County’s physical features interesting

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is another article on Findlay area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier.




Hancock County, while flat, has some interesting physical characteristics. Due to its flatness, this general area of Ohio is regarded as the beginning of the great plains states, extending westward across many states.

Across northern Hancock County run a series of ridges which are described as “the ancient beaches” of Lake Erie. These ridges are readily observed and highways follow them across the county.

A narrow sand ridge, upon which the Benton Ridge road — State Route 12 — is located, runs southwest from Findlay through the village of Benton Ridge to the Putnam County line. Two sand ridges enter the northeast corner of the county and passing westward unite as one ridge on section five of Washington Township. Then it proceeds in a southwesterly direction across Cass, Allen, Portage and Pleasant townships, where it is known as Sugar Ridge because of the large number of sugar trees that once grew upon it. Fostoria, Van Buren and McComb are located on this ridge.

Another of these narrow belts enters the northeast corner of Portage Township from Wood County and runs southwest parallel with and about two miles north of Sugar Ridge.

Limestone Ridge is an elevated belt of sand and clay underlaid with limestone, lying south of the prairie in Biglick Township. It is so named on account of the numerous flakes of limestone found scattered over its surface. An underground stream flows beneath the ridge and Findlay obtains some of its water supply from wells in this area, as does the town of Carey. Limestone Ridge is about nine miles east of Findlay.

In the northern part of Hancock County there once was a strip of forest known as the “wildcat thicket.” It was from one to two miles in width beginning in the western part of Portage Township and extending across Allen Township into Cass and terminating in the western area of Washington Township. From its appearance, the early settlers concluded the forest had been blown down years ago by a raging storm from the west, as the trees were blown toward the east. Overgrown with small timber and vegetation, it formed a dense thicket where wild game found a safe retreat. It is supposed that wildcats inhabited the locality in an early day and from that it took its name of wildcat thicket.

From the east part of Marion Township, a flat marsh once extended in a southeasterly direction across Biglick Township and into Seneca County. It covered about 2,000 acres and from the fact that it bore no forest it became known as “the prairie.”

What was once known as the “cranberry marsh” once existed in the southwestern part of Union Township and the northwestern part of Orange Township. A small portion of this tract was prairie but the balance was covered with a dense growth.

There has long been a belief that the mound builders left some evidence of existence in these parts. Three “mounds” are believed to have been located in Union Township. Others were discovered in Orange, Liberty, Delaware, Allen, Blanchard and Pleasant townships. Those in Orange and Union townships were opened by early settlers who found human remains in each mound, along with flint arrowheads and other implements of stone.

Tangible evidence of the visit of glaciers in this area is to be found in markings which have been observed on stones in the bed of Eagle Creek along Brookside Drive in Findlay. The markings are very distinct and of course can only be observed when the creek’s water is at a low level.


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