Piqua has a population of 20,000+ residents. Originally it was home to the Adena and Hopewell cultures (1000 BC) who built burial mounds throughout the area. The Fort Ancient people (1600 BC) were also residents who built small, circular villages along the Great Miami River.
The Pickawillany settlement was established by a group of colonial British traders in 1747. This fort was destroyed in 1752. In 1870 another native American settlement began with two Shawnee villages – Upper Piqua (Bi-co-we-that/Pique) and Lower Piqua (Chillicothe) were established.
Around 1793, General Anthony Wayne built Fort Piqua at Upper Piqua. Settlers built their homes in the present site of the city in 1796. The village was originally called Washington, but was later restored to its Indian name of Piqua. The Miami Erie Canal ended at Piqua and brought produce and passengers to the area.
Railroads came in 1858. A large contingent of Germans moved to Piqua from the 1830s to the start of the Civil War. African-American residents established themselves in 1847 when the freed slaves of John Randolph of Virginia came to the area to live. The Underground Railroad went from Cincinnati, Dayton, Troy, Piqua, Sidney and northward.
Piqua is home to the first municipally operated nuclear power plant which led to its nickname “The Atomic City.” One finds a variety of houses in Piqua – from older mansions and homes near the downtown area to more modern homes. You will see one-story ranches and two story homes in many price ranges.
Piqua is located in west central Ohio along the Great Miami River. and is at the intersection of I-75 and State Route 36 in Miami County. Is is 25 miles north of Dayton and 80 north of Cincinnati. The I-75 and I-70 interchange is 20 miles away.
The area is served by the Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy. There is also an outpatient UVMC Care Center in Piqua. Fresenius Medical Care at Wilson Memorial Hospital is located in Sidney.
Piqua residents shop at the Miami Valley Centre which offers over 50 stores include J.C. Penney, Elder Beerman, Sears and many national brand name shops. Miami Valley Crossing has a Walmart and Home Depot and other stores. Downtown Piqua has many boutiques and speciality shops to explore. With easy access along I-75, one can shop at the Dayton Mall, Upper Valley Mall and Fairfield Commons.
There are 19 parks in Piqua including a dog park and public square. The Rossville Museum is the former home of Randolph Slave York Ryal and houses the African-American Cultural Center. The Historic District has a walking tour that focuses on the beautiful architecture including Hotel Fort Piqua. The Johnston Farm is a restored 1829 period farm and is the site of the annual Piqua Heritage Festival. The Echo Hills Golf Course is open to the public and has a driving range. The public schools offer a variety of youth sports.