Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4







The village where Little Turtle was born in 1752 was lo-

cated on the north tributary of the Eel River, twenty miles north-

west of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in Whitney County. This north

tributary is known today as the Blue River Branch, near its

junction at Blue Lake, to which it furnished an outlet only a

short distance away. It stood on the west side of the river

on a high sandy point of land, surrounded on three sides by a

great bend in the river. A wide prairie marsh skirted those high

lands north and south, but on the east the high banks neared each

other, making it an easy ford to the north bank of the lake only

a few hundred yards to the eastward. The Blue Lake con-

tained possibly five hundred acres.

Near the foot of the hill, immediate to the south, a fine

spring of water bubbled forth underneath the shade of a beau-

tiful grove of barren oak trees. A short distance south of the

spring nestling in the middle of the prairie was a small lake

containing four or five acres, and so very deep that the water

looked a dark blue. It was called by the Indians "Devil's Lake",

from the fact that something mysterious had appeared in or near

it entirely unknown to Indian lore during a dusky Summer

evening, at which the Indians became terribly frightened and

ran all the way to Ft. Wayne then a frontier outpost.

Along about 1863, and for a number of years later, the writer

has been on this peculiar ancient village site many times, where

Little Turtle was born, and which was his home nearly all his

life. Along the river banks were Indian trails, worn several

inches deep, which not only spoke of primitive, but also of recent

times, as it was a flourishing village in 1812, and, possibly, was

not entirely deserted until 1846, at which time the Indians were

all removed to the West.

It seemed that Nature had provided here with a lavish hand