Over 2,000 years ago at what is now the Ohio City of Oregonia, there was a sprawling, 18,000 square foot, earthen enclosure that was the home of the Fort Ancient and Hopewell people.
Today that area has been preserved and paid homage to with a 9,000 square foot museum dedicated to understanding these antediluvian and elusive indigenous people.
What follows is a brief description of what visitors can expect to find at the fort as well as other suggested attractions and lodging in the nearby area.
Visitors to “Fort Ancient” can traverse in the well-worn footsteps of these prehistoric people along a series of hiking trails that extend well over 2 miles.
The trails wind past the earthen mounds that are characteristic of the Fort Ancient and Hopewell people.
In addition to the trails there is also a pair of scenic overlooks, prehistoric garden and a picnic area for visitors to enjoy.
The museum’s exhibits are primarily broken down into three major segments that begin with a look at the early hunting tribes of the Middle Ohio River Valley.
From that initial stepping off point, the other two segments progress to the introduction of an agrarian society all the way up to when the indigenous people first clashed with European explorers bent on converting them.
Reproduced artifacts include stone tools, bone fragments, pottery shards, textile remnants and an early drum.
Special Events and Outreach
The “Fort Ancient” staff, in conjunction with area Native American Indian tribes, host several special events throughout the year including the ever-popular annual event known as the “Ancient Civilizations: A Gathering of Four Directions.”
This year’s gathering will take place from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm on June 11th and from noon until 6:00 pm on June 12th. The event generally includes Native American music, dancing and activities such as archery and weapons demonstrations.
Many of the special events are rooted in the spiritual nature of the Fort Ancients and Hopewells, who often incorporated astral dimensions into the placement of their structures as well as governance over their everyday lives.
Hours of Operation
“Fort Ancient” is open year with hours of operation varying by season.
It is open from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday and from noon until 5:00 pm on Sunday during the months of April through November.
During the late winter and early spring it is open on Saturdays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and in Sundays from noon until 5:00 pm.
As of 2011 admission to “Fort Ancient” is $6 per adult and $4 per child between the ages of 6 through 12. Children under 5 years of age are gratis and there are discounts for senior citizens and groups.
“Fort Ancient” is located approximately 40 minutes from two other sites connected to the preservation of Fort Ancient culture; the “SunWatch Indian Village” and the “Boonshoft Museum.” Visitors who wish to partake of all three sites should allow at least two hours per location.
Furthermore, those travelers who wish to spend the night in Oregonia may want to consider the “Olive Branch Campground.” Nightly campsite rates tend to range from $35 up to $40 for pull through sites. Advance reservations and additional information about the “Olive Branch Campground” may be garnered by calling 513-932-2267.
6123 State Route 350
Oregonia, OH 45054
Fort Ancient, “Home” Fort Ancient
Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau, “Warren County Events” Warren Co. CVB
Olive Branch Campground, “Rates” Olive Branch Campground