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Title: Archeological Investigations - Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 76
Author: Fowke, Gerard, 1855-1933
Language: English
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       *       *       *       *       *







              _Washington, D.C., February 17, 1920._

   SIR: I have the honor to transmit the accompanying manuscript,
   entitled "Archeological Investigations," by Gerard Fowke, and to
   recommend its publication, subject to your approval, as a
   bulletin of this bureau.

    Very respectfully,
            J. WALTER FEWKES,

    _Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution._


I. Cave Explorations in the Ozark Region of Central Missouri

Introduction                                                   13
The Upper Current River                                        18
Shannon County                                                 18
    Bat Cave                                                   18
    Blue Spring, or Fishing Cave                               18
    Welch's Cave                                               18
    Big Creek Cave                                             18
Texas County                                                   19
    Smith Caves                                                19
    Saltpeter Cave                                             19
Dent County                                                    20
    Mammoth Cave                                               20
    Guthoerl Cave                                              20
    Short Bend Cave                                            20
    Money Cave                                                 21
    Saltpeter Cave                                             21
    Watson, Twin, or Onyx Caves                                22
    House mounds                                               22
Phelps County                                                  22
    Bates Cave                                                 22
    Another "Bates Cave"                                       23
    Renaud Cave                                                23
    Marsh Caves                                                23
    Wild-hog Cave                                              23
    Shelters                                                   24
    Phelps Cave                                                24
    "Key Rocks"                                                24
    Jones Cave                                                 24
    Yancy Mills Cave                                           24
    Lane Mound                                                 24
    Cairns on Lost Hill, at mouth of Gourd Creek               24
    Exploration of the Gourd Creek Cave                        28
    Onyx Cave                                                  34
    Goat Bluff Cave                                            35
    Cairns at Sugar Tree Camp                                  40
    Tick Creek Cave                                            41
    Cave in Pool Hollow                                        41
    House mounds near Rolla                                    41
    House mounds near Dillon                                   42
    House mounds near St. James                                42
Pulaski County                                                 42
    McWilliams Cave                                            42
    Davis Caves                                                42
    Berry Cave                                                 43
    Maxey Cave                                                 43
    Yoark Cave                                                 43
    Graves at Laughlin's                                       44
    Kerr Cave                                                  44
    Sell Cave                                                  45
    Phillips Cave                                              51
    Bell's Cave                                                51
    Camp-ground Cave                                           51
    Bucher Cave                                                51
    Graves near McKennan's                                     52
    Roubidoux Cave                                             52
    Richland Cave                                              52
    Rollins Caves                                              52
    Mix Cave                                                   53
    Double Cave                                                54
    Railroad Cave                                              55
    Bat, or Page, Cave                                         55
    Tunnel Cave                                                56
    Brooks Cave                                                56
    Riddle Cave                                                56
    Lane's Cave                                                56
    Dry Creek Cave                                             56
    House mounds                                               56
    Riden's Cave                                               57
    Saltpeter Cave                                             57
    Miller's Cave                                              57
    Ramsey's Cave                                              81
    Graham Cave                                                83
    Pillman's, or Spring Creek, Cave                           83
    Woodland Hollow Cave                                       84
    Walled graves at Devil's Elbow                             84
    Cairns on Helm's farm                                      87
    Ash Cave                                                   89
    Clemmens Creek Cave                                        89
Camden County                                                  89
    Along the Niangua River                                    89
    A fossil cave                                              91
Miller County                                                  91
    Wright Cave                                                92
    Wilson Cave                                                94
    Bagnell Cave                                               94
    Bode Cave                                                  94
    Luckenhoff Cave                                            94
    Jurggenmeyer Cave                                          94
    Daerhoff Cave                                              95
    Cave near mouth of Tavern Creek                            95
    Bat Cave                                                   95
    Grave at mouth of Saline Creek                             95
    Stark's Cave                                               96
    House mounds                                               96
    Cairns                                                     96
Maries County                                                  96
    Indian Ford Cave                                           96
    Lackaye's Bluff Cave                                       97
    Hurricane Bluff Cave                                       97
    Stratman Cave                                              98
Osage County                                                   98
    River Cave                                                 98
    Rock-shelter                                               98
    Steuffer Cave                                              99
    Cairns                                                     99
    House mounds                                               99
    "Indian Fort"                                              99
Cole County                                                   100
    Natural Bridge Cave                                       100
Morgan County                                                 100
    Speers Cave                                               100
    House mounds                                              100


