Saturday night we were eating at the Asuka restaurant in Battle Creek when I got to thinking it was time for more bike rides in the Bellefontaine area in Logan County, Ohio. That’s because Bellefontaine is another small town that has an excellent Japanese restaurant. We ate at the Tokyo Grill on September 2, 2008, the day on which the above photo was taken, and ever since have wanted to go back. We drove out of our way to go there after one Ohio bicycle outing since then, only to find it was closed on Sundays (or whatever day of the week that was).
I am also reminded that Ronald Irick has been doing research on the subject matter of the historical marker pictured above, and suggested that we look at some of the sites together. It’s something to look forward to, in case the snow eventually goes away.
In the meantime I’ve been trying to learn more about the James Manary who is mentioned on the marker. I’ve found quite a bit of interesting stuff, starting with the following two items:
1. The blockhouse still existed into the 20th century. There’s even a photo of the interior, at ohiomemory.org . At that site I learned that members of the McPherson family lived in it until 1919, and in 1924 it was moved to Indian Lake State Park, where it was made into a museum. There is no information to suggest that the structure still exists, though.
2. General William Henry Harrison once called Manary an imbecile. In a report to the Secretary of War written in September 1812, he wrote about some of the militia officers:
[William] Perry is a fool a coward and a drunkard. [James] Manary a poor old imbecile creature, and Gov. Scott assured me that his Captain was as bad a one as could have been selected. The Companies have been uniformly recruited amongst their friends and neighbors and it is the principal object of the officers to screen them from duty.
(The above is from Volume 2 of Governors Messages and Letters, published as Volume 9 of the Indiana Historical Collections.)
That’s enough to get me interested in learning more. I’ve already found where Manary’s path crossed that of a man who later comes into the Black Hawk war scare story, so that gives me a bit more of the excuse I need to go off on War of 1812 tangents in Ohio like this.
The historic marker is just northwest of Bellefontaine, on what used to be the main road north to Huntsville.