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No. 8: Fall 1979

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Enigmatic Stone Forts Of The American Midwest

From diverse sources, J.D. Singer has drawn together a fascinating compendium of large stone forts and walled structures west of the Alleghenys. From Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and all across the Midwest come descriptions of stone structures of almost heroic proportions:

  1. A wall 5 to 12 feet high and almost a mile long at Fort Hill, Ohio;
  2. Two big walls at Fourteen Mile Creek, Indiana;
  3. Two massive stone walls or pyramids under Rock Lake, Wisconsin; and many more.

Ignorance surrounds these structures. Who built them and when? Some are likely forts, for they are paralleled by ditches. Others seem to have no defensive value. The Moundbuilders may have hand a hand in some. Madoc and his wandering Welshmen are blamed for at least one wall!

(Singer, Jon Douglas; "Stone Forts of the Midwest," NEARA Journal, 13:63 and 13:91, 1979. NEARA = New England Antiquities Research Association.)

Comment. Concerted field work and searches of local archives would doubtless multiply the number of unexplained stone structures in the Midwest, just as it has in New England. For more on these forts see: Ancient Man. This Handbook is described here.

From Science Frontiers #8, Fall 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss