As it were

‘Pluggy’s Town’ was native stronghold

For many years, people traveling north through Delaware, Ohio, would have seen a small marker at the corner of Lincoln and Sandusky Streets. The marker read:


 
Two Blocks East Site of Pluggy’s Town
A large Mingo town of the Revolutionary period, and a constant menace to settlers east and south of the Ohio.
Here the noted Indian Chief Logan lived for some years.
 
 
A number of years ago, the sign vanished without a trace and no one seems to know what became of it. This is too bad because for quite a long time there was no easy way to find out why the large city park two blocks east of Sandusky Street was called Mingo Park.
 
The problem of the lost sign was remedied in the recent past when the Delaware County Historical Society, as part of Delaware’s Bicentennial in 2008, erected a new sign about Pluggy’s Town in Mingo Park. This is all for the better since the new sign does give us a bit more detail about the Mr. Pluggy and the town that bears his name.
 
It is a story worth retelling.
 
At the time French and English frontiersmen began to explore the Ohio Country in the 1600s, much of what is now Ohio was under the firm control of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy – often called the “Iroquois” by Europeans.
 
Then, in the early 1700s, most of the Iroquois began to withdraw from Ohio to defend their homeland in upper New York State from French and English colonization.
 
Some of the Iroquois who stayed kept themselves at some distance socially and physically from the confederacy and came to be called “Mingo.”
 
Pluggy’s Town was a Mingo town.
 
But it was not the only village in and around what is now downtown Delaware. When the Iroquois left, a number of other tribes began to move into central Ohio. Among them were the Shawnee, the Wyandot and the Delaware.
 
Originally the people who met William Penn when he came to America, the Delawares who called themselves Leni Lenape or “real people” were pushed across Pennsylvania and by the 1750s were in Ohio. The Delawares had two villages in the town that bears their name. One was at the spot where Delaware Run empties into the Olentangy. The other was on the high ground immediately west of the downtown where Monnet Park is today. These were small villages but they had been here for some time.
 
In the years of the American Revolution these villages were overshadowed by Pluggy’s Town which took up most of what is now Mingo Park at the Horseshoe Bend of what the Delawares called Keenhongsheconsepung or “sharpening stone river.”
 
Later settlers would call it Whetstone Creek. Only in 1833 would the name be changed to Olentangy.
 
Pluggy’s Town was named for its first citizen. A ferocious warrior of Mohawk lineage, he had acquired the nickname “Pluggy” because most Europeans could not pronounce his given name of “Plukkemehnotee.” Like many Native Americans of his era, Pluggy had lost family and friends in the savage struggles that marked the history of the moving frontier in those days.
 
Arriving in central Ohio in 1772, Pluggy attracted a large number of people to his new town. The residents included Chippewa, Wyandot and Ottawa warriors as well as Mingos and a French blacksmith. At peak, the town held at least 600 residents and possibly many more.
 
It was from this village deep in the Ohio heartland that Pluggy and his people launched raid after raid against new settlements along the Ohio River and in what is now West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Supported by British guns and other supplies, Pluggy and his people came to a fearsome presence in the Ohio Valley.
 
The threat began to recede, however, just after Christmas in 1776. Having attacked Harrod’s Station in Kentucky on Christmas morning with a 50-man party, Pluggy moved on and attacked McClelland’s Station on Dec. 29. The fighting went on for hours and John McClelland, the founder of the settlement was killed. 
 
As the warriors faded away from the settlement, a small party from the Station pursued the war party, found Pluggy and shot him dead in retaliation for the death of McClelland.
 
The fallen Pluggy was recovered by his people. He was reputed to have been buried on a bluff overlooking a nearby spring. Local legend says that an echo heard by the spring was “the death cry of Pluggy.”
 
In any case his village lived on – at least for a while. A year after his death several hundred people were still living in Pluggy’s town – including the well-known Mingo warrior called Logan. But the advance of American settlement soon caused most of these villages to be abandoned as their residents moved away to the north and west. By the end of the Revolution, Pluggy’s town was gone.
 
But in Mingo Park, Delaware still remembers a time when this now green quiet place was at the absolute center of the struggle for the Ohio Country.
 

For many years, people traveling north through Delaware, Ohio, would have seen a small marker at the corner of Lincoln and Sandusky Streets. The marker read:

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