Summer Solstice Will Be Celebrated at Serpent Mound June 20-23

PEEBLES, Ohio – The Shawnee Tribe and the Ohio History Connection are preparing to celebrate Summer Solstice at Serpent Mound from June 20-23.

Serpent Mound, 3850 state Route 73 in Peebles, is a National Historic Landmark built by early American Indian Nations of Ohio. The effigy mound in the form of a snake with a curved tail has become an icon of Indigenous cultural achievements, primarily because of its enormous scale.

Serpent Mound’s American Indian builders likely created the mound in alignment with the sun’s cycle. To mark the June 20 summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the Shawnee Tribe and the Ohio History Connection are partnering to showcase the significance of Serpent Mound as a sacred American Indian site.

“Because of the age, location, and the important symbolism of serpents to the Shawnee, we feel a close kinship to this place,” said Chief Ben Barnes of the Shawnee Tribe. “There’s a lot of evidence that indicates our ancestors may well have built the serpent. And it’s not just evidence in Ohio. It’s evidence throughout the region, even southward into Kentucky and West Virginia. As well as evidence from our religious and ceremonial traditions that we still practice today in Oklahoma. So the reason we want to be present at Serpent Mound is to dismantle bad stereotypes and racist ideas, those things that help perpetuate the notion of manifest destiny as if it were a good thing. The people that built Serpent Mound did so with careful intention. They were built because it had sacred meaning to their community, our Shawnee ancestors.”

“As the caretakers of Serpent Mound, we are honored to have the Shawnee Tribe join us once again for this event,” said Megan Wood, Executive Director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection. “Having our Tribal Partners here is vital to our commitment of sharing the authentic history of this sacred place. This collaborative observance of the summer solstice will continue to be part of our sharing the history of ancient Ohio and, specifically, Serpent Mound.”

On the Summer Solstice, Thursday, June 20, the Serpent Mound site will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and the visitor center/gift shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Special programming on June 20 includes Shawnee Tribe guest speakers at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.; guided site tours at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; and the sunset at 9 p.m.

On Friday, June 21, the site will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special programming will include Shawnee Tribe guest speakers at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and guided site tours at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

On Saturday, June 22, the site will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, June 23, the site will be open from noon to 5 p.m.

Please note that the Serpent Mound observation tower, which was built in 1908, remains closed because of needed repairs. The project is in the planning phase.

Parking at Serpent Mound will be $10 on June 20 and $8 on June 21-23. For more information, go to


About the Shawnee Tribe: The Shawnee Tribe is a sovereign nation of more than 4,000 citizens living across North America and abroad. Tribal headquarters are located in Miami, Oklahoma. The Shawnee Tribe fought to maintain its independence and homelands despite periods of genocide through warfare and disease at the hands of French, Spanish, British and Americans. The Shawnee were regularly forced to relocate their settlements beyond the ever-expanding boundary of colonial-controlled lands. Thus, the Shawnee are often referred to as the “Greatest Travelers in America,” having established historic settlements in more than 20 modern states, with the highest concentration in or near their ancestral homelands of the greater Ohio River region. For more information, go to

About the Ohio History Connection:

The Ohio History Connection 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 and the official state archives and managing more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio. For more information, go to The Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Columbus Foundation provide support for Ohio History Connection programs.


More News

Jul 9, 2024


Construction work on the Golden Mesa Casino expansion is progressing and currently on track for completion in the summer of 2025. “Weather is always a challenge in the panhandle, but our construction team continues to push forward to meet the projected completion date,” said Shawnee Development President Chris Floyd. “The site has recovered quickly from […]

Read More
Jun 13, 2024

Shawnee Tribe Chief Ben Barnes Shawnee Statement on Committee Vote on Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: In response to today’s vote by the House Education and Workforce Committee on the “Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act of 2024” (H.R. 7227), Chief Ben Barnes of the federally recognized Shawnee Tribe made the following statement: “We are deeply grateful to the Committee for passing […]

Read More
May 6, 2024

Introducing ta'saawanwaatoweeyakwe ("Where We Speak Shawnee")

Welcome to ta’saawanwaatoweeyakwe! This new blog series is dedicated to the Shawnee Language Immersion Program’s happenings and language preservation work. To kick things off, we’re highlighting SLIP’s new Master-Apprentice Program.  Log in to SLIPstream to read this post in saawanwaatoweewe [the Shawnee language]. Need to register for SLIPStream? Email a copy of your tribal ID to In […]

Read More
May 6, 2024


Ohio’s 76th state park is just weeks away from welcoming visitors. Great Council State Park, just north of Xenia, was once known as Oldtown, one of the largest-known Shawnee settlements in the region. More than 400 families and more than 1,000 people called Oldtown home from approximately 1777 to 1780. Their stories directly intersect with […]

Read More
May 3, 2024


Messages from the Chiefs – Spring 2024 / / Chief Barnes discusses tribal tags in Oklahoma and defeating OK SB 1907, while Chief Baldridge highlights Shawnee leader’s roles and efforts, past and present.

Read More
May 2, 2024


On April 13, Golden Mesa Casino was the presenting sponsor of a 5K race in Guymon, OK. About 20 team members from the casino and the Shawnee Tribe Gaming Commission participated as runners and event volunteers, helping to raise nearly $6,000 to benefit local Special Olympics athletes.

Read More
May 2, 2024

Tribal Leadership Gathers To Discuss Workforce & Economic Development

In late March, Shawnee Tribe Second Chief Roy Baldridge and Councilman Keni Paul Hood (Seat 7) convened with more than 70 tribal leaders in Stillwater at a tribal summit on workforce and economic development hosted by the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business and Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. “This being the second year that […]

Read More
Apr 26, 2024

Paint the Town Blue

Shawnee Tribe Indian Child Welfare participated in the Peoria Tribe’s “Paint the Town Blue” initiative as a part of April’s Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. Local muralist Jessica Stout painted the murals pictured below at the Tribe’s Downtown Miami location.

Read More
See All News