Introduction                                                  101
Indiana                                                       102
    Lawrence County                                           102
    Martin County                                             102
    Orange County                                             106
    Crawford County                                           107
    Harrison County                                           111
Illinois                                                      111
    Monroe County                                             111
Kentucky                                                      112
    Hardin County                                             112
    Hart County                                               112
    Edmonson County                                           115
    Warren County                                             118
    Barren County                                             119
    Monroe County                                             120
    Logan County                                              122
    Todd County                                               122
Tennessee                                                     123
    Montgomery County                                         123
    Sullivan County                                           124
    Bledsoe County                                            128
    Sequatchie County                                         130
    Grundy County                                             131
    Franklin County                                           131
    Marion County                                             132
    Hamilton County                                           133
Alabama                                                       133
    Lauderdale County                                         133
    Colbert County                                            134
    Jackson County                                            135
    Dekalb County                                             137
    Marshall County                                           139


Vicinity of White Cloud, Kansas                               151
    Iowa Point                                                152
    Near the mouth of the Nemaha River                        152
Vicinity of Troy, Kansas                                      153
    Mouth of Mosquito Creek                                   153
Rulo, Nebraska                                                154
Near Howe, Nebraska                                           155
Peru, Nebraska                                                156
Papillion, Nebraska                                           156
Vicinity of Omaha, Nebraska                                   156
    Long's Hill                                               157


New Madrid County                                             166
St. François County                                           166


Introduction                                                  178
Molokai Island                                                179
    The Rain Heiau                                            180
    The sacrifice stones                                      181
Hawaii Island                                                 182
    Kilauea                                                   183
    Waimea                                                    183
    Quarry on Mauna Kea                                       183
    Kawaihae                                                  183
    East Point district                                       184
    Napoopoo                                                  184
    Honaunau                                                  184
    Keauhou                                                   185
    Mookini                                                   185
    Laupahoehoe                                               187
Maui Island                                                   188
    Kaupo, or Mokulau                                         188
    Wailuku                                                   188
    Waihee                                                    189
    Burial places                                             190
    In the Iao Valley                                         191
Kauai Island                                                  191
    Lihue                                                     192
    Wailua                                                    192
    Dune burials                                              193
    Waimea                                                    194
Conclusions                                                   194
Index                                                         197



 1. a, Cave on Big Piney River, Pulaski County, Mo.
    b, Cave on Big Piney River, Texas County, Mo.              12

 2. a, Bluff at Mouth of Spring Creek, Pulaski County,
    Mo. b, Pillman's, or Spring Creek, Cave, Pulaski
    County, Mo.                                                12

 3. Map of area examined                                       18

 4. Bone and antler implements from Gourd Creek Cave,
    Phelps County, Mo.                                         34

 5. Shell and flint objects from Gourd Creek Cave              34

 6. Skull from Goat Bluff Cave, Phelps County, Mo.             38

 7. Skull from Goat Bluff Cave                                 38

 8. Skull from Goat Bluff Cave                                 38

 9. Skull of child from Goat Bluff Cave                        38

10. Flints from Goat Bluff Cave                                38

11. Bone and antler implements from Goat Bluff Cave            38

12. Bone and antler implements from Goat Bluff Cave            38

13. a, Cairn 6 miles north of Arlington, Mo. b, Walled
    grave 6 miles north of Arlington, Mo.                      38

14. Cairns on Roubidoux Creek, 6 miles from Waynesville,
    Mo.                                                        46

15. Flints from Sell Cave, near Waynesville, Mo.               46

16. Objects from Sell Cave. a, Pestles or grinding
    stones; b, celt, pottery disks, paint stones, and
    skiver                                                     46

17. Three skulls from Pulaski County, Mo. a, b, Skull
    from Sell Cave; c, d, skull from Bell's Cave, near
    Waynesville; e, f, skull from Miller's Cave                46

18. Teeth from Sell Cave and other caves, showing manner
    and amount of wear                                         48

19. Teeth from Sell Cave and other caves, showing manner
    and amount of wear                                         48

20. a, b, Skull from Miller's Cave, Pulaski County,
    Mo.; c, part of skull of child from Miller's Cave          68

