The Swamp Road Chronicles®


"The History of Swamp Road"


Swamp Road was built through on ancient swamp called “Pigeon Swamp” back in the 1830’s.  It was built by raising the road about 8 feet above the surrounding landscape by piling up dirt high enough to keep the road out of the water.  The swamp was then drained to help fill Buckeye Lake, which is man-made, as part of the Ohio-Erie Canal system.

The Swamp was called ‘Pigeon Swamp’ because it was full of Passenger Pigeons, which are now extinct.

Passenger Pigeons were once the most numerous bird in all of North America.  Early settlers to Ohio said that flocks would fly overhead that were so dense they would block out the sun for hours at a time.  One flock was reported to cover 125 square miles! (That’s a LOT of birds!) They were a large bird too; about 18 inches long. Professional hunters killed them by the tens of thousands and shipped them back east to be eaten and people destroyed their habitant, so, they went from being the most numerous bird in North America to being extinct in just about 100 years.


About 12,000 years ago Pigeon Swamp was a very large clear-water lake formed by a glacier that stopped there.  It melted and filled the large area it has scooped out with its melt-water.  Over time, the lake filled with silt and decomposing vegetation to the point where it was shallow enough for trees to take root. European settlers found a forest swamp full of trees and swarming with Passenger Pigeons, both of which they quickly consumed.

(As submitted by Randal Lenn Hall   10-8-1992 Pataskala, Ohio)


© Copyright 1992-2023 All rights reserved. Randal Lenn Hall.