Thursday, December 15, 2011


Johnston Farm & Indian Agency

2012 Season Hours

Groups By Appointment: April, May, September, & October: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Open to the Public: June, July, and August: Thursday & Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday Noon - 5:00 p.m.

2012 Special Events

April 12: An Evening with General Sherman - Reservation Event (Please visit our website at and check out the Evening with General Sherman page for more info)  To commemorate the American Civil War, and the role played by the Johnston Farm; the Johnston Farm Friends Council presents Frank Bullock, from Sherman’s hometown of Lancaster, Ohio as William Tecumseh Sherman in 'An Evening with the General'.
The Johnston Farm served as Camp Piqua in the late summer of 1862 and some of the men who trained there became a part of Sherman’s forces.
A dessert reception will precede the 7:30 program, which is a major fundraiser to support the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency. The Piqua Country Club is the setting for this unique opportunity to become acquainted with one of key figures in the American Civil War. Preceding the reception and presentation, guests may make reservations for a period dinner at their own expense in the Country Club dining room.
This is a RESERVATION ONLY event; so call either 800-752-2619 or 773-2522 for more information and to secure your spot for this trip back 150 years.
COST: $30.00, $25.00 for Johnston Farm Friends Council and Ohio Historical Society members.


April 21: A Springtime Hike at the Johnston Farm

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and what better way to enjoy spring and mark Earth Day than with a hike at the Johnston Farm? Nature and history will be the focus of the afternoon as we visit some nooks and crannies of this historic jewel not usually accessible to visitors. Hikers will depart the Historic Indian and Canal Museum for an interpreted, moderate hike. Visitors should come prepared for the fields, forest, and towpath that are each a part of the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency.

COST: $4.00/adults, $2.00/students 6-12, free to Johnston Farm Friends Council and Ohio Historical Society members.

June 9 & 10: Family Days at the Johnston Farm

John Johnston’s family home will come alive with games and activities enjoyed in days past. Allow enough time to visit the Johnston’s home to learn how the family lived, take in the Historic Indian and Canal Museum to gain insight to the lives of the first people who called Ohio home, and don’t forget to include time in your day for a relaxing ride on the General Harrison of Piqua and relive the time when mules pulled boats and the world moved at four miles per hour.

COST: Regular site admission.

July 7 & 8: Life on an Indian Agency

This is a year of commemorations of the War of 1812 and the American Civil War; both were events in which this place had a part. A look at the impact John Johnston had on our history when his home was a Federal Indian Agency will be a focal point of this weekend. Come to the home of John Johnston and take part in demonstrations of many of the skills needed for the daily life of both Native and Euro Americans at the time that this was a Federal Indian Agency in the early 1800’s. Many activities will be hands-on so each visitor can experience first-hand how our ancestors made a life for themselves. This is an excellent event for the entire family. Complete the experience with a visit to the Historic Indian and Canal Museum as well as a relaxing ride on our replica, mule-drawn canal boat General Harrison of Piqua.

COST: Regular site admission

August 11: An Evening of Feasting, Music, & Canawling - Reservation Event

Enjoy a relaxing dinner in the Historic Indian and Canal Museum. Guests will then continue their evening with a twilight ride on the replica canal boat General Harrison of Piqua as it plies the entire length of our restored stretch of the Miami and Erie Canal. Passengers will be entertained with the peaceful music of a Native American flute as they experience the canal from an entirely different perspective. This unique opportunity is offered once each season and is a RESERVATION ONLY event; so call either 800-752-2619 or 773-2522 beginning July 1 to book your passage by August 7.