21. Skull of young woman from Miller's Cave                    68

22. Skull of child from Miller's Cave                          72

23. Diseased tibia of adult and diseased bones of child
    from Miller's Cave                                         72

24. Skull of child from Miller's Cave                          72

25. Cache of flints from ash bed in Miller's Cave              72

26. Flints from Miller's Cave                                  76

27. Flints from Miller's Cave                                  76

28. Flints from Miller's Cave                                  76

29. Axes and pestles from Miller's Cave                        76

30. Bone implements from Miller's Cave                         78

31. Bone implements from Miller's Cave                         78

32. Bone implements from Miller's Cave                         78

33. Bone implements from Miller's Cave                         78

34. Bone and antler implements from Miller's Cave              78

35. Antler implements from Miller's Cave                       78

36. Skivers, showing stages of manufacture, from Miller's
    Cave                                                       78

37. Shell spoons, pottery disks, and broken spoon made of
    a deer's skull, from Miller's Cave                         78

38. a, Heiaus A and B, on Molokai Island, looking west;
    b, Heiau A, on Molokai Island, looking north; c,
    Heiaus A and B, on Molokai Island, looking south          180

39. a, Heiau A, on Molokai Island, looking south; b,
    platform in Heiau A, looking southeast; c, paved way
    in Heiau A, looking southwest                             180

40. a, Paved way in Heiau A, looking north; b,
    fireplace in Heiau A                                      180

41. a, Heiau B, on Molokai Island, looking northwest;
    b, Heiau B, showing stone-paved interior, looking
    northeast                                                 180

42. a, The "Rain Heiau," Molokai Island, looking west;
    b, The "Rain Heiau," looking south                        180

43. a, The "Rain Heiau," looking north; b, The "Rain
    Heiau," looking southwest                                 180

44. a, The "Sacrifice Stones," on Molokai Island,
    looking southwest; b, The "Sacrifice Stones,"
    looking west                                              180

45. a, The "Sacrifice Stones," looking northwest; b,
    the "Sacrifice Stones," looking south                     180


1. Outline of Cairn (1), at Lost Hill, Phelps County, Mo.      26

2. Outline of Cairn (2), at Lost Hill, Phelps County, Mo.      26

3. Pipe from Cairn (2)                                         27

4. Outline of Cairn (3), Lost Hill                             28

5. Fragment of glass bottle from Goat Bluff Cave               37

6. Pot from Goat Bluff Cave                                    39

7. Grooved ax from Goat Bluff Cave                             40

8. Perforated object of antler from Sell Cave                  48

9. Rubbing or polishing stone from Sell Cave                   48

10. Flints from Sell Cave                                      49

11. Incised figure in sandstone near Miller's Cave             61

12. Incised figures in sandstone near Miller's Cave            61

13. Plan of Miller's Cave                                      62

14. Clay pipe from Miller's Cave                               69

15. Perforated bone object from Miller's Cave                  79

16. Adz or gouge of chert from Miller's Cave                   79

17. Clay pipe from Miller's Cave                               80

18. Columella bead from Cairn (4), Devil's Elbow               87

19. Columella bead from Cairn (5), Devil's Elbow               87

20. Plan of Fossil Cave                                        92

21. Section of Fossil Cave                                     92

22. Perforator and knife from Wright Cave                      93

23. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 18 feet             144

24. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 20 feet             144

25. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 22 feet             144

26. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 26 feet             145

27. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 28 feet             145

28. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 30 feet             145

29. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 35½ feet            146

30. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 47½ feet            146

31. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 60 feet             146

32. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 70 feet             147

33. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 90 feet             147

34. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 93 feet             148

35. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 175 feet            149

36. Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 180 feet            149

37. Plan of House Mound in St. François County, Mo.           168

       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: PLATE 1 a, Cave on Big Piney River, three miles
  east of Big Piney, Pulaski County. Mo. (Courtesy of Dr. P.J.
  Heuer, St. Louis)]

  [Illustration: PLATE 1 b, Cave on Big Piney River, in Texas
  County, Mo. (Courtesy of Dr. P.J. Heuer, St. Louis)]

  [Illustration: PLATE 2 a, Bluff at mouth of Spring Creek, Pulaski
  County, Mo. (Courtesy of Dr. P.J. Heuer, St. Louis)]

