Columbus, Ohio — The Ohio History Connection is discontinuing the event Lighting the Serpent, which was held in December at Serpent Mound by a third-party organization, the Friends of Serpent Mound.
The decision to discontinue Lighting the Serpent was based on careful evaluation of the event and how it relates to the history of Serpent Mound. The Ohio History Connection seeks to support programming and events that align with the sacred American Indian heritage of the site and provide authentic educational experiences for the public. This event does not align with these goals.
“Through our ongoing work to be more responsible and respectful stewards of all of our American Indian heritage sites and through consultation and relationships with federally recognized tribes, we understand more about what it means to care for and preserve American Indian heritage sites,” said Burt Logan, Executive Director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection. “Changing how we manage events at Serpent Mound allows us to fully embrace our role as respectful stewards of the site and will provide a more consistent and authentic experience for visitors.”
“Although we recognize that many people have enjoyed the Lighting of the Serpent event over the years, we are responsible for preserving and interpreting Serpent Mound so that people understand the accurate and authentic history of this sacred American Indian site,” said Mr. Logan. “Lining the mound with luminaria is not connected with its history.”
The Ohio History Connection and its on-site manager, the Arc of Appalachia, will focus on educational programming and events that support the known cultural and natural history heritage of Serpent Mound. In addition, new interpretive signs have been installed at Serpent Mound to help educate visitors.
Serpent Mound is part of the Ohio History Connection’s statewide system of more than 50 historic, natural and archaeological sites. Serpent Mound is an internationally known National Historic Landmark built by the ancient peoples of Ohio. It is an effigy mound in the form of a snake with a curved tail. Serpent Mound represents the peak of pre-contact effigy mound-building in North America. It has become an icon of indigenous cultural achievements in this region, primarily because of its enormous scale and its remarkable resemblance to a serpent. The Arc of Appalachia manages the day-to-day operations of the site in collaboration with the Ohio History Connection.
Ohio History Connection
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, local history office and managing more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio. For more information on programs and events, visit ohiohistory.org.