COST: $30.00/adults, $25.00/children 6-12, $25.00 & $20.00 for Johnston Farm Friends Council and Ohio Historical Society members

October 13: Celebrate Fall at the Johnston Farm

Have you ever wondered what the Miami and Erie Canal looked like in the fall? There will be two canal boat rides aboard the General Harrison of Piqua; one at 1:00 p.m. that will travel north to Lock 8 and return to the landing. The second ride at 2:30 will travel the entire length of our section of the canal to give passengers an idea of what canawlers saw in 1845 as they moved across western Ohio at four miles per hour. For those visitors who prefer to keep their feet on dry land, hayrides will also be a part of the afternoon. Join the staff and volunteers of the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency for this special fall afternoon and take part in a variety of activities and demonstrations at the home of John Johnston as well as a tour of the home. Be sure to include a visit to the Historic Indian and Canal Museum.

COST: Regular site admission

December 1: Christmas on the Johnston Farm - Reservation Event

This very special holiday event begins with dinner in John Johnston’s dining room featuring a traditional seasonal menu from the Johnston’s era. Following dinner, guests will be escorted into Johnston’s Drawing Room where the Johnston Farm Mummers will visit and present a traditional holiday entertainment. Next guests will visit each room of the home decorated for the holidays and learn more about some of our holiday traditions. Some special surprise visitors and neighbors may call as well. The visit will conclude with dessert and holiday music by the fireplace in the winter kitchen. This is a RESERVATION ONLY event; so call either 773-2522 or 800-752-2619 to confirm your spot for this very unique holiday event.

COST: $30.00/adults, $25.00/children to age 12, $25.00 and $20.00 for Johnston Farm Friends Council and Ohio Historical Society members

Not a Friends member yet? You could be saving up to 20% on special events!!!! Jake and Kit say...

For more information on the Johnston Farm and its events, please call 937.773-2522 or email Andy Hite at

Monday, September 19, 2011

ChipIn campaign

John Johnston's brick farmhouse was, most likely, built somewhere between 1810 and 1812.  In a letter from John Johnston to Henry Brown of Dayton, OH dated May 23, 1815, Johnston states;

 'I beg of you to send up W. Baker or some other good brick layer as soon as possible to examine my House and direct him to call and give McColough (sic) the person who built it information that he may attend.'

In honor of this and of the many other 200 year anniversaries the first half of this decade will mark for the site - John Johnston and his family making Piqua their home, Johnston's involvement in the war of 1812, the beginning of his career in Ohio as an Indian agent and many more, we are running a ChipIn campaign asking for donations to help further the site's mission now and in the future.  

For those of you who do not know what 'ChipIn' is, it is an online site dedicated to building a strong internet donation base for non-profits such as the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency,  For those of you who have enjoyed the site - in person and virtually through our website at - this is an opportunity for you to join in and become a part of the site's future.  As we all know, we are in a tough economy, but that makes small things so much more important - a walk on a forested trail, a stroll past a lovely old house, a ride on a boat down a lazy river.  The JF&IA provides all of this and much more, as well as continuing to serve and educate over 4000 school children each year.

If you would like to join us in this mission, click the 'ChipIn' widget on the right hand side of the page and...


The management and staff of the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency thank you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stepping into the past

We are nearly one month into the 2011 season.  Spring has sprung and moved on to summer.  The flowers are in bloom and both the staff and the visitors have enjoyed some lovely June weather.  We could go on and on about events and sunny days and fun, but you know the old saying - one picture is worth a thousand words.

So this batch must be worth a million!  Enjoy! And then come out to the site and see us.

All photos courtesy of Richard Smith

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Evening in Pickawillany recap

It's hard to believe over a month has passed since our 'Evening in Pickawillany'.  This year's season kick-off fundraiser held at the Fort Piqua Plaza was a rousing success with over 120 in attendance.  Everyone greatly enjoyed the great desserts by Coldwater Cafe, the exihibition of artifacts from the Pickawillany site, and William Hunt Jr.'s masterful performance as Andrew Montour. 

We hope you join us next year, and until them, enjoy these images from April's event.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Evening in Pickawillany - April 7th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

Join us on April 7th, 011 at 7:30 p.m. for our second annual fundraiser.  This year we kick off the new season with An Evening in Pickawillany featuing a Chautauqua Style History Alive! Presentation by William F Hunt Jr. as Sattelihu, Captain Andrew Montour.

