At first, I was amazed that such an out-of-the-way monument would be so well-kept. The reason is that the maintenence is required by Article 15 Section 10 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana: “It shall be the duty of the General Assembly, to provide for the permanent enclosure and preservation of the Tippecanoe Battle Ground.” That seems like a rather odd thing to put in a constitution.
Perhaps the importance of the monument is related to the importance of the battle. The rout of the Native Americans by Harrison was the final blow to any hope of the native people retaining any rights to the lands they had inhabited for the hundred thousand years prior to the arrival of the Europeans. The final, crushing blow to a huge, diverse group of culturals seems pretty worthy of a monument to me.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the even-handed treatment given by the battleground museum to the cultural differences between the Native Americans and the Eurpeans. Rather than portray the natives as ignorant savages, as is so often believed, it highlighted the difference in their world-view from the civilization advancing from the east. Thanks, Dean, for suggesting the trip.