  [Illustration: PLATE 2 b, Pillman's, or Spring Creek, Cave,
  Pulaski County, Mo. (Courtesy of Dr. P.J. Heuer, St. Louis)]





The geological structure of that portion of southern Missouri which
lies to the westward of the Archean rocks near the Mississippi River
is peculiarly suitable for the development of caverns. The Ozark
uplift produced far-reaching undulations, and there seem to have been
no violent disturbances which would result in extensive faults,
considerable displacements, or a pronounced inclination of the strata.
Jointing and pressure cleavage, however, gave rise to innumerable
crevices in the limestone, through which percolating surface water
found its way into all parts of the formations. By its solvent power
this water gradually enlarged the crevices into passages which,
multiplying and uniting, drained constantly increasing areas until
they formed subterranean streams with a perpetual flow. Thus began
caverns; and these grew in depth, width, and height as the rock was
eroded and dissolved. Tributary crevices were subject to the same
action; and there was finally created by each of these water systems a
network of cavities whose ramifications sometimes extend throughout
several townships. In time, sections of the roof, here and there,
became so thin from the combined erosion taking place both above and
below as to be unable to sustain their own weight; the overlying
strata fell into the cave, and the volume of water flowing through it
was augmented by drainage which had previously been disposed of on the
surface. All this had to seek an outlet somewhere, except in those
rare instances where it maintains its downward course until, below the
level of any open stream it can reach, it encounters an impervious
stratum and must lose itself in the deep rocks. Usually, however, it
emerges in the face of a bluff or on the side of a hill; and the
opening becomes "the mouth of a cave." Occasionally, in such
situations, the water continues to flow out; but usually it finds a
way to reach a lower level, and so the cave in time becomes dry
except for such water as seeps through from the earth immediately
above. Sometimes, too, the point of discharge is at or perhaps
somewhat below the level of a stream into which it passes; in the
Ozarks are numerous very large springs or fountains which by inverted
siphon or artesian action are forced up from subterranean streams
lying at a greater depth.

Few large caverns have the floor entirely dry, even when they are well
above the bottom of the valley. Deposits in the front portion may be
dry, perhaps dusty on the surface; but toward the interior moisture
usually accumulates until they are muddy or until the water stands in
pools or puddles. When this is the case there is sometimes a little
stream making its way to the front through a channel which it has cut;
or seepage may dampen, possibly saturate, the lowermost portions of
the otherwise dry earth. These details are controlled principally by
the direction and degree of slopes and by side openings which allow
more or less of the water to escape at some part of its journey.

When a cavern is fairly lighted and has a dry floor, whether of rock
or earth, it forms an excellent abode for a small community unable or
not disposed to construct shelters more comfortable or convenient; and
there is abundant evidence that many caves in the Ozarks were utilized
as habitations by the aborigines. It must be remembered, however, that
in the centuries which have elapsed since hunters or permanent
occupants first entered this region, many superficial changes have
taken place, not only about the entrances but within the caverns as
well. Very probably these alterations have converted caves once
occupied into places which at present are quite unfit for such
purposes. Talus has accumulated in front of the openings or partially
filled the front chambers; it may well be the case that this conceals
much refuse. Caves which, from similar deposits, are now difficult to
enter and dark to the doorway, may have been open and convenient.
Furthermore, caves with wet or muddy bottoms may owe such condition to
causes which have recently come into operation; or if they always
contained more or less water, the primitive dwellers could in many
cases have overcome such disadvantages by digging drains which have
since become choked and obliterated. Very small cavities, such as deep
rock-shelters; or caverns with a great thickness of earth on the
floors, now showing no trace of remains; or those with entrances so
small that it is necessary to crawl through--any of these, if cleared
out to the bottoms, might disclose material dating back to very early

It might seem that the air in a cave constantly occupied would grow
stale and close; while smoke from the fires would in time become
annoying. But Indians used for fuel only dry wood and bark, the smoke
from which would be a negligible factor. The varying pressure of the
atmosphere outside creates a current of air in or out which is usually
imperceptible but which penetrates to the deepest recesses and insures

In view of the very primitive conditions under which cave dwellers
lived, as denoted by the artificial objects which they left, and the
low mentality indicated by the skulls, Mr. W.H. Holmes suggests that a
careful and extended study of these abodes may disclose a culture
lower than that prevailing among out-door dwellers in the same
localities. As no effort would be required to secure warmth and
shelter, and as food was abundant and easily procured, the people may
never have advanced from savagery, or may have retrograded.

