History & Mission

In May 1970, The Scioto Society was incorporated as a tax exempt, non-profit corporation. It dedicated itself to the cultural, historical, educational, and economic development of the tri-county area. These counties were, Ross, Pickaway, and Pike; as well as the state of Ohio in general.

The principal impact area was designated as Ross County. The Society’s major goal was to help restore regional and national awareness to the area surrounding Chillicothe, so that the area could assume its’ rightful place in the early history of the United States. The Northwest Territory was in the particular thought of this process.

The first stage of that goal was realized when the premiere performance of the outdoor drama Tecumseh! was held in the summer of 1973, at the newly constructed Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre. Its 206-acre location was purchased by the Society and its 1689 seats continue to fill to capacity each summer.

The drama has grown in popularity worldwide over the years. It has been selected, as one of the top 100 attractions in North America by the American Bus Association, and it has received local, state, regional, and even national acclaim.

It has drawn well over 3 million visitors to Chillicothe during the past 42 years. Along with serving economically, and culturally to the area, Tecumseh! serves as a tradition to many families and is the first live arts experience for many children in Ohio.

Along with producing Tecumseh! the Society has undertaken many subsidiary programs over the years that have benefited the community. Along with playing a key role in developing the Scioto Valley Arts Council, and the Ross-Chillicothe Convention and Visitors Bureau, the organization has additionally sponsored concerts ranging from Symphony, Folk, Country, or Rock; as well as Community and Children’s Theatre, Statehood Day celebrations, and Bicentennial events.

On an educational standpoint, the organization has given lectures and talks to service clubs at the local, state, and national level. The continuance of offering college credit in undergraduate and apprenticeship programs draws young actors and technicians to the area. All offerings are done with the idea that the arts and humanities can and do serve as economic stimuli.

The Society directly serves the citizens of Ross, Pickaway, and Pike counties through its offer of employment and direct economic impact via Tecumseh! This impact is easily measured in the tens of millions each year.

The corporation operates at over a 90% earned income level through the operation of the drama and supplements its budget by receiving contributions, sponsorships, and grants from various sources on the local, state, and federal level. In 2015, Tecumseh! experienced an uptick in attendance with over 43,000 people attending the drama.

Mission: The mission of The Scioto Society is to advance and promote the artistic, recreational, industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of Chillicothe Ohio and the surrounding geographical areas comprised of Ross, Pickaway and Pike counties.

The Society’s primary focus is the annual presentation of the historical drama Tecumseh! and also any additional activities that drive, support and promote the development, stability and prosperity of the area, its history, its residents and its visitors.

Download Our 2018 Annual Report

Amphitheatre Construction 1972.

Dr. David Weiss (director), Allan W. Eckert (playwright), Rusty Mundell (founder), Bob Evans (founding board member) opening night 1973.

Ohio Rep. Myrl Shoemaker & Arthur Rolette (Chief, Absentee Shawnee Nation), opening night 1973.

Members of The Scioto Society board receiving the 2019 Grand Pineapple Award from the Ross-Chillicothe CVB.