August 2, 2003
The Hopewell Culture National Historical Park near Chillicothe, Ohio, contains the Mound City Group, a 13-acre field containing 23 mounds surrounded by a rectangular earthen embankment. However, everything there is a reconstruction, since most of the original mounds constructed by the Hopewell Indian culture had been leveled by plowing by farmers during the 1800's. Those that had survived the plowing were leveled by the U.S. Army.
For some reason, this area has been very popular with the military. The Mound City area was used as Camp Bull from 1812 to 1814 during the War or 1812, and as Camp Logan from 1861 to 1865 during the Civil War. Camp Bull and Camp Logan were training and drill areas with no permanent structures, so no major damage was done to the mounds.
In 1917, Camp Sherman, a World War I training and detention facility, was built at Mound City. At least twelve mounds were completely leveled, and all the others were severely damaged in some way. Luckily, the mounds had been surveyed in the 1840's by a newspaper editor and a physician, and the floors of most of the mounds were left intact. An archeologist with the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society had convinced the army to construct their buildings on pylons instead of digging foundations into the ground, thereby saving the Hopewellian archeological deposits located beneath the mounds. By 1923 the site had been declared the Mound City Group National Monument, and the recreation of the mounds was begun.
The Mound City Group Visitor Center is located just outside Chillicathe, Ohio, on state route 104 two miles north of the intersection of route 104 and US 35. This is the visitor center for Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.
The visitor center is open daily 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with extended hours to 6:00 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The visitor center is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and January 1.
The park entrance fee is $3.00 per person over the age of 17, with a maximum charge of $5.00 per private vehicle. The entrance fees are waived December-February.
The visitor center contains an information desk from which one can obtain a map/guide of the park, restrooms, a museum, an auditorium featuring the park’s 17-minute video "Legacy of the Moundbuilders", and a educational bookstore maintained by Eastern National Monument and Parks Association.
From journal Chillicothe Does Have Much to Do