Wildcat Creek Natural Scenic River in Indiana

HISTORY OF WILDCAT CREEK

The Wildcat valley is rich in history. The Wea and Shawnee Indian tribes had settlements near Wildcat Creek, particularly in the Lafayette area.

The Shawnees were considered the fiercest Indian tribe in the territory which is now the State of Indiana and were continuously at war against the Americans and British. Perhaps the best known historical event along the Wildcat was the second Battle of Tippecanoe, or Spur's Defeat, in which 60 soldiers were lured into an ambush by the Indians. After the War of 1812, the Shawnees sold their land to the government and were moved west of the Mississippi River. The Wildcat valley next became a part of the "Big Reserve" which was held by the Miamis and included a Wea reservation.

The Wildcat valley experienced French influence from the coureur de bois (French for half-breed trapper) of Canada, who lived and traded with the local Indian tribes. Cabins and trails grew into towns and roadways as trade increased in the Wildcat Creek area. Agriculture became the major industry of the valley and remains so today. Between 1829 and 1877 at least 12 mills were built on the Wildcat forks.

 
Important: The river is constantly changing. Hazards like log jams and tree falls will come and go, so always be ready for them. Riffles will appear and disappear based on water flow levels. Do not attempt boating on this or any river during high water. Please be safe, respectful and responsible on the river.
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