At one point, dozens of Indian mounds and earthworks existed in what is now Newtown, and many more stood just outside its borders.

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The old firehouse in Newtown, which has been vacant since firefighters moved to a new Little Miami Joint Fire and Rescue District facility in December, soon will showcase the rich prehistoric past of the village.

With a $300,000 state grant, the village plans to convert part of the old firehouse into a museum devoted to the display of prehistoric Indian artifacts found in Newtown and the surrounding area.

The only indication today of a mound is a slight rise in the ground around the building.

Visible signs of the prehistoric Indian societies that flourished in Newtown and its surrounding area for thousands of years exist beneath many of the village's buildings and streets and above ground in fields, woods, parks and cemeteries.

It sits on an American Indian mound dating to about the year 700.

The builders of that Baptist church discovered skeletons of prehistoric Indians as well as artifacts when they dug a hole for the basement.

In many undeveloped parts of Newtown and bordering areas of Anderson Township, pieces of Indian pottery, arrowheads and other prehistoric artifacts are just lying on the ground.

Some residents have found them in their back yards.

"Just about anywhere you dig in Newtown, you're going to come upon a prehistoric Indian archaeological site," said Ken Tankersley, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Cincinnati.

"The entire town is basically one very large cluster of archaeological sites that span 13,000 years of pre-history." The old firehouse, which has been vacant since firefighters moved to a new Little Miami Joint Fire and Rescue District facility in December, soon will showcase the rich prehistoric past of this village of 2,672 residents.

"We just think it's appropriate that we have something to recognize that." Newtown officials expect the American Indian museum to open in a year to 18 months.