Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission
Run by an active Board of Directors, history is preserved and presented through the Commission.
The FTBPC was born out of one of the most important and successful historical preservation campaigns in the country. In 1995, following archaeology performed near the Anthony Wayne trail, Michael Pratt, Ph.D. found indisputable evidence that the Battle of Fallen Timbers had not taken place solely on the floodplain of the Maumee River, which had been the historical thought up to that time. Instead, hundreds, if not thousands, of artifacts proved that the clash between the U.S. forces and the Native confederation actually took place near woods on the opposite site of the Anthony Wayne Trail. This information not only changed the history of the Battle as it had been understood for 200 years, it also had a dramatic impact on the plans by the City of Toledo to sell that same land for development of a mall and surrounding apartments and other housing.
A citizen’s group called the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission formed to lead the campaign to preserve the site of this important historical event within months of Dr. Pratt’s findings. Many prominent members of the community joined, and the public campaign was led by Dr. Ralph Johnson, an editor for The Blade, and others. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Senator Mike Dewine were also significant forces in the campaign to save the battlefield. The fight was eventually won in the hearts and minds of the community, and the City of Toledo’s dreams of a development on the battlefield site ended The FTBPC formalized into a recognized 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and promotion of the historic sites and the history of the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1995.
In order to preserve this site, significant public money was gathered from federal, state and local coffers to purchase the property and preserve it for the public. In 1999, Metroparks agreed to accept the public funds and purchase the land. The Battlefield, the Battlefield monument and Fort Miamis (a related historical site owned by the City of Maumee) were declared to be National Historic Sites, and Affiliate National Park status was also conferred upon the sites in the federal legislation that created the funding package. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Clinton on December 9,1999. The Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission was also a part of that legislation, being specifically mentioned in Congresswoman Kaptur’s support of the funding bill as follows:
Most impressive, however, has been the outpouring of grassroots interest in the Battle of Fallen Timbers and the preservation of its sites. . . . We should particularly note the efforts of Marianne Duvendack and the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Commission. The Commission has produced a flyer describing the battle and its historic significance. It has also produced an excellent video presentation in support of preservation.
The legislation went on to state as one of its purposes:
To authorize the Secretary to provide technical assistance to the State of Ohio, political subdivisions of the State and nonprofit organizations in the State, including the Ohio Historical Society, the city of Maumee, the Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor, the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Commission, Heidelberg College, the city of Toledo, and the Metroparks District of the Toledo Area to implement the management plan.
After conveyance of the land preserved with the grant of public funds on June 19, 2000,
Metroparks held that land for 15 years while developing the comprehensive general management plan, site development plans and an interpretive plan. The site opened to the public on October 25, 2015.
GENERAL MANAGEMENT PLAN
From March 12, 2002 to May 17, 2006, the legislatively required Comprehensive General Management Plan was developed for the Battlefield, Monument and Fort Miamis sites that required, among other objectives, “programs and facilities for visitor use includ[ing] orientation, visitor services, access and circulation and trails.” The emphasis was on appreciation and understanding of military history and Native American culture, understanding the significance of the events of 1794-1813 in the broader context of US history, and providing access and meaningful experiences for visitors to the sites. The Comprehensive management plan notes that community partnerships are important and necessary to the development of the historic sites: “More formal agreements to support interpretive programs and park operations will be pursued with the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission,“ and other community organizations.
Since the opening of the battlefield site in 2015, the FTBPC has been working steadily to assist in interpretive programming through lectures, authors and living history events. The Commission has also taken on the challenge of access to all interested in the history by providing golf cart tours of the battlefield in conjunction with the recent 225th anniversary. This event was so successful, it is on the Commission event list for future years as well. Interpretive programs involving first person impressions of individuals involved in the historic events important to the site have been taking place for years, and development of this program further is taking place. Volunteers to take place in these programs have been coming from great distance to be a part of such a program that is both challenging and instructive to the public. The Commission is dedicated to making this important history live again in its living history programs.
FTBPC and Metroparks Relationship
The FTBPC is an independent organization that qualifies for 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit. It maintains its own officers, board, members and volunteers. It is entirely a volunteer citizens’ group, having no paid staff. It is responsible for the preservation of the Battlefield, and pre-existed the Metroparks purchase of the acreage that would become the Battlefield site. It was also involved in the creation of the National Historic Sites, the Affiliate National Park status, and funding package that created these sites. Since 1995, The Commission has been fundamental to the continued preservation of the historical importance of the sites,
Our Mission Statement: The mission of the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission is to promote the importance of the site through education and preservation.
This mission has always included to responsibility to protect, preserve and promote the three historic sites under the Battlefield banner, including Fort Miamis and the Monument. The mission of the FTBPC is not just to bring people to the Battlefield, Monument and Fort Miamis sites – it is to bring people to the sites to educate and inform them of the historical significance of the sites. This mission has been met since 2015, the opening of the site, with outreach to the community, with programming and presentations at the site, and with collaboration with other related historic sites. All of these programs are dedicated to promotion of the historic value of the site, along with development of heritage tourism both nationally and internationally.
