Sugar Creek the Lifeblood of Montgomery County

Sugar Creek the Lifeblood of Montgomery County
Journal Review 9/6/2008
Article by Cortney Mycroft

The rain shortage of last summer is clouded in our memories by the flooding of fields and yards in recent months. Water can be our greatest friend or worst enemy - as circumstances dictate. With the weather recently focused on rain, it is appropriate to turn our attention to Sugar Creek whose flow pulls water from our flooded fields down to the Wabash River. Sugar Creek is, and has always been, the life blood of Montgomery County.

Prior to European settlement, the Miami Nation claimed the land around Sugar Creek. The waters flowing between her banks were used for everything from washing and bathing to providing food and transportation. The Miami Nation sold 4 million acres of its land (including the land along Sugar Creek) in 1818 in the Treaty of St. Mary’s.

During the early 1800s, pioneer families filtered into Montgomery County. Much like the previous residents of the area, settlers centered their livelihoods on a source of water. Grist mills soon harnessed Sugar Creek’s power to grind corn. By 1845, nine grist mills had been erected . Saw mills and woolen mills soon followed.

To this day, our industry is still situated beside the waters of Sugar Creek. We strive to perch our homes in view of our scenic river. Its flow fills our tubs and drains our fields. While our day-to-day lives are not directly impacted by the current creek condition, we are still in touch. How often do you drive over Sugar Creek without glancing down to the passing water? The creek level and clarity speak to the amount of recent rain, flood potential, and recreational uses. This awareness of the creek tickles an intuition that our ancestors once relied upon for daily existence.

The historical aspect of Sugar Creek for Montgomery County is well documented, but many of us have snapshots of life’s memories with Sugar Creek as a backdrop. Are you and Granddad holding up the day’s catch on a stringer or is your wife paddling a canoe? Are you relaxing on an inner tube or is the entire family gathered on the suspension bridge at Turkey Run? Some are lucky enough to have fallen in love or gotten married overlooking the creek.

Over the years, Sugar Creek has brought life to our area and provided a setting for memories that warm our hearts. How long has it been since you’ve really spent time with Sugar Creek, your old friend?

The Friends of Sugar Creek is a non-profit organization interested in refreshing an interest in Sugar Creek to help families make memories of their own, while improving its condition for future generations to experience.