. I was hoping this was one of the three cottages, but no way to know for sure. Along with the cottages, there was the dance hall, bowling alley, race track and I am totally lost as to where any of these once stood. The write-up states that one cottage still stands because it was make of stone, but I did not see it and I was all over the island.

    I did make it to the beach area where the bath houses once stood, but being at the head of the island I am sure the Mighty Maumee took those remains a long time ago. I did find an entire skeleton of what I believe to be a very, very large hog/sow that was once buried about 5 feet down and with the flooding this spring was unearthed. This has both me and my husband stumped. The park would may have served roasted pig, not buried it. Do you have any ideas?

    I do have some very good pictures of everything I discovered that I would be happy to pass along to you. Your husband's family may want to have these as it is part of their family history.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    And to my other fellow explorers who have helped me with this historical search, yes, I am still going strong and loving it. As for the ghost of Mr. Simon Girty, he must be resting in peace in the great beyond since I did not see him. For this, I am glad.
    RiverRat1's Avatar
    RiverRat1 Posts: 27, Reputation: 1
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    #38

    May 13, 2008, 09:54 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel59
    I am a Girty, on my father's side and I claim Simon Girty as a distant uncle of mine. Yes, I have read of Girty Island in a History of Ohio book I found in the reference section of the Toledo, Lucas Co. Library. I have also read many Historically based novels that have had details of the escapades and movements of the Girty brothers. (James A. Thom, "Warrior Woman") I pass across the Maumee River each morning going to work and looking at the mist on the water it brings to mind "Girty Island" and all of the actions of those times. This morning I googled "Girty Island" and found this site. Good luck in your search. If I discover any more factual information I will pass the references on to you.
    Simon Girty is often referred to as a "Scoundrel" but we must remember who wrote in those times, well off white men who had their stolen native lands and property to protect from the Girty's who ran with the natives trying to preserve their right to exist in their native lands. (I am also part Cherokee.):)
    I am in agreement with "Oneguyinohio" that Simon Girty may have been the first activist noted in history, not a "Scoundrel". The way I see it, the Native Americans would have used a few more Simon Girtys. Someone to stand for what is right and not take their land.

    I read an article that stated that if it was not for the Greenville Treaty, that Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin would not have became ours (I guess meaning the British would have gotten them during that time in history). Do you know anything about this? How does taking land from the Native Americans, which the Treaty did, make a difference in getting these sates?
    oneguyinohio's Avatar
    oneguyinohio Posts: 1,302, Reputation: 196
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    #39

    May 14, 2008, 04:57 AM
    I think it is a reference to the claim that the British had on the lands at the same time. When the French were defeated through an alliance with the Native Americans, the British claimed those lands. At about the same time, the British policy began not giving any support to the tribes that had assisted the British... nor did the British share in the claim of the new lands... Those policies drove a wedge between the Native Americans and the British. The small United States was able to exploit the division between the British and Native Americans when at the Treaty of Greenville, the native americans relinquished claims to the land... This is probably the source of the statements you discussed. It gave the United States a claim to those lands, while ignoring the British claims to it...

    The link below goes into a lot of detail about various treaties and policies... hope it helps...
    Native American Treaty Signers in the Great Lakes Region
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    RiverRat1 Posts: 27, Reputation: 1
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    #40

    May 14, 2008, 06:54 AM
    Thanks for the information, I will check it out. Maybe it will help me understand why the Native Americans where told where to live vs. everyone living together as neighbors. Those were tough times to live, you would think that the more people in a community, the easier it would hae been on those people.

    I also read where you posted that the DNR now owns Girty's Island (I am glad you made it over here!). Did it say as to when they bought it? Did you get a list of who hands the island passed through?

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