Friday, August 5, 2011

A Photographic Essay and History of the Prehistoric Burial Mounds and Earthwork Ruins in Allen County

A Photographic Essay and History of the Prehistoric Burial Mounds and Earthwork Ruins in Allen County

Various Birdstones and Tube Pipe Found in Allen County, Indiana.
Map showing location of Indian Burial Mounds and earthworks near Fort Wayne in Allen County, Indiana. The Iroquois fort dating 800 B.C. is clearly seen with this LIDAR image. : Ancient Iroquois Earthen Fortification Revealed in Lidar Image Near Fort Wayne, Indiana

The History of Allen County Indiana, 1880
“Prehistoric Remains” by R. S. Robertson:
     What became of them is another question, which will probably forever remain unanswered. That they disappeared at once is wholly improbable, as is also the theory that they were totally destroyed. The most probably theory is that as they met the first eruption of the savage red man from the northwest, and all Indiana tradition points to this quarter for the place where the Indians came, they were gradually driven in their outlying settlements, and finally overwhelmed by the constantly flowing tide of ruthless savages, more skilled than they in warfare, and envious of their rich hunting grounds.
     The remnants of the Mound-Builders would be pressed by southward, whence they came and those of the savages who followed them to the south and overcame them would retain more of their customs than those tribes of the north who amalgamated with them in lesser degree, or not at all .
     Northern Indiana has many proofs of the presence of this race recorded almost indelibly upon its soil, and they have left some of their monuments in Allen County, but not as many, nor so extensive, as ones found in Ohio or to the southern part of Indiana.
       While some of them were pushing upward, and making great settlements along the tributaries of the Ohio, others had passed further up the Mississippi, discovered The great Lakes, and entered into quite extensive copper mining operations on the shores of Lake Superior. Colonies had occupied Michigan, and as far south in Indiana as the Kankakee, and it from them, we think, that Allen County received the marks of their occupation. All along the valley of Cedar Creek, in DeKalb County, their mounds and earthworks appear in considerable number, but decrease in number as we proceed southward onto Allen County, and we totally wanting in the southern portion of the county.
       On Cedar Creek, near Stoners, on the Fort Wayne J & S Railroad, is a group of four mounds. Two of them are in a line north and south and are about forty feet apart. About fifteen rods east of these are two others about the same distance apart and on a line nearly east and west. When visited by the writer a few years since, three of them had been partially excavated years before and were said to have contained a large number of human bones, arrow-heads and some copper ornaments. The remaining mound was excavated at the time but disclosed only lumps of charcoal and a layer of hard-baked earth near its base.
     These mounds are situated on the high ground between the Cedar and Willow Creeks, and the Auburn Road passed between them.
      Four miles south of these on the Coldwater Road, on the farm of Henry Wolford (now owned by Mr. Bowser) is a large oblong mound which was only partially explored, but in which a perforated piece of ribboned slate was found, with much charcoal and a stratum of baked earth.
      At Cedarville, on the St. Joseph, near the mouth of Cedar Creek, are three mounds about a hundred feet apart, situated on a line running northwest nearly parallel with the general direction of the river at this point. None of them have been fully explored, but one has been nearly removed to use its earth for mending the road, and charcoal was found in considerable quantities, as is usual in mounds of this class.
      Descending the St. Joseph on the east, to the farm of Peter Notestine, one of the oldest settlers, we find a circular “fort” or earthwork, situated in the bend of the river... it has been plowed over for nearly thirty years and has lost much of its outlines. Many relics have been found here, and when newly plowed, numerous fragments of pottery, flints, and stone implements are yet found in and around its site. A large pipe of pottery was found here some years since. The bowel and stem are molded in one piece and the end of the stem has been flattened by the fingers while plastic to form a mouthpiece.
Henge or open air sun temple on the St. Joseph River near Fort Wayne, Indiana. The gateways to henges are generally aligned to solar events.  This gateway is aligned to the May 1st sunrise.  The pipe described in the previous history is diagnostic of the Point Peninsula Iroquois that would date this henge from 200 B.C.- 200 A.D.; a date that contemporaneous with the many henges in central Indiana and the Ohio Valley that were constructed by the Adena. The Iroquois from this time period had assimilated many of the Adena burial mound and earthwork traits.

.Still further down the river, on the west side, opposite Antraps Mill, is a semi-circular fort with its ends on the riverbank.
It is about 600 feet in arc. The earthwork is yet nearly two feet high, with a well-defined ditch on the outside. Very large trees, which have grown on the embankment, have fallen and gone to decay. We found in the earth, which had been upturned by a fallen tree, a fragment from the neck of a vessel of pottery with square indentations on the surface.
A series of these horseshoe shaped works extended down the Maumee River to Toledo. They along with the circular works were all 200 feet in diameter.

The Earthen walls of this prehistoric Iroquois work can still be seen north of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
No efforts have been made to preserve the earthwork and is not listed as an historic site. It was subjected to excavations by IPFW archaeologists, the last few years, but what damage was done to the work has not been investigated.  The Allen County Historical Society was informed of the earthwork, but claimed they "had no interest" ????

      Still further down the river, on the east side, at the mouth of Breckenridge Creek, is a single mound, which has not been opened except a slight excavation in its side, which developed the customary lumps of charcoal. This point is about four miles north of Fort Wayne, and is the most southerly point in the county at which mounds and earthworks are known to exist.
Iroquois burial mound can still be seen on Breckenridge Creek, however the dam has raised water levels and it is now partially submerged part of the year.

History of the Maumee River Basin, 1905
     Nine mounds have been determined on the high banks of the Maumee River in Allen County, Indiana.  Two of these mounds are in Indiana near the Ohio line.
Iroquois Burial mound in eatern Allen County on the Maumee River, before being desecrated by IPFW archaeologist who removed the skeletons from the mound so that they could be boxed up at the University. Despite the overwhelming evidence that the mounds in Allen county were Iroquois, the Universities refuse to acknowledge that fact because it invokes the Native American Graves Protection Act that deems it a crime to dig in to a  grave of a "known" tribe.

Another burial mound located on the Maumee River in eastern Allen County. An excavation by Indiana University has left a hole i the top giving it a 'volcano" appearance.

Near the last mound is this rare, venerated Spirit Tree that was part of the sacred landscape that also included the rapids on the Maumee.  The tree was struck by lightning a few years ago and has been destroyed.  

At the headwaters of the Eel River in Allen County a mound was reported in a congressional survey. The location was the southeast one-quarter of Section 29. The mound has since been destroyed.

Did you know that there are over 85 prehistoric tourist destinations in Indiana, photographed and directions provided in 
"The Nephilim Chronicles: A Travel Guide to the Ancient Ruins in the Ohio Valley?"
222 were photographed in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan.
Discover an ancient world with the most comprehensive Travel Guide to the burial mounds and earthworks.