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Ohio's Mysteries: The Old Stone Fort
nbc4i.com ^ | July 23, 2012 | Anon

Posted on 07/24/2012 5:51:29 PM PDT by Pharmboy


It's believed to be the oldest building in Ohio, and possibly the Midwest. But the mystery remains: who built it and why?

COSHOCTON, Ohio -- It's believed to be the oldest building in Ohio, and possibly the Midwest – built nearly a century before the American Revolution. But the mystery remains: who built the Old Stone Fort and why?

On an ordinary plot of farm land on County Road 254 in eastern Coshocton County sits what is arguably one of the most important buildings in Ohio history.

It is believed that the Old Stone Fort was built sometime around 1679.

As important as it is, however, hardly anything is known about the Old Stone Fort.

For example, no one knows who built the fort or why.

It's generally believed that it was built by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville.

He was a French Canadian and brother of the founder of New Orleans.

It's believed that he traveled the nearby Tuscarawas River and built the fort to guard against the English in the fur trade battles.

Then, there's the George Croghan scenario.

He was an Irish fur trader working for England who moved into the Native American territories to trade furs with the Delaware tribe.

He was not born until 1718, which would mean that if built by Croghan, the fort isn't as old as presumed.

There's also the theory that the fort was built by unknown settlers as a way to defend themselves against the native tribes.

There are rifle ports on all sides, and archaeological digs have found evidence of a stockade.

Then, there's yet another theory.

"I'm going to get tarred and feathered and ran out of Coshocton, because I don't think it was a fort," said Margaret Lowe.

Lowe has studied the fort all her life and said she believes it was not nearly as historic as a fort or outpost, but it may have just been part of a farm.

"I think it was probably, and again, this is written during one version, that it was used as a spring house. Another version was that it was used for a meat house," Lowe said.

Could it have been all of the theories over the years?

In the French Canadian version, the fort was built nearly 100 years before the American Revolution, and oral history handed down over generations say it was built as early as 1800.

In 1918, a farmer dug up a French compass while plowing near the fort. In 1880, there was a tornado in the closest town of Evansburg, destroying the town, but the fort survived.

The town, named after the people who lived there, was never rebuilt.

Over the centuries, the fort was rebuilt after falling into disrepair.

Part of the doorway is preserved at the local museum, and the wood looks ancient.

It is only 14 square feet inside, and doesn't appear to have been used as living quarters.

At one time there was a ladder heading up to a second floor, but now the fort is boarded up.

What the Old Stone Fort has given the neighbors is a sense of wonder.

"I would have loved to have seen the stockade around it," said Dan Markley, a local historian. "This fort, everybody has a different opinion as why it was here and it's just a mystery. If you could find just one person, somewhere along the line who could give you a true answer."

Another mystery surrounding the fort is the owner. It's not clear who owns the building today.

Locals want to know the history, but likely will take their theories to the grave, never having an answer.


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: french; godsgravesglyphs; ohio
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I spent 4 years in Ohio and never knew about this.
1 posted on 07/24/2012 5:51:40 PM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy

Wait until the History Channel gets a hold of this...they’ll make a 1-hour program dedicated to aliens landing in Ohio and building the fort.


2 posted on 07/24/2012 5:53:45 PM PDT by max americana (Make the world a better place by punching a liberal in the face)
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To: indcons; Chani; thefactor; blam; aculeus; ELS; Doctor Raoul; mainepatsfan; timpad; ...
The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list...


3 posted on 07/24/2012 5:53:57 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy; SunkenCiv

14 square feet inside? Wow, how thick are those walls? Or did they really me 14 feet square?


4 posted on 07/24/2012 5:56:54 PM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (The emperor has no pedigree.)
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To: Pharmboy; SunkenCiv

14 square feet inside? Wow, how thick are those walls? Or did they really mean 14 feet square?


5 posted on 07/24/2012 5:57:20 PM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (The emperor has no pedigree.)
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To: Pharmboy

My first thought was - doesn’t look like a fort.


6 posted on 07/24/2012 6:03:23 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: Pharmboy

I have a good idea....but I have to look up the map and name.


7 posted on 07/24/2012 6:03:48 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Pharmboy

Bttt


8 posted on 07/24/2012 6:06:32 PM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: Some Fat Guy in L.A.

Well, they found remains of the stockade, so I imagine that’s what’s driving the ‘fort’ designation. It does have gun ports...I guess that’s why it’s a mystery.


9 posted on 07/24/2012 6:07:30 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy

How is this gentleman, who is thought to be the builder, French Canadian?

He may have been French, but he certainly wasn’t Canadian. :)


10 posted on 07/24/2012 6:07:30 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Pharmboy

Interesting. Thanks for posting.


