BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Native tribes, Canadians, British and Americans will converge on the banks of the Maumee River this weekend, just as they did 225 years ago for the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
Seen as one of the most pivotal battles in American history, the Battle of Fallen Timbers took place on August 20, 1794. At the site near the current-day I-475 and US 24, American Gen. Anthony Wayne’s troops put an end to English claims in the Northwest Territory and sealed the fate of native tribes living in the future states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
From Friday, August 16 through Tuesday, August 20, the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission will host a 225th anniversary commemoration event of the historic battle, with re-enactments, musical performances, native storytelling, battle tactics demonstrations and guided lantern tours of the battlefield.
“We have over 150 re-enactors registered. This is going to be big,” said FTBPC president Julie Wiley. “We have three artillery squads, Canadian militia, Americans and a lot of Native Americans.”
Re-enactors rarely get an opportunity to be a part of one specific battle that’s not part of a larger war, such as the Civil War or one of the World Wars.
“People have been spending years getting ready to come be a part of this with the correct uniforms that are authentic,” Wiley said.
Representatives of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, who acted as scouts for Gen. Anthony Wayne and allied with the American Forces, will be present this weekend, Wiley said. Representatives of tribal nations that were part of the confederation opposing Wayne will also be present at the commemoration event on Tuesday.
In addition to military demonstrations, encampments for both the native tribes and military troops will be set up on Saturday and Sunday.
The majority of events are being held at Side Cut Metropark, with parking and shuttles available at The Shops at Fallen Timbers. Below is a listing of some of the events throughout the weekend.
Friday, August 16
At 6:30 p.m., the grand opening of the 225th Anniversary will take place at Fallen Timbers Battlefield, 4949 Jerome Rd. in Maumee. Elected officials, representatives of current-day native tribes and Canadians will be present for proclamations as well as for the raising of the 1794 flag.
At 7:00 p.m., a tribute to the Canadian Militia will take place on the site where their forces were lost. A Canadian pipe and drum unit will play a tribute.
From 8:30 to 10:30 p.m., guides will lead a tour by lantern light through the battlefield, meeting and hearing from historical figures in a ticketed event. Tickets are $10.00 and must be paid through the website at www.fallentimbersbattlefield.org.
Saturday, August 17
At 9:00 a.m. at Fort Miamis, the site of the former British fort, the American flag will come down and the British flag will be hoisted.
“That’s what was flying over Fort Miamis during the battle,” Wiley said of the fort, located at 1900 River Rd. in Maumee.
Also at 9:00 a.m., at Side Cut Metropark, the military encampment and native village will open, offering re-enactments, demonstrations and activities for all ages.
At 10:00 a.m., the 1794 flag will be raised and Gen. Anthony Wayne will inspect the troops. The Scottish Society of Windsor Pipe Band will perform. A company and battalion drill, mini militia and Wayne’s Legion Fife and Drum performance are scheduled.
Also at 10:00 a.m., Dr. Janet Rozick will present “The Battle of Fallen Timbers – How It Moved Nations.” Other speakers include John Trowbridge, Kentucky National Guard historian, who will present “One United and Gallant Effort” at 11:00 a.m. At noon, Mary Stockwell, whose book on Wayne, Unlikely General, was recently released, will speak on that topic.
At 1:00 p.m. in the Rotary Pavilion, the 338th Army Band, a 55-musician unit from Livonia, Mich., and Columbus, Ohio, will perform.
At 2:00 p.m., a battle tactics and artillery demonstration will take place.
“Expect a lot of black powder being fired,” Wiley said.
Also at 2:00 p.m., the lineup includes native storytelling, two-ball for kids, Wayne’s Legion Fife and Drum performance, and the Scottish Society of Windsor Pipe Band Performance.
Camp closes at 5:00 p.m.
Guided lantern tours of the battlefield site are again available beginning at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.fallentimbersbattlefield.org.
Sunday, August 18
The military encampment and native village open up at 9:00 a.m. In addition to the raising of the flag and musical performances, two more speakers are on the schedule: Joseph Wolf of the Choctaw Nation will present “The Removal of the Trail of Tears,” at 11:00 a.m.; and Rusty Cottrel will present “Chief Black Hoof” at noon.
At 2:00 p.m., more battle demonstrations, storytelling and musical performances are planned before camp closes at 4:00 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m., the British colors will be retired from Fort Miamis.
Monday, August 19
From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the battlefield site, guides will lead golf cart tours through the 1.5-mile path in a ticketed event. Tickets are $10.00 and available on the commission website.
Tuesday, August 20
At 3:00 p.m., a commemoration of the 225th anniversary sponsored by Metroparks will be held at the battlefield, to close out the event.
Throughout the weekend, food trucks will be available at Side Cut. Directional signs will be placed throughout the city to inform visitors on where to park and how to get to the various sites, said Maumee Police Chief Dave Tullis.
The FTBPC worked closely with many community members and the Metroparks to make this event happen, Wiley said. Support from St. Luke’s Hospital and The Toledo Clinic helped keep all but the battlefield tours free to the public.
For updates, visit www.fallentimbersbattlefield.org.