The Ritter Park Massacre

HNN Archive Analyst

HUNTINGTON  - It might be hard to believe today, but Ritter Park was once the scene of a bloody attack on some of the first white settlers in Huntington.

Historian Barry Huffstutler, working from an article appearing in the Jan. 12,1930 edition of the Huntington-Advertiser, recounts on the web site Doors To The Past that a score of men, women and children were massacred on Four Pole Creek, Ritter Park, by a band of Black Shoe Indians sometime around 1790.

 The story comes from Betty Tackett, whose family settled in the area.

 Settlers on Four Pole erected block houses and took precautions against Indian attacks. One day, the double barricades to the houses were left open. A band of Black Shoe took advantage. Every member of the colony was killed or later died from injuries sustained in the attack.

 Betty Tackett said her family came upon the site after the attack. They saw bodies scattered about the stockade.

 She lived until she was 118, dying in 1884.

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