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The Ohio city of Athens is the county seat of Athens County and sits on the banks of the Hocking River. Once home to the Algonquian tribe of Shawnee, in 1795, the land which would become Athens was the destination of a team of surveyors for the purpose of surveying a division. They had originally sought to start that task in 1790, but the Northwest Indian War (also called Little Turtle’s War), which lasted from 1790 to 1795, kept them from doing so. When they did set out up the Hockhocking River in canoes, there was a guard of fifteen men accompanying them. In 1800, the town site was “confirmed and established” by legislative act. In 1803, Ohio was admitted as a state in the United States. The next year, the first public institution of learning in the Northwest Territory, Ohio University, was chartered in Athens. The trustees of that institution passed “ordinance providing for the sale of lots" which allowed twenty-seven house lots to be sold. In 1811, the town of Athens was incorporated. The first industry in the area was salt production, and soon, coal extraction and iron production were prevalent.

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