Richland County, Ohio USGenWeb Site
Lafferty - Indian Mound Burial Ground O
Township / Section: Worthington Twp.
(these coordinates are accurate to within 29 feet)
Location Description: See news article below.
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From the MANSFIELD NEWS: 04 June 1899 ...
"The Lafferty mound, about which there is so much speculative query as to whether its' formation was of geological or archaeological origin, with about an equal division of opinion, is situate four miles east of Bellville, on Uriah Lafferty's farm.
The mound is about 100 feet in height and its base covers an area of six acres. It is oblong in shape, extending east and west, and is as symmetrical as though it had been planned by an architect and rounded with a mason's trowel.
The range of elevations called the "divide" between the waters of Lake Erie and the Ohio River traverse Richland, and in the southern part of the county there are chains of hills, separated by narrow valleys, exhibiting a mountainous character. Chestnut Ridge, three miles south of Bellville, has an altitude of 1057 feet above Lake Erie, and is one of the highest elevations in Ohio.
Upon the sides of the valleys through which the streams in Jefferson and Worthington townships course and flow, hills rise in irregular chains, often quite abruptly, and it is about 20 rods from one of these elevations that this mound stands out alone in the valley of the Clear Fork of the Mohican.
If this is a natural mound, it partakes of the Kames kind. It has been suggested by some writers that Kames may have been formed by the action of shore-waves, when the lake-basin was filled to the brim, and that these mounds and ranges of hills were islands and shores. This view is not sustained by any conclusive evidence, but has been offered as a possible and even a probable explanation of a problem of difficult explanation.
The size of the mound does not preclude the probability that it is an artificial earthwork, for Nebuchadnezzar built a mound four times as high within the walls of the city of Babylon, to please a caprice of his wife.
Here in Richland County we have a number of mounds and other earthworks, built by a people we call Mound-builders, centuries ago.
With the aid of geology secrets have been wrung from the past, and light thrown on the manners and customs of primitive man.
Archaeology, or the science of human antiquities, has been called the twin-sister of geology, and these two form a key by whose aid much information has been unlocked from the archives of centuries agone.
These earthworks were built by a people of whom we know but little. From whence they came, how long they remained, why they left, whither they went, and how many centuries ago, are matters of speculative theories for all the knowledge that can be gleamed from the pre-historic past throws but little light on the night of time.
As the Lafferty mound has never been opened nor scientifically examined, theories as to its origin and formation are largely speculative.
Upon the summit of this mound are a number of graves, and the lettering upon the rude headstones of several of them is still partly legible.
Myers families lived near the Kanaga (now Plank's) mills, and in 1823 eight or nine of them died of flux, and their bodies are buried on the crest of this mound. A Burkholder girl was also buried there, and there may have been other interments. Myers were kins people to Jerry Myers, well-known in his time as an engineer on the Sandusky, Mansfield and Newark railroad.
The valley in which this mound stands is one of the most fertile in Ohio. Commencing at Bellville, with the Hines, Lefever and Wilson farms it gradually widens and embraces the Lockhart, Durbin, Garber, Gatton, Lafferty, Traxler and other farms, ere it makes its graceful bend toward Butler.
This valley has been called the garden-spot of Richland County, and is as beautiful in its scenic landscapes as it is productive and rich in its soil. Many of the farms are owned by the descendants of the pioneer families that first settled there. Three of the old-time families are connected by marriage -- the Kanagas, the Laffertys and the Lockharts. And the whole valley is inhabited by a people who are in keeping with the wealth and beauty of their surroundings.
From the summit of the mound, the view to the west is one of enhancing beauty. In the distance, hill-tops notch the horizon and lift their green crowns through the clear, soft atmosphere into the azure sky."
-- A.J. Baughman.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008