In the early years of the 18th century, France and England began a series of savage and bloody French and Indian Wars to wrestle control of the North American continent. As both powers jockeyed for position again in the 1740’s, the focal point shifted towards the vast, fertile Ohio country. This untamed wilderness, rich in natural resources, and especially large populations of fur bearing animals, loomed west of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. Few Englishman had journeyed into this paradise. As French interests ebbed southward towards the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, the colonies of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland, became increasingly alarmed at this French expansion onto their western borders. Wedged in between these two European powers, were the various native woodland tribes of Iroquoian and Algonquin stock. One of the most dominant was the powerful Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Also present were mixed groups of Algonquin speaking Shawnees and Delawares. By 1754, war again began to boil over on to the Ohio. French and English envoys courted alliances with the Ohio Indians. The French were masters of Indian diplomacy. For the English, only a few men could counter the French.

Fortunately for the English, a man of mixed Franco-Iroquoian heritage emerged on the scene. Andrew Montour (Sattelihu), the eldest son of a French-Canadian mother, and an Oneida war chief, was born in an obscure Seneca village, and raised as an Iroquois. A gifted linguist, Montour could speak fluently at least 10 Indian languages, as well as French and English, and was a master of complex Indian diplomacy. A skilled warrior, guide and hunter, he knew the Ohio country better than most Anglo men. As early as the 1740’s Andrew Montour conducted diplomatic missions on the Ohio on behalf of Virginia and Pennsylvania. He accompanied a various number of English diplomats and traders into hostile and unknown Ohio villages, and served as a trusted interpreter at many important Indian councils. Montour, an enigma even in his own time, also understood the European cultures. A frequent guest to the royal governors of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, Andrew Montour often appeared dressed in an odd assortment of Euro-native attire. Well respected among the Ohio tribes and beloved by the Ohio Iroquois, the French quickly feared Montour as a threat to French supremacy.

Throughout the French and Indian War and later during Pontiac’s War in 1763, Montour continued to serve English interest through diplomacy and warfare. In the words of Conrad Weiser, a Pennsylvania trader, and a diplomat of Indian Affairs, gave Andrew Montour the highest accolades of being, “Knowing, Faithful, and Prudent”.

William Hunt brings to life once again the exploits of Andrew Montour and his contributions to the English cause during this bloody and turbulent period in Colonial American history. By so doing, Mr. Hunt pays tribute to his own mixed-blood native heritage. Mr. Hunt, the former Director of the Historical Craik-Patton House in Charleston, WV, is a devoted historian of the 18th Century Colonial Frontier, and is also a historical interpreter of the same period. He has been fascinated by Andrew Montour for many years and has extensively researched to bring him into a first person, historical perspective. William has traveled to many historical locations related with Andrew Montour as he is continually researching and studying the 1700’s.

The Piqua Friends Council & the Piqua Public Library present a virtuoso performance by this veteran historic interpreter at the Fort Piqua Plaza, on the Square, William McKinley Ballroom, 308 N. Main St. Piqua OH. Also on display that evening w...ill be never before seen objects unearthed on the Pickawillany site.

Tickets are $30 for the general public and $25 for members.  Call 1.800.752.2619 or email for more information.

HYPE seeks 365 Ways to Have Fun in Miami County

If your favorite activity in Miami County is visiting the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency, HYPE  (Helping Young Professionals Emerge) wants to know! Submit your suggestions for great activities by visiting the group's Facebook page at, where you will find a link to a Facebook event for 365 Things to do in Miami County. You may also link to the Facebook page by clicking on the rotating banner on Suggestions will be collected through March 26, after which members of HYPE will select their favorite 365 suggestions.

Not a fan of Facebook? You may email your ideas to All submissions should be specific and include both an activity and a location, which must be in Miami County . Suggestions will be collected through March 26, after which members of HYPE will select their favorite 365 suggestions. A promotional e-flyer will be produced and made available to the public after that time, and the group will continue to promote the list through weekly blog posts on about HYPE members trying out the activities included on the list.

