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Independence Dam State Park

27722 State Route 424
Defiance, OH 43512

419-832-7662

525-acre Independence Dam State Park is situated along the banks of the beautiful Maumee River. The river is ideal for boating, fishing or a scenic canoe trip.

History:

The natural confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize rivers, upstream from Independence Dam State Park, was a significant contributing factor for the development of northwestern Ohio. The waters of these two great rivers were a source of life for Indian and frontiersmen alike. Today, the rivers are a valuable natural resource for both industry and recreation.

This was a rich hunting and fishing area for the American Indian. Tribes residing in the dense hardwood forests included the Hopewell, Erie, Iroquois, Miami, Shawnee, Wyandot, Delaware and Ottawa. The most famous Indian of this area was Pontiac, an Ottawa chief. It is believed he was born near the junction of the two rivers in 1712. He is remembered for the infamous "Pontiac's Conspiracy," a rebellion of Indian tribes against trade policies in 1763.

Blue Jacket, a great Shawnee war chief, made his home near the banks of these same rivers in the late 1700s. In 1793, a "Grand Indian Council," the greatest assembly of tribal representatives on the North American Continent, was also held here. The council convened with the determination to stop the American westward expansion.

At this time, President Washington decided that Indian power needed to be reduced. President Washington chose General Anthony Wayne to lead forces into the northwest. General Wayne's victory in the carefully planned battle, opened the territory to a great wave of settlers.

Homesteaders came on horseback, on foot and in ox-drawn wagons, moving north along the wilderness trails. State Route 424 now follows the narrow military trail used by General Wayne.

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