Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mohican John's River

Mohican's Covered Bridge is an icon of the natural areas in my parts.  And as many times I have been there in the last 6 years, it always offers something new.

Recently, the tale of "Mohican John" was unfolded to me.  The first surveyors encountered him on the river, and the rest is history.  Or at least frequently told folklore.

But the real story of  Mohican revolves around the water.  Water that trickles through the sandstone and  forms rivulets coursing down to the river.  Water that nourishes spring wild flowers and fruit along the riverine corridor.

Flowering Raspberries grow near the covered bridge,  enlarged, soft purple flowers that far surpass the beauty of most members of the Rubus family. 

                              The water flows cold and free.        
                      The fish are (almost) fearless.

And hemlock line the trails, giving shade to the hikers and creating habitat for Winter Wrens.

The waters of the Mohican are pristine and pure.  It is one of Ohio's Scenic Rivers.  And those of us who live here feel it is important to keep it that way.


  1. So what is the rest of the history of Mohican John? I'm Mohican descent from New York State and interested in my relations' fates.

    I see you have a Karner Blue butterfly as part of your masthead. There is a local preserve for them in my area.

  2. So the story- although the Mohican tribes were not known from this area, when the orginal surveyors came up the Clear Fork plotting the maps (or maybe some tributary of it)they met a single native. An Indian- named John, who was indeed Mohican. I wonder it he was also involed in nearby Johnsville?

    YEs, the KArner is a favored butterfly which I have seen numerous times in the Oak Opening of Toledo. It is a wonderful representative of how habitat (and lupines) are linked with the survival of a species.

  3. As the Mahicans (correct spelling) began migrating westward, some did indeed settle here around 1760. Shortly after most Mahicans left, their friendly relatives, the Delaware inhabited this same town and the surrounding area. Unfortunately very little is known about Mohican John - but it is clear that he was indeed Mahican and he must have been some sort of chief to have a rather large Indian town named after him. In the mid to late 1700's timeframe his name was well recognized by Indians and settlers alike in the region and for many years afterwards, the area of Jeromesville was referred to as Mohican John's Town.

  4. You often don't hear much about the Mahicans because although they were respected Indian warriors, they enjoyed a long history of perhaps misguided friendship with the British and later the American colonists. Mahican Indian scouts served with Roger's Rangers in the French and Indian War and later fought alongside Colonial forces against the British in our war of independence. But they ultimately lost their lands in New England and New York and hence their dispersal and subsequent disappearance from history. Ultimately most of the remaining Mahicans - called then by their Christianized name - the Stockbridge Indians - settled and still live in Wisconsin. So Chingagook was really not the "Last of the Mohicans". The great Miami chief Little Turtle's mother was Mahican. Also Abraham, the leader of the christianized indians massacred at Gnadenhutten Ohio in 1782 by western Pennsylvania frontiersmen is also listed as either Mahican or Delaware.