The Great Black Swamp
Pre-French & Indian Wars
Shot Heard Round the World
French Indian War
Writs of Assistance
The Sugar Act 1764
The Stamp Act 1765
Fort Laurens Ohio
More to come
Many theories have been presented on
the geological makeup and formation of our area. Between 1.4 and 990
million years ago, volcanic activity, crustal rifting, and filling of
basins formed by rifting took place. Between 990 and 880 million years
ago, a mountain range formed in eastern Ohio. Between 880 and 544
million years ago, these mountains were eroded, reducing the landscape
to a gently rolling surface. Igneous, metamorphic, and metasedimentary
rocks are present only at great depths 2,500 to 13,000 feet beneath
The Interior Plains is a vast
region that spreads across the stable core (craton) of North America.
This area had formed when several small continents collided and welded
together well over a billion years ago, during the Precambrian.
Precambrian metamorphic and igneous rocks now form the basement of the
Interior Plains and make up the stable nucleus of North America. With
the exception of the Black Hills of South Dakota, the entire region
has low relief, reflecting more than 500 million years of relative
The Appalachians southeast Ohio are old. A look at rocks exposed
in today's Appalachian mountains reveals elongate belts of folded and
thrust faulted marine sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and slivers of
ancient ocean floor. Strong evidence that these rocks were deformed
during plate collision. The birth of the Appalachian ranges, some 480
million years ago, marks the first of several mountain building plate
collisions that culminated in the construction of the supercontinent
Pangea with the Appalachians near the center
Kinds of Rocks:8
Ohio has all three kinds of rocks (Igneous, Sedimentary, and
Metamorphic). Only sedimentary rocks, however, make up the bedrock at
the surface of the state. This means that all of the surface bedrock
of Ohio was laid down under water, either fresh or marine. Therefore,
at sometime in the geologic past, all of what is now Ohio was covered
with water for long periods of time. Both metamorphic and igneous
rocks lie on top of the surface of Ohio. But these rocks are not
attached to the solid bedrock of the state. The great glaciers of the
last ice age carried these pieces of metamorphic and igneous into what
is now Ohio, leaving them behind as boulders, stones and pebbles.
Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks lie deep beneath the
surface of Ohio, covered by thick layers of younger sedimentary rocks.
These deeply buried rocks form the foundation on which ancient bodies
of water deposited the layers of sedimentary rock that we see today on
the surface. And the upper sedimentary layers provided the foundation
on which Ohio's soils of today developed. Therefore, the foundation on
which the State of Ohio was formed and grew, the ground on which
Ohio's residents today live, work and play, is sort of like a layer
cake. The oldest, bottom part is made up of igneous and metamorphic
rocks; the not-so-old middle layers consist of sedimentary rock; and
the relatively recent upper region contains soil mixed with material
dropped by the great glaciers.
(4.6 billion - 544 million years ago):
Between 1.4 and 990 million years ago, volcanic activity, crustal
rifting, and filling of basins formed by rifting took place. Between
990 and 880 million years ago, a mountain range formed in eastern
Ohio. Between 880 and 544 million years ago, these mountains were
eroded, reducing the landscape to a gently rolling surface. Igneous,
metamorphic, and metasedimentary rocks are present only at great
depths 2,500 to 13,000 feet beneath the surface.
(544-505 million years ago)1
Marine seas gradually flooded the Precambrian land surface and covered
Ohio by late Cambrian time, initially depositing sands, then silts,
muds, and limy muds. Ohio lay 10 degrees south of the Equator. Toward
the end of Cambrian time, limy sediments accumulated in a shallow
marine sea in an arid climate.
(505-440 million years ago):1
A warm, shallow sea (deeper in eastern Ohio) similar to the Bahamas
covered Ohio, which lay 20 degrees south of the Equator. The western
part of Ohio, at times, emerged as low muddy islands. Limy sediments
were dominant. Volcanic activity and mountain building to the east of
Ohio produced periodic layers of ash over the entire state and muddy
deltaic sediments in eastern Ohio. The sea deepened in later
Ordovician time, covering all of the state. At the close of Ordovician
time, continental glaciation in the southern hemisphere lowered sea
level and the seas retreated.
(440-410 million years ago):1
At the beginning of Silurian time, Ohio was dry land subject to
erosion. Then warm, shallow seas returned. Ohio lay 20 degrees south
of the Equator. Middle Silurian seas were deeper and covered Ohio;
reef environments were common. Late Silurian seas were shallower and
formed evaporite (salt-bearing) basins in northern Ohio.
(410-360 million years ago):1
Most of Ohio was dry land during early Devonian time, although the sea
still covered eastern Ohio. Ohio was in equatorial latitudes. In
Middle Devonian time, warm, shallow seas deposited limy sediments.
Layers of muddy sediments and some volcanic ash in late Middle
Devonian time signaled renewed volcanic activity and mountain building
east of Ohio. In late Devonian time, the Ohio sea became stagnant;
circulation was poor, and the water was generally anoxic (lacking
oxygen). Thick layers of black, organic-rich, uranium-bearing mud were
deposited in these "stinking seas."
(360-325 million years ago):1
In latest Devonian and early Mississippian time, dark organic muds
gave way to fluvial and deltaic silts and sands. Ohio lay in
equatorial latitudes. In late Mississippian time, a shallow sea
deposited limy sediments. During latest Mississippian time the seas
retreated, leaving a sparse rock record.
(325-286 million years ago):1
Ohio in Pennsylvanian time was a relatively flat coastal-plain swamp
in equatorial latitudes. Fluctuations in sea level resulted in
alternating terrestrial, freshwater, and marine deposits.
(286-248 million years ago):1
In early Permian time, southeastern Ohio was a coastal-plain swamp.
