Dec. 23, 2015
For Immediate Release
Riverbank Stabilization Set to Begin at Fort Amanda Memorial Park
COLUMBUS—Construction work is set to begin in January to halt erosion along the Auglaize River at Fort Amanda Memorial Park on State Route 198 in Spencerville, Ohio. Over 170 feet of steel sheet pilings will be installed near the top of the slope. The retaining wall will be backfilled with dirt and provide the necessary support for restoration of the pedestrian trail that runs along the bank.
“A major concern is the protection of the historic cemetery during construction,” said Meta von Rabenau, project architect for the Ohio History Connection, who is managing the project. “Many of the graves date from 1812 and may contain soldiers who served at Fort Amanda. By employing several techniques of remote-sensing archaeology, we have been able to identify the limits of the graves without doing any digging”.
With consultation from archaeologists of the State Historic Preservation Office, the project engineers and contractors devised a plan to limit construction traffic to areas that had already been disturbed by erosion. Nevertheless, field archaeologists will be on site throughout construction. “This is our standard procedure for archaeologically-sensitive sites”, von Rabenau said.
To prepare the site for construction, several headstones will be removed and securely stored to prevent possible damage. The location of each headstone will be surveyed and marked with iron pins. Following construction, the headstones will be reinstalled in the original locations. Construction is expected to take less than a month. A ceremony to rededicate the historic cemetery is planned for May 2016.
Fort Amanda was a major supply depot for the American army during the War of 1812. The original fort is no longer standing, but a granite monument built in 1915 marks the site of the fort. Located on the banks of the Auglaize River, the park also features a historic cemetery and is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. Trails lead through wooded ravines down to the river or out to the monument. Average visit time: Allow 1+ hour. Fort Amanda is managed locally by the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District.
Fort Amanda Memorial Park
State Route 198
Wapakoneta, OH 45806
(Fort Amanda State Memorial is located in Auglaize County, Logan Township, southwest of Lima on State Route 198, 1/4 mile south of Fort Amanda Road.)
Ohio Historical Society is now Ohio History Connection
On May 24, 2014, the Ohio Historical Society changed its name to the Ohio History Connection. Established in 1885, this nonprofit organization provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology, architecture and natural history through more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio, including its flagship museum, the Ohio History Center in Columbus. For more information about programs and events, call 800.686.6124 or go online at www.ohiohistory.org
Public Relations Manager
Ohio History Connection