None of these possibilities are taken into account when reporting upon
the caves described in the following pages; the information offered is
based entirely upon the present appearance of the places mentioned. To
attempt more would be merely offering guesses.

If "Cave Man"--using this term to designate the predecessor of any
race or tribe known to history--ever existed in the Mississippi Valley
he would not find in any part of it natural features better adapted
for his requirements than in the Ozark hills. But, so far, not the
slightest trace of his presence has been revealed. Products of human
industry have been reported as occurring at great depths under other
conditions, even at the bottom of the loess; though in all such cases
there is some uncertainty as to the correctness of the observations.
No similar reports have been made in regard to any cave yet explored.
On the contrary, whatever may be the depth of the deposit containing
them, the artificial objects exhumed are uniform in character from top
to bottom; the specimens found on the clay or solid rock floor are of
the same class as those barely covered by the surface earth. Moreover,
when they cease to appear they cease absolutely; the rock was swept
bare, or the clay was deposited, by the stream to which the cave owes
its existence, and each is a part of the original formation. In these
circumstances habitation would be out of the question.

By careful search in the caves and rock-shelters of which the Indian
known to history availed himself, extensive and interesting museum
collections can be made. To find an earlier man it will be necessary
to investigate caverns which he found suitable for occupancy and in
which the accumulation of detritus, from whatever source, has been
sufficient to cover his remains so deeply that they can not be
confused with those of a later period; and it may be necessary, also,
to discover with them bones of extinct animals. Should such a place
exist, it is extremely probable that there will be no outward
indication of the fact.

No examination of a cavern is complete or is to be deemed satisfactory
unless a depth is reached where the geological deposits are
undeniably of such age as to antedate the possible appearance of man
upon the scene. This is not assured until the excavation has reached
the original floor, which may be either the bed-rock or the clay left
by the eroding stream when its volume had become so diminished from
any cause that it was no longer able to keep its channel cleared out.
Unless a cave is almost perfectly dry--and few of them are--the bottom
can not be reached until all standing or soil water has been drained

Notwithstanding the most explicit directions, a stranger without a
guide is frequently unable to find a cave unless its position is
plainly visible from some well-defined spot. The winding valleys and
the multitude of ravines sometimes bewilder even those living among

A few definitions of terms, or explanations of statements in the
report, may prevent misunderstanding.

"Refuse," "signs," "indications," "evidence," referring to habitation
or occupancy, mean mussel shells; animal bones; burned or worked
stones; broken pottery; wrought objects of bone or shell; flint
implements, chips, or spalls; ashes; charcoal; in short, the material
ordinarily found on the site of an Indian village, some or all of
which are to be seen where the caverns have been used for shelter.

"Daylight" or "in daylight" is the greatest distance within the
entrance to a cavern at which common print may be easily read or the
nature of small objects lying on the floor determined with certainty.

"Drip rock," "cave rock," or "cave formation" are general terms
including stalactite or stalagmite; also deposits of similar origin
coating the walls. Not all of these may be present in the same cavern.

"Roof dust" is a substance, literally "lime sand," produced by the
superficial disintegration of the roof or walls. This process is
greatly accelerated where lichen or rock moss has gained a root hold
on the stone. Roof dust in a dry cavern is the equivalent of
stalagmite in a wet one.

"Cave earth" is the loose, loamy material usually found in the front
chambers of large caverns. It is made up of roof dust, sand, and silt
washed from the interior, outside dust and vegetable matter blown in
by the wind, with minute amounts of clay or soil carried in by

"Gravel" in a cavern is seldom noticeably water-worn, but is the
angular débris resulting from the continued fragmentation of chert
nodules released by erosion of the limestone.

A "rock shelter," or "shelter cave," is a room or recess formed by
atmospheric erosion in the face, usually at the base, of a cliff. The
depth from front to back, under the projecting or overhanging
unremoved bedrock above, is generally much less than the length as
measured along the face of the bluff. They are nearly always dry, more
or less protected from storms, and when of suitable size and in a
favorable location were much used as camping places. They are rather
rare in limestone formations but frequent in massive sandstone.

