Old Maid's Kitchen
American Indians formerly used Old Maid's Kitchen, which also is known as Mary Campbell Cave, for shelter and to house white captives.
The cave is located in Cuyahoga Falls in Summit County, Ohio. The Cuyahoga River carved out the cave approximately twelve thousand years ago. Originally, local residents called the cave Old Maid's Kitchen, but the Daughters of the American Revolution eventually renamed the site Mary Campbell Cave after the cave's most celebrated resident. During the French and Indian War (1756-1763), the Delaware Indians captured Campbell. She lived in western Pennsylvania prior to her kidnapping. For seven years, the Delawares kept her as a captive at Chief Newcomer's village, which was located nearby Old Maid's Kitchen, along the Cuyahoga River. Eventually they allowed her to return to her family in Pennsylvania.
The people natives were most likely to adopt were young children and women. They believed it would be easier to control these people and force them to adopt Indian ways. Thus, women like Mary Campbell were adopted into the Delaware tribe. Adult men were less likely to be adopted. They were more likely to be killed by the natives. Such was the case with Colonel William Crawford in 1782. This is not to say that no adult men were ever adopted into native tribes. Daniel Boone, captured in 1778, became a member of the Shawnee Indians until he could escape. The natives kidnapped whites primarily because of their own dwindling numbers during the late 1700s. The Indians died from several causes but especially because of wars and from diseases spread by the Europeans.
The cave is currently one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Gorge Metropolitan Park.
- Butler, Margaret Manor. A Pictorial History of the Western Reserve: 1796-1860. Cleveland, OH: The Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve and The Western Reserve Historical Society, 1963.
- Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.