"Old Stone Fort" South of the Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio

"Old Stone Fort" South of the Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio



Old Stone Fort.

   In the northern part of Tiffin Township, about one mile to the north west of the now almost forgotten site of the old town of Waterford on Lick Fork, on lands now owned by William Smith and William Crosby, is "Old Stone Fort," an ancient structure, the work of the Mound Builders. The form of the fort is circular. The walls are from twenty to thirty feet at the base, and were when first observed by the early settlers from three to five feet in height. They seem to have been constructed of clay and surmounted with a heavy wall of stones. This theory is sustained from the fact that portions of the stone superstructure seem to have toppled over where the bulk of the stones lie on the outer edge of the walls. In other portions there are but few stones remaining, the walls having been taken down and removed. The site of the fort was well chosen. It is on the highlands bordering Lick Fork of Ohio Brush Creek, and commands a sweeping view of the valley below and the country about and beyond. It is near enough the rich valleys of Ohio Brush Creek to afford a place of safe retreat for those engaged in cultivating the soil or fishing in its waters in case of attack.



   A little rocky stream known as Mink Run flows across the enclosure from west to east cutting it into two equal portions. From the outer limits of each of these portions of the enclosure come little rivulets which enter Mink Run within it thus dividing it by a series of narrow longitudinal valleys affording shelter from the missiles of an attacking party from without the walls of the fort. Within the walls of the fort are three fine springs of pure water. The one on the east of the center of the enclosure would alone supply hundreds of persons and animals with abundance of water at all seasons of the year. There seems to have been constructed across Mink Run below this spring and near the eastern wall of the enclosure, a dam which formed a great reservoir of pure water in this portion of the fort. The walls of the fort itself have been much heavier in the portion there Mink Run passes through them than elsewhere. There are three gateways yet visible in the walls. One at the southwest, one at the west where Mink Run enters the enclosure, and one to the northwest. This last gateway is in a portion of the wall yet covered with forests and can readily be seen. At the western gateway where Mink Run enters the enclosure are two circular structures, one on each side of the stream. These are each about thirty feet in diameter and were erected for the protection of this gate. Without the north and east walls of the fort are a number of small mounds. Within the eastern wall of the enclosure there can yet be seen a small mound about thirty feet in diameter, now about level with the surrounding surface, which at one time was several feet in height. This was opened many years ago by Samuel McClung who then owned the lands on which the fort is situated, and it was found to contain charred bones and some bits of earthenware. The walls of the fort proper enclose about thirty acres of land.