Wednesday, September 28, 2016

8 Foot Human Skeletons Uncovered at a Serpentine Enclosure and Macadamized Road in West Virginia

8 Foot Human Skeletons Uncovered at a Serpentine Enclosure and Macadamized Road in West Virginia





Now and Long Ago, History of Marion County, West Virginia

   The history of these people of mystery, scarce as it is in our valley, exists only in remnants of certain of their works, fragments of a stone-and -mussel road, which was devised graded and macadamized in most distant times (perhaps 2,000 years ago), and in certain "clues of earth," which enabled the first known civilized visitors here to see, and examine, where once a strange fort had been.  Evidence of these ancient was partially destroyed by the settlers' "hast plow"; yet, certainly, some evidence of these works remains....
  The most important sites of prehistoric events in the present Marion County are the location of the ancient earthen fort at near Hoult, and that of the stone mussel shell road, on the east bank of the Monongahela between the mouth of the Tygart Valley River and Little Creek at Catawba.  Here, by the Monongahela, on the great flats, and the high hills, must have been a center of considerable activity a thousand or so years ago, and before...The ancient fort here, on the largest flat, was said to have occupied about seven acres; beneath it, along the river, lay the road, said to have been about nine feet wide and fourteen inches thick, composed of knapped stone, set in a mortar of crushed mussel shells.  The fort and this road were not products of peoples imagination. Indeed, no! Evidence of their existence is well founded.

Description of the Ancient Fort

   "There was an embankment on the flat about ten feet high.  It could have been five feet higher when it was heaped up, for it was easy to see it had settled. It was shaped something like a human head in a side view and enclosed about seven acres. Places in it were open, like it had been tunneled out to begin with.  There wasn't a rock in it, I heard. The dirt was layered black about six inches, then layered in natural color about six inches.  At the bottom and all along were a great sediment of mussel shells, where beads and arrow points and good many human bones were found.

Description of the Mounds Inside the Fort

     W.B. Price told Rev. Henry Morgan that he had talked with many persons who remembered the mounds inside of the fort.  For one, Stephen Morgan told him about them, he said.  There were three of them, about ten feet high and twenty feet across at the bottom, running up to a peak.  Human bones were found in them and buried where the Hoult graveyard is now. He described the the mounds as "just earth heaped on top of mussel shells."

Description of the Road

    Price remembered seeing "parts" of the prehistoric road and said it was made of small broken stones and musselshell mortar. "Some places it was fairly solid," he said, "but mostly it came apart when it was uncovered and rained on. The road was pretty much destroyed when grading was done for the F.M. and P Railroad."
   John Prickets account of the road, "It left the river where the path leaves it now and came over to the bridge, and went down the river to Newport (Catawba), where it ended.  The stone mussel road was always said to end at Little Creek. It was  the opinion of 23 people interviewed that it had begun just below the mouth of the Tygart Valley River and had ended up at Little Creek; and that, except for about half a mile on the Pricket land, it followed the east bank of the river, very near the water, from the beginning to end, and that almost all of it that had not been destroyed when the F.M. and P. Railroad was constructed, had come under water when the first locks were built.


Giant Skeletons Unearthed Near the Road and Fort

    Mrs Shearer told Adam O Heck that schoolmaster John Beall settled here a very long time ago, and she remembered him clealry, and that when he first came here to live he found four human skeletons where Palatine is now, that - people supposed - had been washed from their graves by floods, their graves being near the river. She said she had heard that these skeletons were, every one, eight feet long, and that John Beall had measured them before digging a grave and reburying them.
    She also said that three such skeletons were found at the mouth of Paw Paw Creek many years later.  Jim Dean and some men were digging for a bridge foundation and found these bones by the lower end of the old buffalo wallow.  She thought it was Dr. Kidwell, of Fairmont, who examined them and said they were very old, perhaps thousands of years old.  Squire Satterfield had buried them in the Jolliffe graveyard, (Rivesville).  All of these skeletons, she said, were measured and found to be eight feet long.