Ohio lay about 5 degrees north of the Equator. The swamp eventually
was filled by influx of deltaic sand and mud. Later Permian time was
characterized by uplift and erosion.
and Tertiary (248-1.6 million
Ohio was above sea level and weathering erosion, and nondeposition
prevailed. No known record, but dinosaurs probably roamed Ohio during
(1.6 million years ago to present):
Two-thirds of Ohio was covered by mile-thick ice during glacial
periods. Many large mammals such as mastodons, mammoths, giant
beavers, and ground sloths, as well as modern plants and animals,
North American continent at one time was tropical. But the climate
changed causing wholesale glaciation of much North America. Huge ice
sheets covered this area several times over the last 2-3 million
years. The latest Ice Age is referred to as the Pleistocene period. It
started about 2 million years ago and ended 10,000 years ago. The
average air temperature was about 6-12 degrees Celsius cooler than
today. The daily temperature fluctuations were similar to what they
are today. The weather patterns were vastly different than today's
though. Large regions of northern and eastern Canada stayed below
freezing most of the year and had huge snow falls. Year after year as
the snow accumulated and compacted, the ice became more dense under
its own weight, not unlike the ice caps of today (or what is left of
them.) Eventually, these great masses of ice started to flow outward
and southward. Plus the warmth of the earth melted the ice layer next
to the soil leaving a layer of water that lubricated the glaciers. The
last glacier is called the Wisconsin Glacier.
ice sheets of the north crept south as the climate changed. Ice
covered the area from the North Pole to the latitude of Cincinnati,
Ohio, thousands of feet deep. The ice sheets or glaciers
encountered rolling hills not unlike what exists in southern Ohio. The
creeping ice behaved much like water as it moved, following the path
of least resistance. It is believed the ice followed the bedrocks
carved out over the millions of years by erosion caused by mild and
wet climate periods known as the Tertiary. Some of the largest of
these valleys were along the U.S.-Canadian border. These valleys
were deeply notched into relatively weak rock like shale. As the first
glaciers moved over these valleys, they carved the soft rock into
great basins, creating what we know today as the Great
course of these basins greatly influenced the directions and even the
scale of all subsequent glacial ice advances.
the ice moved it changed the surface of the land. The drainage that
had taken millions of years to develop was permanently altered. River
valleys were dammed up creating lakes, streams and rivers flowing
directions were changed, and valleys were filled with sediment. The
glaciers also mowed down great forests. Like giant bull dozers, the
glaciers also brought with them the topsoil from the areas it traveled
over depositing it in the Ohio Valley.
lasted thousands of years. As the ice thawed the imbedded boulders
some immense and weighing tons, gravel and sand were freed. This earth
mixed with pebbles, rock, lime gathered on the glaciers journey is
very fertile and known as "Till". In some places this
"Till" is 90 feet deep. Where the glaciers stopped at the
southern extremity is called a Terminal Moraine. This gigantic ridge
of earth, rocks, sand and boulders formed a dam that filled with water
as the glaciers melted and retreated. This area from about Dayton
north became known as the Black Swamp. Hicksville is on the western
boundary of this region. Paulding County was in the Black Swamp. It
runs northeast and southwest in Ohio. In much of the rest of the
United States it runs easterly and westerly. In
eastern Ohio, Lisbon is the site of the terminal moraine (the front
edge) of the Wisconsin Glacier.
Map of North America showing the extent of Late Pleistocene
glaciation (modified after Pielou, 1991).
glaciers did not leave the Maumee Valley for centuries. When these
glaciers eventually did move, they left behind what had formed into a
substance called bedrock. Then through a span of time clay flowed in
and covered the bedrock. The lake eventually settled away to areas we
call the Great Lakes. As this occurred marshes were formed. The
decaying matter of the marshes along the overflow of the lake prepared
a soil that would provide the elements to raise the tremendous forests
of our area.
The Maumee River and other
tributaries drained the marshes, and took the surplus water to other
regions. An area that had water still standing was the Black Swamp.
This encompassed a large area in Paulding County and our neighboring
regions. The trees and aquatic shrubs decayed into the clay. This
developed into a solid, fertile sub-soil. The animals were busy
fertilizing the land and bringing the clay to the top of the sub-soil
to be aerated. Land crabs, earthworms, herds of buffalo, elk and deer
roamed this area. This fulfilled natures obligation of developing our
soil for the coming of man.
The area drainage was hindered
by falling trees. The thick foliage of the forest and the growth of
herbaceous plants prevented evaporation. These plants were a powerful
agent in the moisturizing effect of the decomposed elements of nature.
This process is a development of millions of years, and it leaves our
village at a sea level of 750 feet.
on Hicksville History Page 2..........The
1) Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological
Survey, Ohio Geological Survey Website, 2002, A Brief Summary of the
Geologic History of Ohio, GeoFacts No.23., Time assignments are based
on Geological Society of America Decade of North American Geology 1983
Geologic Time Scale.
2) Michael C. Hansen, The Geology of Ohio -- The Precambrian, GeoFacts
No. 13, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological
Survey, Ohio Geological Survey Website, 2001
3) Michael C. Hansen, The Geology of Ohio -- The Ordovician, Ohio
Geology, Fall 1997, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of
Geological Survey, Ohio Geological Survey Website, 2002
4) Michael C. Hansen, The Geology of Ohio -- The Devonian, Ohio
Geology, 1999 No.1, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of
Geological Survey, Ohio Geological Survey Website, 2002
5) Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological
Survey, Ohio Geological Survey Website, 2002, Gold in Ohio, GeoFacts
6) USGS/NPS Geology in the Parks Website, 2001
7) Building Stone in the Vicinity of Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio,
Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Geological Survey Website,
8) Ohio Historical Society Website, 2002