Located in central Ohio near Columbus, the state’s capital, Alum Creek was a forest valley and home to the Adena culture. In the 1700s the Delaware Indian tribe settled here on the banks of the Olentangy River when the Iroquois nation forced them from their home in the Delaware River valley in the northeastern United States.
Colonel Moses Byxbe from Massachusetts built the first house on Alum Creek in 1805. With the threat of the War of 1812, blockhouse fortresses were built to defend this frontier from Indian attack. Fort Cheshire stood in Alum Creek until the Civil War and was later used as a schoolhouse. There is a bronze plaque in the family campground where the fort once stood. The next time we visit I will have to look for it!
The Sycamore Trail guided over 40,000 slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. The white bark of the sycamore trees cast its ghostly glow in the shadows of the night acting as guideposts. Africa Road received its name from the 30 newly freed slaves from North Carolina settled near friendly homeowners in this area.
Today Alum Creek is part of the flood control plan for the Ohio River Basin authorized by Congress in 1962. The lake was started in 1970 and completed in 1974. Its 3,000-foot beach is the largest inland beach in all of Ohio’s state park system. (from Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ brochure)