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1769 to 1782/Peter Loramie

The only settlement in Shelby County, Ohio, after Pickawillany was a trading post established in 1769 by Peter Loramie. Located approximately one-half mile north of the present town of Ft. Loramie, on State Route 66, the Ft. Loramie Business Men’s Association/American Legion have installed a marker near the site that can still be seen today.

Some historians believe that Peter Loramie had ventured down the Indian trail on the Maumee and St. Mary’s Rivers, then crossed a six-mile portage to reach Loramie Creek while local writer Allan Eckert’s research indicates that he came from the Ohio and Miami Rivers.

French traders normally preferred the canoe to foot or horse and were able to reach nearly all the Indian towns which usually lay upon streams. The waterways back then were wider, deeper and navigable by canoe and flatboat almost to the source. Streams carried much more water before the forests were cut away and the land ‘improved’ by farming.

Loramie Creek, at Ft. Loramie, is today, a small stream, but years ago it was navigable from the south to a point far past the community. Thus, rather than struggle through dense forests, early man traveled on rivers which served as ‘roadways’ during the late 1700s and early 1800s.   Loramie was a great friend of the Indians (he dealt primarily with the ‘Shawanees’) and operated his store to help them. He was highly respected by the Indians and considered a great leader. Loramie supported them in their struggle against the white man, supplying them with guns and ammunition.

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His store became a meeting point for Indian war parties, who assembled there before moving to attack settlers in Kentucky. Because of all of the Indian activity, the trading post was believed to pose a threat to Kentucky. The Kentuckians sent an army, led by General George Rogers Clark, who attacked the Loramie trading post in 1782, burning the store to the ground.   Peter Loramie survived the attack and eventually relocated in Missouri to live out the remainder of his days.  There is a replica of the Ft. Loramie trading post building in a park area in downtown Ft. Loramie (pictured below).

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''Pioneer' segment written in October, 1997 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge

 

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