The Commission has been very active in its promotion of the sites both by bringing thousands of people to the sites, and also by reaching out into the communities important to the site. This strategy includes outreach to the history community, business community, elected officials, and the general public. A list of the interaction between the Commission and these constituent groups since 2015 follows:
Public Outreach Events – these include annual promotional booths at many different community events with direct board involvement and engagement of the public:
Whitehouse Cherry Fest
Maumee Summer Fair
Waterville Roche de Boeuf Festival
Waterville Library presentation
Harrison Rally Days – Perrysburg
Auglaize Village Demonstrations – Defiance, OH
Apple Butter Festival – Grand Rapids, OH
Henry County Fair – Napoleon, OH
Way Library Veterans Day program – Perrysburg, OH
Toledo Chamber EPIC Nonprofit Palooza
St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary Christmas program
Historical Outreach Events:
Fremont Living History Show
Kalamazoo Living History Show – Fallen Timbers as the dedicated site
Auglaize Village programs – Defiance, OH
Hancock County Armed Forces Day – Findlay, OH
William Henry Harrison Camps programs – Pemberville, OH
Defiance Historical Society Presentation
Sylvania Historical Society Presentation
Garst Museum, Greenville, OH presentations – multiple
Maumee Valley Historical Society Presentations – multiple
Waterville Historical Society Programs
Monclova Historical Foundation Annual Meeting Programs
Presentations to civic and business groups:
Downtown Toledo Rotary
Maumee Uptown Business Association
Perrysburg Exchange Club
Maumee Chamber of Commerce
Waterville Chamber of Commerce
Waterville Chamber Roche de Boeuf Committee
Masonic High Twelve
River Raisin National Park – multiple speaker and programs
Fort Meigs Board Meeting
St. Luke’s Foundation Board Presentation
Lucas County Bar Association
Presentations to groups hosted at Battlefield:
Toledo Regional Chamber Breakfast program
Ohio Local History Alliance Regional Meeting – Day long speaker event
Waterville Chamber Lunch and program
Daughters of the American Revolution – Ursula Wolcott Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution – Fort Industry Square Chapter
Legislative Update for all local, state and national elected officials
Community Focus Grouping
BGSU Masters of Organizational Development Cohort
Interpretive Programming – The Commission has also been extremely active in creating programming related to the history and interpretation of the sites since 2016. Some of these programs have taken place on site at Fort Miamis, the Battlefield or the monument and some have taken place at other community sites including the Maumee Library, StoryPoint, Waterville Library, Browning Masonic Community, Staybridge Suites, and the Monclova Community Center. All of these programs have been created to educate and engage the public on the history and cultures related to the sites, the archaeology at the sites and the inter-relation of these historic sites to other prominent sites, locally, nationally and internationally.
Annual Memorial Day at the Monument
Music at the Monument
Step into History
The Voices of Fallen Timbers
The Weapons of Fallen Timbers
Fallen Timbers Film Festival
Forgotten Fortress – Fort Miamis and the Battle of Fallen Timbers
The Unlikely General – Mary Stockwell
The Frog-Leg Eagle – Archaeology at Fallen Timbers and Related Wayne Sites
Twilight Hike of the Battlefield
Lantern Tours of the Battlefield
Guided Hikes of the Battlefield
Golf Cart Tours of the Battlefield
Life and War in 1794 – Re-enactor Workshop
Publications – The Commission has also authored or contributed to articles specifically about the historical significance of the battle, the historical events themselves, and promoting the sites for heritage tourism. These articles have been published in or by:
Smoke & Fire News
Early American Life
Destination Toledo Magazine
The Frog-Legged Eagle
The Maumee Mirror
The Toledo Blade
Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce
Education – One of the goals of the Commission has always been to bring these significant historical events back into the local K-12 history/social studies curriculum. The Commission is working with teachers from Rossford Schools, Anthony Wayne Schools and Maumee Schools to create a curriculum that will be incorporated into the curriculums at these schools beginning this year for Rossford as a pilot project, and adding additional schools once it is finalized and approved.
Academic Research – The Commission has supported the furtherance of academic research and authorship by promoting the work of Mary Stockwell, Ph.D., Frank Kuron, Greg Shipley and others involved in active research into this historic era. The Commission will continue to promote future scholarship, and has considered internships and further archaeology and academic projects with local universities. The Commission is also planning an academic conference to take place in 2020 in furtherance of the 225th Anniversary of the Battle and the signing if the Treaty of Greeneville.
Collaborative Programming – The Commission has worked with other related historical organizations to create programming and promotions for the sites. The Commission has created a brochure that addresses the common story for related sites of Fort Meigs, River Raisin Battlefield, Maumee Valley Historical Society – Wolcott House and Waterville Historical Society – Roche de Boeuf. This collaborative group has also discussed bus tours, and tourism packages that promote the historical significance of these sites.
Since the Battlefield site opened in 2015, the board members and volunteers of the Commission have donated thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to our mission – the preservation, protection and promotion of these historic sites.