Like the Mecoche division of the Shawnee people who occupied the land before them, the Piatts treasure the resources and the spirit of the valley they call home. In the 1820's, Judge Benjamin M. and Elizabeth Barnett Piatt moved their family from Cincinnati to the rolling hills of Logan County. Two of their children, Abram Sanders and Donn later built their own homes, Mac-A-Cheek and Mac-O-Chee in the country-side they knew as youths. These unique structures have become a private, family-owned museum that interprets over 200 years of history of the Ohio land and Ohio people.
Benjamin & Elizabeth Piatt
Published stories written by their children and grandchildren combined with oral accounts of objects retained over time create the foundation for our interpretive tours.
Donn & Abram Piatt
After their service for the Union in the Civil War, Donn Piatt resumed his career as a journalist in Washington D.C. and Abram returned to work the family farm in Ohio.
Ella Kirby Piatt published a biography of her husband Donn after his death in 1891, and her collections have enhanced the interpretation of family history.
Hannah Piatt died the week before the Civil War began and never lived in Mac-A-Cheek; however her children established the setting both as a home and as museum.
Abram & Hannah’s Children
By 1912, Abram’s son William McCoy Piatt opened a few rooms of Mac-A-Cheek for the public to visit. Tours were led by him, his brother Rivenoak, and his daughters Marguerite and Bertie.
In 1916, William published a souvenir booklet depicting images of Piatt family heirlooms and a new carved case for his collection of prehistoric items, Native American artifacts, and family mementos. These artifacts are still on exhibit in their original locations.
All of Abram’s children and many of his grandchildren lived on sections of the original family farm. Abram died in 1908 and after his estate was settled, William McCoy and his wife Julia Piatt moved into Mac-A-Cheek with some of their adult children and their grandchildren.
Building on Traditions
William McCoy & Julia’s son John Mac-A-Cheek (Mac) Piatt was the first family member to receive the anglisized Shawnee name Mac-A-Cheek. He and his wife Kate both died in the influenza epidemic of 1818-19 leaving behind two young sons.
Mac and Kate’s sons, William (Bill) Mac-A-Cheek and John James (Jim) were raised in Mac-A-Cheek Castle by their grandfather and aunts. As adults, along with Bill’s wife Frances, they expanded the tours by opening more rooms and through the purchase of Mac-O-Chee Castle.
The Current Generations
Like their father and uncle, William Mac-A-Cheek II and Margaret Piatt were raised in Mac-A-Cheek while it was also open for tours. As teens, both became tour guides. Margaret later earned a MAT in museum education and worked as an educator at Historic Hudson Valley in New York and Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts.
Margaret’s daughter Kate was raised in Massachusetts but visits to Ohio built connections to her family home. Like her great-grandfather, grandfather, and uncle, Kate Piatt-Eckert received Mac-A-Cheek as a middle name.
With their spouses James White and Tony St. Clair, Margaret and Kate continue the traditions started by their ancestors over 100 years ago.