Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What's the difference between a National Park and a National Monument?
A: National Monuments are areas reserved by the National Government because they contain objects of historic, prehistoric, or scientific interest. They are established by presidential proclamation under authority of Congress, occasionally these areas also are established by direct action of Congress. Size is unimportant in the case of the national monuments. The 1906 American Antiquites Act authorizes the President to establish National Monuments.
National Parks are areas set apart by Congress for the use of the people of the United States generally, because of some outstanding scenic feature or natural phenomena. Although many years ago several small parks were established, under present policies national parks must be sufficiently large to yield to effective administration and broad use. The principal qualities considered in studying areas for park purposes are their inspirational, educational, and recreational values.
Q: When were the mounds excavated?
A: Many of the mounds at the park have been excavated in historic times. Although earthworks were mapped in the 1810s by Caleb Atwater, mound excavations formally began in the early 1840's by Ephraim Squier and Edwin Davis, both Chillicothe residents. Additional mound excavations occurred at the close of the nineteenth century and into the first quarter of the twentieth century by Warren Moorehead, William Mills, and Henry Shetrone. The last major excavations at Mound City occured during the mid-1970's by Raymond Baby. Much of the information gained from these excavations is used today to understand the Hopewell culture.
To learn more about the most notable figures in Hopewell archeology, click here.
Q: How do you pronounce Chillicothe and Scioto?
A: Chillicothe (chil-akoth-E) is the town where the park is located. The name derives from a Shawnee word for principal town.
The Scioto (sei-O-tuh) River flows for over 231 miles, beginning in Auglaize country, flowing past the Mound City Group unit and terminating at the Ohio River in Portsmouth.
Q: When was the park established?
A: On March 2nd, 1923, President Warren G. Harding established Mound City Group National Monument by using powers granted to him by the 1906 Antiquites Act. In 1980, Congress expanded the monument by adding a portion of Hopeton Earthworks. On May 27th, 1992, Congress authorized the legislation that renamed Mound City Group National Monument to Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. That law also authorized the acquisition of three additional sites, High Bank Works, Hopewell Mound Group and Seip Earthworks. Learn more about the history of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park by reading the online Administrative History.
Q: What other National Park Service sites are there in Ohio?
A: The National Park Service has a total of nine national park sites and three other sites/areas in Ohio.
Click on site's full name to be taken there. Park's "alpha code" is bolded in parenthesis. See map at bottom of page for geographic locations of these Ohio NPS sites. Click on the park's alpha code on the map to be taken to their website.
Did You Know?
William Mills documented the presence of 49 enclosures and 370 mounds in Ross County in his book entitled "Archaeological Atlas of Ohio," published in 1914.