Ohio Secretary of State visits Johnston Farm

For the Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose stopped by the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency Sunday afternoon as part of a three-county swing through West Central Ohio. LaRose attended the opening day of the Shelby County Fair, toured the museum and the ongoing renovations at the Johnston family home, and then spoke at a fundraising event in Logan County Sunday evening before returning home.

Upon his arrival at the Johnston Farm, LaRose was greeted by Board President Michael Gutmann, Board Member Mike Barhorst, and Site Manager Andy Hite. Hite shared the area’s rich Native American heritage, the important role Colonel John Johnston had played in the development of the nation, and how the events that occurred on the surrounding land impacted not only Ohio’s storied history, but the history of America.

LaRose’s visit coincided with “History Alive at Fort Piqua,” a living history program that annually brings more than 60 reenactors to the Johnston Farm the last weekend in July. LaRose spoke to several of the reenactors, most of whom were encamped in the field between the museum and the Johnston family home.

Although the Johnston family home is currently undergoing restoration and closed to the public, LaRose was given a sneak peak inside. LaRose also visited the spring house and the barn, thought to be the oldest barn in the state of Ohio.

“It was great to have the Secretary of State stop by the site,” Hite stated. “It was obvious from his probing questions that he has a deep interest in history.”

In fact, during the eight years he served in the Ohio Senate, LaRose was an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees of Ohio History Connection. The Johnston Farm and Indian Agency is one of more than 50 sites owned by the state of Ohio and managed by Ohio History Connection.

“When I received word that Secretary LaRose wanted to visit Johnston Farm,” Gutmann stated, “I was excited that he would be attending our weekend event. It seemed a perfect opportunity for him to visit the site and learn more about the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency.”