Pre-History
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Pre-History
The Indians
The Great Black Swamp
Pre-French & Indian Wars
Shot Heard Round the World
Beaver Wars
French Indian War
Writs of Assistance
The Sugar Act 1764
The Stamp Act 1765
Pre-Revolutionary War
Fort Laurens Ohio
More to come
Mexico
Columbian Exchange

 

The Pre-History Years
Long before there were people in Ohio, the land was formed by thousands and millions of years of change.

The last major change came with the Glaciers.

All these changes made the Ohio land what it is.

The Pre-History Years
M
any 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 surface.
The Interior Plains:6
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 tectonic stability.  
T
he Appalachian Mountains
:6
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
Three 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.


Precambrian (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.
Cambrian (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.
Ordovician (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.
Silurian (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.
Devonian (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."
Mississippian (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.
Pennsylvanian (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.

Permian (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.
Mesozoic and Tertiary (248-1.6 million years ago):
Ohio was above sea level and weathering erosion, and nondeposition prevailed. No known record, but dinosaurs probably roamed Ohio during the Mesozoic.
Quaternary (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, including humans.
The 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.
The 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 Lakes. The course of these basins greatly influenced the directions and even the scale of all subsequent glacial ice advances.
As 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. 
T
his transformation 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).


The 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.
T
he 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.
T
he 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.

Continued on Hicksville History Page 2..........The first people

Excerpts from:
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 No.9.
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, 2002.
8) Ohio Historical Society Website, 2002





 
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