While the village of Swanton in north-western Ohio may cover just a small part of the state, the history of the region stretches out much further and there is a great deal of heritage in the surrounding areas that may be of interest to visitors to the area. The village itself was established back in the 18th century but Native American tribes occupied the area for many centuries prior to the arrival of the first colonists. There were eight prominent tribes who inhabited what would become Ohio Territory, the earliest of whom were the Erie’s. However, by the mid 17th century this particular tribe were practically extinct having been wiped out by rival tribesmen, the Iroquois, after years of fierce battles between the two. This particular tribe was an alliance made up of six tribes the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondaga, the Cayuga, Seneca, and the Tuscarora who made sure they were the dominant force in this area with the purpose of obtaining the majority of hunting and trapping territory for themselves.
As the European colonies arrived in the country and spread themselves out across what were previously only Native American lands, many other Indian tribes relocated to more isolated areas including Ohio. These included the Chippewa and Ottawa who came down from Ontario and the upper Great Lakes, the Miami’s who migrated from Wisconsin, the Shawenees from Pennysylvania who settled in the south of the state and the Mingos a group of consisting of Mohawks, Cayugas, and Caughnawagas who settled in the south east. The Wyandots were among those who settled in the North West, in the area that the village of Swanton lies today and originated there from Ontario along with the Delaware from New Jersey and Delaware. This particular tribe settled along the Muskingum for some time before moving to the Auglaize in northwestern, territory previously claimed by the Miamis and Wyandots before eventually moving from the state and settling on the White River in Indiana.
Before the early settlers arrived in Ohio, Native Americans had been living peacefully on the land for thousands of years so the arrival of the European settlers who would eventually force them out is still deemed by many to be one of the most tragic travesties in American history. In the mid-1800s, national legislation came into force that confined each tribe to a specific parcel of land, which would become known as reservations, a term still in use today. Despite the Iroquois having controlled most of Ohio, they had to concentrate their numbers on fighting the French and English forces in the east leaving minimal numbers in the area leaving it free for the taking by others who could also see the trapping and hunting advantages of Ohio Territory for themselves. . The United Remnant Band of the Shawnee Nation is the only remaining tribe that still remains in the area in modern times, that is officially recognised by the state of Ohio today.