"House mounds" are small, low piles of earth, similar in all respects
to those so numerous in southeastern Missouri and southward. Although
they are usually described as "standing in regular rows," they are in
fact irregularly placed, though seldom as much as 100 feet apart in
the same group.

Measurements of caverns explored were made with a tape line; others
were estimated by stepping, or in the case of elevations, by sighting,
consequently are only approximate, but the figures given will in no
case exceed the actual distance.

Specimens reported from caves not excavated were found on the floor,
sometimes in situations where no addition of cave earth had taken
place since the objects were left there; at other times where they
were brought from below by burrowing animals; and, again, where they
are exposed in the bed or banks of a drainage channel.

In no cave so far examined has any evidence been found to show that
the aborigines occupied any part of it beyond such point as was
adequately illuminated from the entrance. No doubt they may, at times,
have retreated beyond the reach of daylight and been compelled to
dispel the darkness by means of fires; but such instances were rare
and of short duration. Statements are sometimes made that specimens,
usually flint implements, have been found far, possibly several
hundred yards, within the cavern. Such objects do not predicate
habitation at that distance; primitive explorers may have lost them.
It has been pointed out, too, by Mr. De Lancey Gill, that a wounded
animal, taking refuge in a cave and instinctively seeking its dark
recesses, may carry in an arrow or spear whose point remains when the
shaft has decayed. In the case of a large mammal, such as a bear or a
panther, a number of arrow or spear heads might be carried in and be
found close together long after the death of the victim.

Cairns or stone-covered graves are of common occurrence; but with a
single exception the rocks in all those visited or reported are more
or less displaced. This is due to hunters digging out small wild
animals making a den in them; to treasure seekers who believe that
"money" is concealed in them; and most of all to persons who are
curious to know "what there is in there."

The record of the investigations will be given by counties, beginning
at the south and proceeding northward. Descriptions and notes of the
sites mentioned will follow as closely as possible the same
arrangement. A number following the name of a cave refers to its
position as denoted by a corresponding number on the map (pl. 3).


A number of well-known caverns, some of them quite extensive, exist
along the head streams forming the Current River. As originally
planned, the work included a thorough survey of this region, but owing
to various causes it was only partially examined. Several large caves
were reported as being along the river and its tributaries farther
down than these researches were carried. Notable is one opposite the
mouth of Sinkin Creek, which was described as dry and very large
within; but it was also stated that it can only be entered through a
sink hole with the aid of a ladder or pole 30 feet long. Such a cave
is not likely to have been used for shelter. Others, as they were
described, seemed equally unfitted for this purpose. The only
exception to this general rule is one in Spring Valley south of the
Current and east of Sinkin.

Such as were visited will be described in their geographical order.

                    *    *    *



This cavern is 6 miles above the mouth of Sinkin. It is near the top
of a cliff, fully 300 feet above the river. The entrance is 30 feet
wide and 10 feet high; within is a level earth-covered floor. Being
very difficult of access, it was probably never inhabited.


This is situated on the Terrell land, 4 miles below Akers post office.
The entrance, 10 feet high and 20 feet wide, is almost at low-water
level; the river at flood height rises fully 20 feet above its top.
Fifty feet within is a spring or well, 20 feet across, whose bottom is
beyond the reach of a line 60 feet long. It is said that eyeless fish
of 3 pounds weight have been caught in this "Blue Spring."


This is 4 miles below Cedar Grove. It can be entered only in a boat,
and the entire floor is deeply covered with soft mud.


There is a cave at the mouth of Big Creek which is often used as a
temporary camping place by hunters and fishermen. The water enters
it whenever there is a freshet in either the creek or the river; so it
could never have served as a place of permanent abode.

  [Illustration: PLATE 3: MAP OF AREA EXAMINED
  (Numbers refer to corresponding numbers in text)]

                    *    *    *



On James I. Smith's land, on Big Creek, a mile above Niles, are three
caves. One is merely a round opening 5 feet in width and height, soon
narrowing to a crevice; it would not be mentioned except that in it
was a sandstone slab such as mortars are made of. This bore no marks
of use; but it had been carried in for some purpose--possibly by white

The second cave, 50 feet from the first, has an entrance 20 feet wide
and 4 to 5 feet high. Dry earth extends back for 40 feet; then come
clay and fallen rocks, sloping downward toward the rear. The roof
maintains its level as far as followed. No trace of occupation could
be found.

