Johnston Farm plans History Alive


By Matt Clevenger

For the Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — Over 150 years of Miami County history will come to life Friday, July 23, through Sunday, July 25, as more than 60 re-enactors gather at the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency during History Alive at Fort Piqua 2021.

“We will start with the mid 1700’s and the Pickawillany Village, and conclude in 1862 with the Civil War events of Camp Piqua,” Site Manager Andy Hite said. “History Alive at Fort Piqua for 2021 is a timeline event that will highlight the many historic periods that are a part of the story of the Johnston Farm.”

Re-enactors will camp out over the weekend, demonstrating equipment and methods from many different time periods.

“We are anticipating approximately 35 different camps that will represent the various time periods and events that have been a part of our history here,” Hite said. “We have a core group of very serious re-enactors who are currently working with the site to ensure the historical accuracy.”

The Johnston Farm will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 23, and then 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25. Regular admission rates will apply.

“We will be hosting a lantern tour/sneak preview event on Friday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” Hite said.

Rides on the General Harrison canal boat will also be available at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m.

“We know that is always a popular activity for our visitors,” Hite said. “As things stand right now, we plan on maintaining the normal canal boat schedule. We have the capability to add an additional ride if we feel it would be needed.”

The Johnston Farm has hosted other History Alive events before, but this year’s will be the biggest so far.

“This is the inaugural event of this scope,” Hite said. “Smaller events we have hosted using this same name have always seen 500 or more visitors.”

“We have been doing a smaller History Alive event for several years,” he said. “But this is the first year that we have been able to expand to where we are today. We had planned to kick this off last summer; however, like so many other events of this type, we chose to postpone it until 2021 so we could better insure the health and safety of our visitors.”

Located at 9845 North Hardin Road in Piqua, the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency is a 200-acre historic site focusing on the life and times of John Johnston — farmer, public official, and U.S. Indian Agent for western Ohio from 1812 to 1829. Visitors can see Johnston’s farm and home much as it appeared in 1829, and the site also includes a museum built to resemble the blockhouse style of Fort Piqua, General Anthony Wayne’s 18th-century supply post.

Other attractions include Johnston’s original springhouse, constructed in 1815, and cider house, built in 1828. Visitors can also see an authentic Adena Indian mound and earthwork located near the farm.

After History Alive, the Johnston Farm is also planning several other upcoming events including Evening on the Canal Friday, Aug. 6, and Saturday, Aug. 7, and the annual Fall Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 2. Staff at the site are also working on expanding the museum’s bathrooms and another project called “Sharing the Vision,” to fully remodel the interior of the Johnston home.

“We are working on returning the interior of Johnston’s home to its original Federal look,” Hite said. “This will be simply stunning when completed and quite a change from what people have become familiar with.”

The Johnston Farm and Indian Agency is funded through donations and supported by the Johnston Farm Friends Council.

“This year we have received a very generous grant from the Piqua Community Foundation that is supporting our History Alive at Fort Piqua,” Hite said. “Many local foundations have provided support for our programs and projects throughout the years. Without these additional levels of support, many of our projects and programs would not be possible.”

“Of course, every daily visitor to the Johnston Farm also lends their support as well,” he said.

More information on the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency, and History Alive at Fort Piqua 2021, can be found online at, or by calling 937-773-2522.

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