11 posted on 07/24/2012 6:08:40 PM PDT by Engraved-on-His-hands (Mitt Romney is a handbasket driver. I refuse to ride.)
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To: max americana

Whoever built that fort didn’t build it.


12 posted on 07/24/2012 6:08:54 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: Pharmboy

They can relocate it to my yard and the mystery will be solved- it will be my Man Cave


13 posted on 07/24/2012 6:10:13 PM PDT by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: Pharmboy

Looks to me to be what they used to call an “Indian House,” where a family could retreat to during an Indian raid. One of my ancestors built one near his log home in the wilds of western Virginia in the 1780s.


14 posted on 07/24/2012 6:10:30 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: AD from SpringBay

Ding ding ding!! We have a winner! Post o’ the day!!


15 posted on 07/24/2012 6:10:54 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy

I’m sure this will get me thrown out of the “Aliens Built it” Fan Club. But when I saw the picture it reminded me of some of the stone buildings the Vikings built in Greenland.

I’m sure though that when it comes to field stone buildings there are really only a couple of ways to build them. So they would all look similar after awhile.


16 posted on 07/24/2012 6:12:10 PM PDT by The Working Man
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To: Pharmboy

More like a trading post....I’d say French....They had a whole line of forts along the Ohio


17 posted on 07/24/2012 6:13:35 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Pharmboy

There’s an 1750’s stone/brick house north of Winston-Salem, NC built when the area was still subject to Indian attacks. There are several gun ports built into the walls.

This one was probably as much fort as it was trading house.


18 posted on 07/24/2012 6:17:10 PM PDT by Rebelbase (The most transparent administration ever is clear as mud.)
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To: Sacajaweau
Had them in PA as well, near water crossings. People would trade and the door(s) could be secured and trade conducted through a small port that was smaller than a window.

Booze and manufactured items plus food to trade for skins, pelts, etc. The buildings could be buttoned down if things got ugly.

19 posted on 07/24/2012 6:20:06 PM PDT by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: Sacajaweau; Rebelbase

I think you guys nailed it...


20 posted on 07/24/2012 6:21:08 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Hegemony Cricket

I hope so - 14 square feet is about 3.75 feet by 3.75 feet. Our ancestors were smaller - but not THAT small.


21 posted on 07/24/2012 6:22:19 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: The Antiyuppie

They probably meant 140 ft^2.

It looks like it could be 10 by 14 on the inside.


22 posted on 07/24/2012 6:26:11 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: AD from SpringBay

:’D


23 posted on 07/24/2012 6:40:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Hegemony Cricket; Pharmboy; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Hegemony Cricket for the ping, and PB for the topic.

Not very mysterious, but very interesting! Normally this wouldn't get a ping (probably) but I gotta know what others can tell us about this. :')

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


24 posted on 07/24/2012 6:41:03 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Pharmboy
I would have to agree with the fortified trading post theory, it would of been impossible to establish anything else. The natives were in total control at that time and anything built would of been only by their permission. Ohio actually has many very neat things in it, most people who live there have no concept. I visit several historic sights every year in Ohio, and I don't think I will run out of things to explore in my remaining years. I will have to add this to the list. I have been planning to visit sites related to Crawford's Defeat next year this will have to be added to the trip. My wife doesn't complain as long as I find nice small town diners for her to enjoy on the drives.
25 posted on 07/24/2012 6:54:51 PM PDT by dog breath
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To: Pharmboy

I wonder if it could be an ice house.


26 posted on 07/24/2012 6:58:54 PM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: Pharmboy
It is only 14 square feet inside,

No way that thing is 14 square feet inside unless the walls are 10 feet thick. I suspect this should read "14 feet square" which would make it 196 square feet and would fit the pictured building.

27 posted on 07/24/2012 6:59:32 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson)
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To: Some Fat Guy in L.A.

The term blockhouse might be a more accurate description.


28 posted on 07/24/2012 7:00:38 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: Sacajaweau
Thought I'd come in on this post ~ just as good as any, but better than most since you refer to the French forts on or along the Ohio.

As late as 1717 DesIsles, the official French cartographer in Paris, was not drawing in anything South of what is now the Indiana/Michigan/Ohio state line as a French claim.

That area was still claimed by Spain and no matter what they tell you about Spanish cessions and French claims and discoveries, the Spanish had not only claimed everything South to the Gulf and north to the Great Lakes, numerous explorers and traders had penetrated AND settled in many places throughout what is now the Mid-South and the Lower MIdWest.

