Serpentine Stone Enclosure at Spruce Hill in Ross County, Ohio

Serpentine Stone Enclosure at Spruce Hill in Ross County, Ohio

Serpentine stone work is located on the lowland at the bottom of the hill where Spruce Hill is located. Numerous henge type earthworks are located around Chillicothe that were also 250 feet in diameter. The length of 250 was used by the later Adena Hopewell to represent the Sun deity.

There were several of these clusters of earthworks around Chillicothe, Ohio that were 250 in circumference.  

     A unique work is situated in the little valley of "Black run," a small tributary of Paint creek, and is distant about fifteen miles from Chillicothe. It is indicated by the letter E.  The walls are composed of stones; but if ever regularly laid up, they are now thrown down, though not greatly scattered. The outlines are clearly defined, and can be exactly traced. The body of the work is elliptical in shape, its conjugate diameter being one hundred and seventy feet, its transverse two hundred and fifty feet. There is a single opening or gateway, fifty feet wide, on the south, where the walls curve outwards and lap back upon themselves for the space of sixty feet. The most remarkable feature of this singular work consists of five walls, starting within ten feet of the unbroken line of the elliptical enclosure, and extending thence northward, slightly converging, for the distance of one hundred feet. The lines of the outer walls, if prolonged, would intersect each other at the distance of two hundred and fifty feet. These walls are twenty feet broad at the ends nearest the enclosure, and ten feet apart. They diminish gradually, as they recede, to ten feet at their outer extremities. The western wall is nearly obliterated; the stones for the construction of all the "cabin" hearths and chimneys in the neighborhood having been taken from this spot. The western portion of the wall of the ellipse has also suffered from the same cause. The amount of stone embraced in the outer walls is considerable, probably sufficient to construct walls of equal length, six feet broad and eight feet high. They now exhibit but slight evidence of ever having been regularly laid up, and more resemble mounds of stones rudely thrown together. The stones have been removed from a section of the central wall, to the base; but we have been unable to ascertain that the operation disclosed relics of any kind. The wall of the body of the work appears considerably lighter than those last mentioned, and it is now quite impossible to determine whether it was ever regularly constructed. The stones cover a space fifteen or twenty feet broad, and are irregularly heaped together to the height of perhaps three feet. The work is overgrown with briers, bushes, and trees; which, when in leaf, completely hide its features from view, and render a satisfactory examination impossible. In the autumn or spring, the entire outline of the work is distinctly visible.
The purposes of this strange work are entirely inexplicable: its small size precludes the idea of a defensive origin. It is the only structure of the kind which has yet been discovered in the valleys, and it is totally unlike those found on the hills. The great "Stone Fort" on Paint creek is but two miles distant, and overlooks this work; both may be regarded as belonging to the same era, and as probably in some way connected with each other.