Indian Mounds and Earthworks Near the Famous Serpent Mound

Indian Mounds and Earthworks Near the Famous Serpent Mound
Adams County, Ohio

 About one-half mile north of Winchester is a fine mound and three circles, the walls of which were when first discovered about five feet high. These circles are about 150 feet in diameter. Circles measuring 150 foot in diameter is significant because it is the same length as the diameters of the interior circle of the henges at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Cambridge City Indiana and those found in Chillicothe and Athens Ohio.

* Explorations of the Valley of Brush Creek. This region is well known because in its northern part is located the famous Serpent Mound. The serpent itself has been the subject of much literature and considerable has been published regarding Fort Hill, in the edge of Highland County, but a few miles up Brush Creek from the serpent. But no one seems to have examined the remains lying between the serpent and the Ohio River. There are several branches of Ohio Brush Creek which also have remains along their shores, so that altogether there is about sixty miles of occupied territory along Brush Creek Valley. On the farm of James McCullough, about four miles north of Youngs- ville, a small mound was opened and a skeleton badly decayed found near the center, with head toward the east. Several flint war points, some bones, needles, and a few bear tusks were found near the shoulders. In a small stone mound on the farm of James Montgomery was found a cremated skeleton and one badly decayed. An earth mound three- fourths of a mile northeast of Montgomery's was opened and a hammer stone and decayed bones found. On the McCullough farm five miles south of Youngsville, three stone mounds, nine by eleven, seventeen by twenty-one, seven by ten, and each about one foot high were explored. They occupy a high point of land over looking West Fork of Brush Creek. Bodies as in case of all stone graves or mounds lay upon the surface, and had been covered with bark and stones heaped on top. No relics accompanied the remains. On a spur of the same hill, lower down, say 100 feet above the valley is an earth mound, two feet high and thirty-two feet in diameter. In the center was found a skeleton buried about five feet deep. The skeleton was surrounded by large flat stones forming a kind of sarcophagus. On the Swearinger farm two and a half miles below Newport on Ohio Brush Creek is an earth mound. On the Plummer farm just below Newport is a village site containing twenty-five acres, and must have had 200 lodges. There are numerous pottery fragments, flint chips, bones, and other remains scattered over the surface. Skeletons in graves have been found here. On the Florea farm at an elevation of 500 feet, commanding a view of the country for ten miles about, is an earth mound.

On the Patton farm on Cherry Fork is a mound four feet high and forty feet base. In it was a badly decayed skeleton and two rare spear heads. A layer of charcoal two inches thick covered the skeleton. There are a number of stone graves on the farm of William McCor- mick on West Fork of Brush Creek. On the Williams farm across West Fork from McCormick's, on a hill 175 feet high is a mound four feet high and forty in diameter. In it was found burnt earth, charcoal, a cremated skeleton and one spearhead. On the Finley farm near North Liberty is a mound four feet high and fifty feet broad. Two skeletons were found above which were much charcoal and ashes and two fine spearheads of the "shouldered" pattern. About one-half mile north of Winchester is a fine mound and three circles, the walls of which were when first discovered about five feet high. These circles are about 150 feet in diameter. One mile north of Winchester on a branch of West Fork, Mr. James McNutt in 1896 found a cache or pocket of eighteen spears of fine workmanship, and constitute one of the finest deposits ever discovered. Above and below the village of Rome six miles above the mouth of Ohio Brush Creek are extensive village sites with refuse scattered over the fields in great profusion. Just below Rome on the high bank of the river, 200 yards from the water, is a mound two feet high and fifty feet in diameter. In this mound were twenty-two skeletons. To the above we add the following: On Ohio Brush Creek, on the old Daniel Collier farm, there is a circular enclosure 200 feet in diameter and three to four feet high. This is situated on the broad terrace on the right bank of the creek about three-fourths of a mile below the Collier residence, and just below the old ford of the creek. The banks of the creek have been washed away until a portion of the circle is exposed, giving a fine sectional view. There are fragments of human bones, shells, charcoal and flint chips extending through a vertical section of two feet. There are numerous stone graves on the high hills overlooking Brush Creek in this region. At the mouth of Ohio Brush Creek is a village site, and numerous, kettle-shaped pockets of burnt earth, charcoal and other debris. On the Ohio River just below Vineyard Hill was a fine mound perhaps fifteen feet high and one hundred feet in diameter near which Israel Donalson was captured by the Indians in April. 1791. When the writer visited this mound in 1883, the river had cut it nearly all away. In the archaeological report above quoted, the mound at Rome is said to be the place of Donalson's captivity. This is a gross error. Below the mouth of Island Creek and near the upper island is a mound and circle. And at the crossing of Seventh and Broadway in the town of Manchester stood a most beautiful mound twenty or twenty-five feet high, and perfect as a cone. It is said that the Ellison heirs who owned the land had this beautiful tumulus dug down and carted away.