The third cave, 150 yards from the second, has an entrance 35 feet
wide and 20 feet high. Dry cave earth appears for 20 feet, at which
distance it merges with mud containing large rocks. The cavern extends
for 50 feet in daylight; water from the interior spreads over the
whole floor to the inner margin of dry earth, where it collects in a
little stream which passes out along the foot of one wall. The earth
deposit seems to be thin. The only objects that could be found in the
cave or about the entrance were a small sandstone slab, unmarked; a
small piece of deer bone; and one fragment of shell-tempered pottery.
Not a flake of flint was seen.

These caves are not worth working.

       *       *       *       *       *

A fourth of a mile from the cave last mentioned is a rock grave on a
ledge which projects at about 40 feet (vertically) below the top of
the hill. As near as can be judged, in its present torn-up condition,
the cairn was originally about 10 by 20 feet in dimensions; so there
were probably two graves covered by the ordinary conical heaps of
stone, the depression between them being filled up to form a single


Five miles west of Montauk, on Ashley Creek, is a cave noted for
having two entrances which are separated by a triangular mass of rock,
part of the original formation. This partition measures 30 feet across
at the face of the bluff and terminates within 20 feet. The principal
opening is 90 feet wide and 15 feet high. Dry cave earth extends back
90 feet, at which distance water constantly falls from the roof and
flows along the foot of one wall through the minor entrance. The
latter is 30 feet wide, 10 feet high, and its bottom is 10 feet lower
than that of the main opening. The volume of water passing out varies
with the seasons, but is sufficient at times to cover the entire floor
of the side chamber and keep it swept free of earth and small gravel.

In the front portion of the main cavern the dry earth is 5 feet deep
in its thickest part; but as it has all been leached for obtaining the
saltpeter or niter diffused through it, none of it is in the original
position. Some earth has also been brought from farther back, leached,
and added to the pile in front; and much of this has been hauled out
for fertilizer.

Near the main entrance is a large mass of breccia made up of small
angular limestone fragments cemented throughout with stalagmite
material; it projects several feet above the present level of the
earth floor, so the character of the cavern must have changed greatly
since this deposit was formed.

The only artificial object found was a fragment, about an inch across,
of dark, sand-tempered pottery.

Owing to the extensive changes resulting from collecting the
saltpeter, the cavern would not repay investigation.

                    *    *    *



The statement has been made that a large dry cavern, known as the
"Mammoth Cave," is in a bluff facing Current River, opposite the mouth
of Ashley Creek. It could not be located; and residents in the
vicinity assert that not only is there no cave near this site, but
there is none known as "Mammoth" anywhere in the region. Some of them,
however, had a vague idea that a cavern bearing the same name exists
"away down toward Eminence; it may be on Jack's Fork."


There is a cave on the farm of Peter Guthoerl, 6 miles east of Salem.
It is small, with very little level space in front of it, and water
from the interior runs or seeps out of it, keeping the floor muddy
throughout the year.


Short Bend post office is 12 miles northeast of Salem. Half a mile
east of it, in a bluff on the opposite side of the Meramec River, is a
cave with an entrance 25 feet wide and about the same in height; the
roof forming a fairly symmetrical Gothic arch. Were it not for the
pile of talus in front, water from the river would pour into the
cavern in extreme floods; these subside very rapidly, however, and
have never percolated through the barrier.

It is said that persons digging in a desultory way have unearthed
bones which were assumed to be those of Indians because they were
"red." No description of them could be obtained, and they may not have
been human bones at all.

The floor is level and dry for about 80 feet back from the entrance,
but no refuse of any kind appeared, except in the pile of talus
outside, which showed a small quantity of flint chips such as would be
left by hunting parties in repairing their weapons.


This is a fourth of a mile down the river from Short Bend Cave. It
takes its name from the customary tradition that Indians concealed a
large treasure here; the legend being authenticated by an "Indian
chief" who told a white man that his people had buried much gold in a
cave in this bluff, built a fire over the money, then filled the mouth
of the cave with earth and rock. Some of the persons who opened many
small holes in searching for the hidden wealth claim to have found
ashes in this cave, behind the barrier, which is only ordinary talus.
The floor is of tough clay, fallen rocks, and stalagmite, all of
which, as well as the walls and ledges, were industriously dug and
hammered for months by the treasure seekers.

