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Overfield Tavern Museum Features New Exhibit

TROY – The Overfield Tavern Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its new exhibit, “On the Banks of the Miami: The Creation of a Community.” The exhibit features select artifacts from the collection that help tell the story of Troy and Miami County prior to the coming of the Miami & Erie Canal in 1837. Visitors can explore themes in local frontier history, including prehistoric Native Americans, early settlement in the Miami Valley, medicine on the frontier, pioneer religion and education, and Miami County’s free Black community in the early 1800s.

   The exhibit also features archaeological artifacts from the William Barbee site, located just north of Troy, excavated by the Wayne’s Legion Research Group (WLRG). William Barbee was an influential Miami County citizen, serving as a judge when court was held at the Overfield Tavern during the period of 1808 to 1811. He served in the Revolutionary War and first explored what is today Miami County in 1782 during a retaliatory raid by the Kentucky Militia against Native Americans in the Ohio Country. The raid, led by General George Rogers Clark, destroyed the Native American villages at Lower and Upper Piqua as well as Pierre Lorimier’s trading post near modern-day Fort Loramie. Barbee returned to the Miami Valley in 1803 and established a home on the west side of the Great Miami River. Barbee also served as a captain during the War of 1812 and later obtained a position in the commissary department at Upper Piqua, working with Indian agent John Johnston. On September 21, 1813, he died at his home in Concord Township from an illness and was buried on the family farm.

   The new exhibit is included with the price of admission to the 1808 Overfield Tavern Museum ($3 per person) and is available for viewing during open hours: Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 1-4 PM, and Wednesday mornings, 9-12. The museum is located at 201 E. Water Street in Troy. This summer, the museum will also host archaeology students from the University of Tennessee who will be excavating portions of the tavern’s backyard. The museum will hold a Public Archaeology Day on Saturday, July 20 from 9 AM to 4 PM. Visitors will have the opportunity to witness the ongoing excavation and speak to real archaeologists. There will also be a variety of activities for old and young alike.

   Be sure to plan a visit this summer to the Overfield Tavern Museum, Troy’s original gathering place. The museum depicts the tavern as it would have appeared during the period from 1803-1824, with historical collections ranging from 1795-1840. Young visitors to the museum can also complete a pioneer-inspired craft during their visit.

   The exhibit and archaeological excavation are made possible by generous grants from The Troy Foundation.

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