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The Ohio-Erie Canal, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the Atomic Age have all left marks on Pike County. A scenic afternoon drive can take visitors past historic sites ranging from the Governor Lucas Mansion, to the 1797 Eager Inn, to Ohio's "Most Perfect Tree". In-season recreational activities include hiking, boating and swimming at Lake White and Pike Lake State Parks, golfing on championship courses, and great hunting and fishing areas.
There are a number of earthworks in this part of Ohio, including Piketon Mound. The Barnes Home was initially built in 1803. Both it and the Sargent Home to the north were positioned to overlook Pike County's most elaborate Indian earthworks. In front of the Barnes Home lay the Barnes Works, a complex arrangement of geometric mounds. In 1848 the Barnes and Sargent families hosted Abraham Lincoln, then a congressman, who came to view the ancient earthworks, as well as to network with supporters. The last passenger pigeon ever seen in the wild was shot near the house on March 22, 1900.