By Beth K. McCord
Prepared for the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Reports of Investigation 62, Archaeological Resources Management Service, Ball State University.
PDF of Report, Redacted Version
The Archaeological Resources Management Service conducted a FY2001 Historical Preservation Fund Grant to study historic Delaware occupations along the White River in Hamilton, Madison and Delaware counties, Indiana. The project compiled and synthesized historic information on the Delaware occupation in this area. Fifteen Delaware or Native American villages were reported along the White River between the late 1790s and 1820. Five of the fifteen reported village locations were surveyed, but no evidence of Delaware occupation was found. To date, no verified Delaware sites have been identified in this area. Several potential factors affecting the discovery of Delaware sites were recognized. The Delaware occupation of the White River appeared to be one in which the durable materials were limited, dispersed and difficult to distinguish as Native American. The project was also complicated by inaccurate site locations and the sampling methods used may have been inadequate to locate them. While the Delaware occupation could not be characterized from archaeological data, the historic sources provide adequate information to substantiate that the Delaware maintained their cultural identity while on the White River.