Ohio History Journal

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On both sides of the Ohio river, from Manchester, Ohio,

to Dover, Kentucky, a distance of twenty-five miles, were for-

merly many stone graves or cairns.  A few stood at varying

intervals for some miles below Dover, and as far up the river as

Huntington, West Virginia; and some remain along North Fork

of Licking river, in Mason county, Kentucky. They were most

abundant from Manchester to Ripley on the Ohio side of the

river, and from Maysville to Dover on the Kentucky side. Be-

tween these points, almost every peak, ridge, or high elevation,

commanding an extensive view of the Ohio valley, was crowned

with at least one, and in many instances several, of these cairns.

The smallest ones contained not more than a wagon-load of

stones; the largest fully fifty times as much. Between these

extremes was every intermediate size.

For nearly a century-ever since the country was settled

by whites-desultory excavations have been carried on in them

by people who imagine that Indians concealed "gold" in all such

places. The peculiarities of structure reported by these diggers,

have led various parties to attempt a methodical investigation;

but after visiting many cairns only to find them ravaged, the

quest has usually been abandoned. Three or four which had

already been partially opened, but were still in such condition

that tolerably accurate knowledge could be gained concerning

the manner of their construction, are described in the 12th An-

nual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology.

In the extreme southeastern corner of Brown county, a

a few cairns had escaped the general destruction. They owed

their immunity chiefly to trees growing on them, whose roots

proved too formidable an obstacle to the idly curious or the

seekers for hidden treasure. Five of these were examined; in

each case all stones and earth were entirely removed, down to the

yellow clay subsoil.