TROY — Miami County has a long history of growth, thanks, in part, to the Miami-Erie Canal and a founding member of Kenyon College, John Johnston. During their weekly meeting on June 14th, Troy Rotarians heard about the history of Johnston and the important role he played in helping the local area build up trade during the 19th century from their guest speaker, Andy Hite, of Johnston Farm and Indian Agency.
Located at 9845 North Hardin Road in Piqua, the farm is a 250-acre parcel that features the farmhouse of John Johnston. The father of 15 children, Johnston was a farmer, Indian agent, canal commissioner and founding member of Kenyon College, a liberal arts institution of higher learning, located at 103 College Road, Gambier, OH. The college boasts several famous alumni, including the late actor, Paul Newman, the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, American novelist E. L. Doctorow and late comedian/actor Jonathan Winters.
Hite explained that the Piqua farm includes several outbuildings, a museum and a restored section of the Miami-Erie Canal. The canal was used extensively for both trade and passenger travel, ensuring that Miami County had an active role in trade as well as being a region for growth. The farm also hosts an ancient, 130-foot diameter circular earthwork building constructed by the Adena culture approximately 3,000 years ago. As an Indian Agent, Johnston was responsible for negotiating treaties, distributing government tributes and regulating trade and land sales. There is a rich history available at the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency for those wishing to visit. The farm is open April-October. Details on the admission costs, hours of operation, museum and site amenities are available on the website at http://www.johnstonfarmohio.com/.
Troy Rotarians, and the Troy Rotary Foundation, support several community projects annually. In 2014-15, more than $16,000 in scholarships and community aid was distributed from the fund, including the annual Shoe Project, Troy After Prom and support for summer camps at Brukner Nature Center and WACO Air Museum. Club members are always looking for new topics to share at weekly meetings. If you are interested in presenting your business or organization, please visit the Troy Rotary Web site at www.troyohiorotary.org and submit your information in the “Contact Us” section. Troy Rotary is a member-involved, goal-oriented service club focused on socio/economic issues that have an impact both locally and internationally. You can follow their activities on Facebook at Troy Rotary Club.