"So many times I've heard friends and colleagues ask what there is to do in this area," says Doug Eakin, HYPE Chair. "As a newcomer to the area three years ago, I was amazed at how much our county has to offer. It's time we talk up the great amenities we have available and start taking advantage of the ones that remain best-kept secrets."

HYPE is a group formed by young professionals for young professionals in the Northern Miami Valley . The group strives to achieve its vision through focused efforts to support social opportunity, professional development and community involvement for young professionals in the area. HYPE was established in collaboration with the Covington , Piqua , Tipp City and Troy Area Chambers of Commerce. To learn more about HYPE or to participate in this project, check out their website at or visit them on Facebook at

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Johnston Farm and Indian Agency accredited by the American Association of Museums in Washington, D.C.,

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Historical Society announced Tuesday that the American Association of Museums in Washington, D.C., has accredited six OHS historic sites and museums for the first time - Johnston Farm & Indian Agency in Piqua, Adena Mansion & Gardens in Chillicothe; Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta; Campus Martius Museum in Marietta; Fort Ancient near Oregonia; and Fort Meigs in Perrysburg. In addition, the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus has earned reaccreditation, its fourth time to earn the designation.

Accreditation from the American Association of Museums is the highest national recognition achievable by an American museum since the program began in 1971. Currently, there are 780 accredited museums in the United States. That means that just 4.5 percent of the estimated 17,500 museums in the country are accredited. AAM accreditation is a widely recognized seal of approval.

Andy Hite, historic site manager at Johnston Farm & Indian Agency, was happy about the news of the accreditation. "We are very pleased to receive this recognition by the American Association of Museums. Accreditation reaffirms the quality of service that the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency, as well as the other Ohio Historical Society sites, brings to the visitors who come to our sites. This accreditation shows that the highest standards of our profession are being met by the staff and volunteers at each of our sites. Visitors to the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency will know that there is no other site in the US that offers any better visitor experience on a daily basis," Hite said.  "In many ways this just shows what we have felt here for a long time," he said. "Our staff and volunteers are as good, if not better, than at any other historical site in the nation."

"Since its founding in 1885, the Ohio Historical Society has been consistently recognized as one of the leading state historical organizations in the country," said Burt Logan, OHS executive director and CEO. "The Ohio Historical Center was among the first institutions to be accredited by the American Association of Museums when the program was established in 1971. This, the center's fourth subsequent accreditation, reaffirms that we continue to meet the most stringent professional standards in all areas of operation. It also is especially gratifying to have six of the Society's sites receive this coveted designation."

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for more than 39 years, AAM's museum accreditation program is the field's primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. To best serve their communities, it is essential that museums be committed to institutional improvement, maintaining the highest standards in collections stewardship, governance, institutional planning, ethics, education and interpretation and risk management. AAM accreditation signifies excellence and accountability to the entire museum community, to governments and outside agencies and to the museum-going public.
"Accreditation is an entirely self-motivated process, and is no small task," said Ford W. Bell, AAM president. "Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement. But put simply, it means the citizens of the communities served by these museums have in their midst a truly outstanding museum."

The AAM Accreditation Program recognizes museums' commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a two-person team of peers. The accreditation commission, an autonomous body of museum professionals appointed by the AAM board, considers the self-study and site visit report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes as much as three years. All accredited museums undergo a subsequent review within 10 years of their last accreditation award.

At each of the newly accredited historic sites, the Ohio Historical Society will be hosting a reception to recognize the achievements of the site's management and volunteers as well as to present the accreditation certificate. A reception has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14, for Piqua's Johnston Farm & Indian Agency.

The Ohio Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that serves as the state's partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio's history, natural history, archaeology and historic places. For more information, visit

First published in the Daily Call, Piqua, OH 12/29/2010 7:40:00 AM