Old times were not forgotten, though, and when George Rogers Clark showed up in the Illinois country the Spanish milita at Cahokia joined the Revolutionary militia under Clark and moved North all the way to the St Joseph River and claimed Fort St. Joseph for Spain ~ under their own Spanish flag.

I"ve been looking for small towns all through the area between the MIssissippi and the East Coast that are laid out in accordance with the Spanish Law of the Indies.

No, there are not a lot of them, but there are several dozen ~ one is even obviously named La Villa Real ~ which denotes it as a Spanish headquarters town of some sort.

GOOGLE EARTH makes this possible.

The "OLD FORT" here is probably on a piece of land that was first sold under the authority of the American government to someone with an arguably Spanish surname.

It's a stone fort, or stone home, with ports for an an Arquibus ~

It may even have housed an arquebus à croc, a heavier gauge wagon mounted firearm ~ predecessor to more modern artillery in later centuries.

These things were used in the 15th, 16th and 17th century, and out on the Spanish frontier probably even longer.

Take a look at Newcomerstown ~ Main Street ~ see that early village laid out different than anthing else ~ ? That's what you want to look for. On a river navigable with a canoe or piroque, onto another river that could handle a larger boat, and on down to the Ohio

When you go downstream on the Ohio back in the 1500s or 1600s, you get off on the Miami and go North to a portage area of a few miles that takes you over to the East Fork of the White River somewhere, or to the Muscatatuck bottoms. You go downstream to the Wabash, and then come back out onto the Ohio West of Evansville. That way you bypass the exceedingly warlike Shawnee who'd had an iron grip on the Falls on the Ohio for generations.

This little facility was probably a safe house for the local Spanish goldminers and millers who ran a still that made alcoholic beverages to trade to the Indians for products such as smoked ham and smoked venison.

There are probably the remains of mill stone segments around there, and probably some sort of gold sluice. I suspect they found some gold. With the safe house some of the Spaniards probably ended up as serious traders and suppliers in the region and when American surveys were made, they bought their titles to their own land immediately. They will be in the deed books somewhere (if they still exist).

I"ve found that pattern repeated in many other areas. Typical of most American immigrants, when the new guys came in they didn't leave.

The one group I haven't covered is the Iroquois. They were very busy in the 1500/1600 period clearing much of the Ohio Valley of troublesome tribes who would not pay tribute. They sent permanent tax collectors into the region and could move troops from Central New York on regular warrior paths in a short period, so you either paid or they ran you off (or killed you).

They never succeeded in driving off the Shawnee ~ and until the French came in with a major force some time in the early 1700s to set up a saw mill to cut rough furniture pieces to ship to France for Louis' furniture factory the Shawnee forced everybody else going up and down the river to that Northern detour I described.

Once the Shawnee figured out that all the French furniture makers wanted were trees and a place for their mill they let them stay ~ but there was not a lot of contact. NOTE: Louis built Versailles. Nobles were required to rent apartments there. They were further required to buy furniture from Louis to furnish those apartments. That furniture was finished off in Paris from rough cut pieces made in America from Kentucky and Indiana hardwoods.

29 posted on 07/24/2012 7:12:54 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: AD from SpringBay

LOL!


30 posted on 07/24/2012 7:16:45 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Pharmboy

***It is only 14 square feet inside, and doesn’t appear to have been used as living quarters. ***

Possibly a powder magazine for a wooden fort.
At Fort Gibson Oklahoma there is a stone powder magazine at their wooden walled fort.


31 posted on 07/24/2012 7:30:10 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I LIKE ART! Click my name. See my web page.)
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To: Pharmboy

I think they did, too.

My oldest ancester in America immigrated from Eng. in 1700. He was the Commander of one unit in the French wars and was commissioned to map all of the Virginia territory about 1750. I’ll bet he saw a lot of these.

One of his soldiers was a 22 y.o. young man by the name of George Washington. When Grandpa Joshua died in a fall from a horse in 1750, young George took over the command, his first.

Joshua Frye. A very interesting man.


32 posted on 07/24/2012 7:32:52 PM PDT by EggsAckley ( There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply ! ! ..)
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To: AD from SpringBay
There were roads running past it that the government built. The builder was taught by a good teacher; probably a hard working NEA member.
And the guys that cut the stone were probably hard working union members
33 posted on 07/24/2012 7:35:29 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland ("The writing is on the wall - Unions are screwed. reformist2 10:04 PM #27")
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To: SunkenCiv

*ping*
You might be interested in looking up Joshua Frye. It’s on Google.


34 posted on 07/24/2012 7:38:10 PM PDT by EggsAckley ( There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply ! ! ..)
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To: Hegemony Cricket

14 foot square...14 square feet.

