What is it about?

The Amos Spafford farmstead (33Wo50) of Port Miami in northwest Ohio disappeared from the historical record after the War of 1812. Port Miami, a Franco-American village, was the first U.S. federal customs facility established in Ohio in 1805. It was destroyed in 1812 by a British and Native American detachment led by Captain Peter Latouche Chambers (British 41st Regiment of Foot), the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, and the Wyandot leader Roundhead. Port Miami’s destruction became lost over the years to the historical memory and consciousness of Ohio. Salvage excavations of the Spafford farmstead (1810–1823) in 1977 and its history provide an archaeological window within which to view Port Miami’s obliteration and its recovery to the community heritage of the state.

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Why is it important?

The Spafford Farmstead represents an archaeological window to the detsruction of Port Miami during the War of 1812. It was a lost historic site reclaimed from the forgotten War of 1812.


The historic site was lost and forgotten part of the cultural and heritage consciousness of Port Miami during the Early American Republic. The story was pieced together from historical documents in American and Canadian archives based on bits and pieces of historical memory that survived into the late 19th century.

Patrick Tucker Tucker
Firelands Archaeology

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This page is a summary of: The mysterious ruins: Rescuing the Spafford farmstead from the forgotten war of 1812, North American Archaeologist, May 2018, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0197693118772593.
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