A brace of historical markers was dedicated Friday in Delaware County bicentennial ceremonies at the county courthouse and Mingo Park.

A brace of historical markers was dedicated Friday in Delaware County bicentennial ceremonies at the county courthouse and Mingo Park.

The events were attended by two descendants of the Mingo Indians who lived in the area in the 18th century.

Sandy Andromeda and Abby (Adams) Long attended both unveilings and spoke briefly during the Mingo Park program.

The dual ceremonies included the planting of two plum trees, chosen because the Delaware County Courthouse stands on land once occupied by a grove of plum trees.

Two teams of fifth-graders from Willis Intermediate School gathered on the site of the long-gone orchard to witness ceremony No. 1.

Brent Carson, president of the Delaware County Historical Society, chairman of the city bicentennial committee, and a retired Willis teacher, laughed when asked why the Willis students were chosen to attend.

"They're close. They can walk it," he said.

Carson, introduced by county bicentennial chairman Rick Helwig, in turn called up retired Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Henry Shaw to tell the story of two courthouses.

"He knows all the history of this building," Carson said.

"What I don't know, I can assure you Brent does," Shaw said.

The first courthouse was built in 1816, cost $8,000, and was so fundamentally shaky people were warned not to ring the bell in the cupola, Shaw told his audience. After the building came down in the spring of 1858, the county commissioners were repeatedly denied the funds to build a new one. After all, a war -- the Civil War -- was on. Finally, a $70,000 levy passed and a new building -- the one that stands today -- was built in 1870.

Key to the courthouse ceremony was the Cellar family, whose ancestors' story is told on one side of the marker.

Brothers T.K. and Kim Cellar shared the story.

Their great-great-great-great-grandfather, Thomas Cellar, and his family were among the first settlers in Delaware County, T.K. said. On a hog-hunting foray into what is now courthouse corner, Thomas Cellar discovered what he later called "the prettiest plum orchard I ever saw."

The plum trees had imposed some order onto the tangle of ground that had been known for years as "Briar Hill."

"The Plum Orchard" is described on the west face of the courthouse marker; "Briar Hill" is described on the east face.

Kim Cellar said the plum trees probably belonged to the Mingo Indians who lived by the river, northeast of the orchard.

Andromeda said the Mingo were woodland Indians who went by other names in other places.

"Our people were everywhere," Andromeda told ThisWeek.

Some 80,000 to 100,000 Mingo survive, he said.

Andromeda said he came to the ceremonies expecting to be a spectator.

"I was just going to be a guy in the crowd," he said. " We thought there should be Mingos here."

A break between ceremonies allowed the crowd to move several blocks north and east to the site of the Mingo Park marker, set in the grass south of the main parking lot.

The marker was not placed on the actual site of the Indian village, Carson said. The village was on the south side of East Lincoln Avenue, overlooking the river. Most people won't know that, but you will, Carson told the students.

During both marker unveilings, sponsors Kroger and National City Bank were recognized. City spokesman Lee Yoakum did the honors at Mingo Park, noting that the markers are "pretty permanent, and they're not cheap."

The Delaware City Shade Tree Commission awarded The Brown Jug Restaurant its 2008 Beautification Award. The award each year recognizes a business for outstanding landscaping improvements. Bill Stroud, who co-owns the West William Street restaurant with Ed Wolf, accepted the citation.