Hey, I’m a journalist. You say to-mah-toe, I say to-may-toe. What’s the diff?


35 posted on 07/24/2012 7:40:49 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: muawiyah

I didn’t know any of that. Are you going to publish a list of the towns laid out in accordance with the Spanish Law of the Indies?


36 posted on 07/24/2012 7:47:24 PM PDT by aposiopetic
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To: Pharmboy

Looks like a barn to me. What makes it a fort?


37 posted on 07/24/2012 7:57:04 PM PDT by madison10
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To: EggsAckley

this guy?

All-Fort Ancient Valley Cardinal Football Team
Josh Frye, Little Miami (Morrow, Ohio), OL, Senior, 5’9”, 285
http://www.maxpreps.com/news/GrQOOlJcEd-lugAcxJTdpg/ohio—all-fort-ancient-valley-cardinal-football-team.htm


38 posted on 07/24/2012 8:05:00 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Pharmboy; mylife

Thanks for the post, Pharmboy!
PING to a friend who grew up in Ohio.


39 posted on 07/24/2012 8:21:34 PM PDT by MS.BEHAVIN (Women who behave rarely make history)
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To: Pharmboy

In the middle of farm country- I’d suggest it was built as a “blockhouse”, to provide safe haven for field workers, trappers, traders, and a few families to flee for safety in case of an Indian attack. Guns and powder could have been stored there in case they were needed

The stockade could have been added later

Just guessing on the function, based on structures mentioned in my western PA family history, one blockhouse (Lochry’s, dating from about 1773) of which still actually exists in Latrobe PA in a preservation area funded by Arnold Palmer in memory of his late wife Winnie


40 posted on 07/24/2012 8:24:13 PM PDT by silverleaf (Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell)
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To: MS.BEHAVIN

There is a lot of history there.
The oldest building still remaining in the original Connecticut Western Reserve is in my home town.


41 posted on 07/24/2012 8:38:58 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: MS.BEHAVIN

If it dates to 1679, it was surely French.
The Newly formed America did not settle the area until the late 1770s.


42 posted on 07/24/2012 8:46:49 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: silverleaf

There was no “farm country” back in the day.


43 posted on 07/24/2012 8:50:57 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: MS.BEHAVIN

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut_Western_Reserve

From here, the war of 1812 would be won.


44 posted on 07/24/2012 8:57:00 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Some Fat Guy in L.A.

I’m thinking local tavern/trading post/inn.


45 posted on 07/24/2012 9:02:58 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever (The Obamas = rude, crude and socially unacceptable)
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Hazard_Perry


46 posted on 07/24/2012 9:03:49 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Pharmboy

The only thing that does not make sense as a last resort fighting place, is the ground level door.

The slotted window (guns) and the small widow (guns) make sense and the large second level entrance makes sense if the ladder for egress can be retracted.


47 posted on 07/24/2012 9:09:16 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

which is why my hunch is this structure dates from the late 1700’s (post Rev) or very early 1800’s, when settlers were moving into Ohio and were still vulnerable to attacks into the 1790’s (or later into the 1800’s? Ohio historians?)

someone was settled on this land enough to build a stone structure -

just wonder if they have investigated whether the stone is encasing or replaced an older log structure, as has been suggested occurred with some of the original log blockhouses in pre-Rev war PA that are contained within later built homes

That is where they found my ancestor Lochry’s 1774 blockhouse- within a farmhouse built over it
http://www.archaeology.org/online/news/blockhouse.html


48 posted on 07/24/2012 9:10:14 PM PDT by silverleaf (Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell)
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To: Pharmboy

There are some other very interesting sites in Ohio. In Independence, out side of Cleveland, A friend’s Great Grandmother owned a farm on the North East corner of Valley View and Rockside roads, This farm pre-dated the Firelands era, There was an ancient family cemetery right up close to Rockside. The farm was in the Cuyahoga River Valley. On a tall hill on the South East side were the remains of what was rumored to be a fort, and that quite a battle had taken place there, with Indians. When we explored there as kids, all that was left were large sandstone blocks.
The area is now all office and light industrial. I went into the office building that was built over the family graveyard, and asked them if they ever had strange things happening. I told them that i had witnessed the construction of their building, and that I had watched the old family graveyard just plowed under. Some of the people I talked to were quite disturbed by that news.


49 posted on 07/24/2012 9:13:38 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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I have seen similar structures in Apache areas in Az that were small with slotted windows for fighting the indians as a last resort.

Larger wooden structures were built around them over the years and the old “safe” place was a place of last resort for security within the wooden building but not fighting.

Over the ages the wooden structures were lost and only the old hidey hole remains.


50 posted on 07/24/2012 9:17:02 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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