As part of the final portfolio for the archaeological methods course, each student picks an aspect of the archaeological project to write a ten-page report. I chose to consider what early maps of Kenyon reveal about how the first members of the Kenyon community viewed the landscape around them.

Maps have always been an essential part of my landscape. Early 20th-century aviator Beryl Markham, speaks of how “a map says to you…without me, you are alone and lost”(Markham, 1942, 288). Out of nostalgia or pure necessity, on every drive from Kenyon to Boston, my mother shoves a road atlas onto my lap and asks me to find the fastest way around traffic. On my first days at
Kenyon, I bonded with my campus map because without it I felt “alone and lost”(Markham, 1942, 288).

My journey to unearth the early history of Kenyon and Knox County began with trips to the Special Archives of Kenyon. There, talented members of the archive pointed me toward early Kenyon recollections on the landscape and the physical maps which people used to navigate the Kenyon space. I came to understand that Kenyon maps often excluded the travel ways, landmarks, and homes of people not considered to be a part of the community, such as Native American groups in the area as well as early settlers in Mount Vernon. Settlers, who helped build the first structures of the college, resided at the bottom of the Kenyon Hill, yet no attempt on the part of Kenyon was made to include their presence in maps. Colonization of the Western frontier murdered and
displaced many Native American groups, but the presence of the “Munsee Delaware Indian Nation, the Shawnee Nation, the United Remnant Band of the Shawnee Nation and a branch of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma”

(Holt, 2019) for nearly 12,000 years does not disappear in a mere century.

I encourage everyone interested in knowing more to watch our class present their final research projects from 6:30-9:30pm in Tomsich 101!


Holt, G. (2019, December 12). College proposes native american land acknowledgements . The Kenyon Collegian. Retrieved December 13, 2023, from

Markham, B. (1942). West with the Night [Epub] (3rd ed.). Mysterious Press/ Open Road Integrated Media.