A cave with an entrance 15 feet wide, the same in height, and having a
depth of 45 feet in daylight, lies between Money Cave and Short Bend
Cave. In very wet seasons water runs through it from the interior; and
high water backs into it from the Meramec River.


This is three-fourths of a mile north of Short Bend post office, on
the opposite side of the river. The arched entrance is 25 feet wide
and 20 feet high. Fifteen feet from the front the cave divides into
two branches about equal in size; they have never been explored to the
end. One branch continues straight back for about 100 feet, then turns
abruptly to the right for 50 or 60 feet, at which distance it resumes
its original direction. The other branch turns directly to the right
and is in daylight for 50 feet. Much of the cave earth has been hauled
away for fertilizer, or leached for obtaining saltpeter, so that only
a small quantity remains in front. Farther back, in both chambers, the
dry earth where not disturbed is 8 to 10 feet thick.

The cavern is easily accessible, close to the river, and otherwise
well adapted for habitation; but careful search failed to reveal any
indication that it had ever been thus used.


The two caverns thus variously designated are on the Meramec River, 14
miles north of Salem. They are parallel to a depth of about 100 feet,
being separated by only 10 or 12 feet of solid wall. The floors of
both slope downward from front to rear, but not so rapidly as the
roof, so that at this distance the caves apparently come to an end.
But that they continue back into the hill is manifest from the
appearance of the roofs. In some manner the rear portion of each has
become entirely filled with earth. Probably they unite somewhere
beyond this point.

Either of these caves is of ample size to make an excellent shelter
for a large number of people; but they are difficult of access, and no
evidence whatever could be discovered indicating occupancy.

In fact, this part of the Meramec Valley does not seem to have ever
been permanently inhabited. Residents say that relics, even flint
implements, are seldom found in the bottom lands; and this fact was
commented on by persons who have learned how common such things are in
other localities. Small, rough hematite axes, however, occur in
considerable quantities throughout the region. The ore outcrops at
various places and solid nodules or fragments are plentiful. Chert
knives or spearheads are found scattered promiscuously; and, rarely,
an object made of other stone may be picked up. Very few specimens of
any description are symmetrical or carefully finished.


On the Dent County infirmary farm, in Spring Creek Valley, a mile and
a half south of Salem, is a group of house mounds, about 50 in number.
They have not been much disturbed by cultivation; the creek and a
drainage ditch have cut through several of them, but, as usual, there
is nothing in the construction to show their purpose.

Two similar groups are on the Short Bend road, not far from Salem;
another group on Peter Guthoerl's farm 6 miles east of Salem; and a
fourth group, partly within the corporate limits of Salem, on the road
to Rolla.

                    *    *    *



On the farm of J.W. Riden, 6 miles southeast of Big Piney post office,
is Bates Cave, of which every visitor to the region is speedily
informed. It is entered with difficulty by sliding feet first down the
inner slope of a pile of débris which fills the entrance almost to
the roof. Once beyond this, there is ample space. On the hillside,
above the mouth, is a vertical shaft, like a well, due to the widening
of a crevice; access to the interior of the cave may also be had
through this by means of a long rope. Under present conditions, it
would not be used except as a temporary shelter or hiding place; for
which purposes bushwhackers availed themselves of its advantages
during the Civil War.

This cavern is renowned far beyond its merits on account of its famous
"ballroom," where dances and picnics are held; artificial lights being
placed on the walls. Possibly the manner in which it must be entered
has something to do with its popularity.


Within a few rods of the cave above described is another, with an
entrance 60 feet wide and 10 feet high. Cave earth, which is 5 feet
thick above the bottom of a small stream coming from the interior,
extends back to large rocks covering the floor; beyond these are
rocks, wet clay, and gravel. The cave earth seems to run for some
distance under the receding walls. A milk house has been constructed
in it, so that excavations are not permitted.


Four miles east of Edgar Springs, facing Little Piney, is Renaud
(R[)e]n´n[=o]) Cave, on the farm of Charles E. Widener. The entrance
is 50 feet wide and 10 feet high. Dry cave earth extends back for 65
feet, then comes fallen rock for 100 feet or more. A little stream
runs close to the north wall. Cave earth is 5 feet deep on the bedrock
at the entrance and rises toward the interior. There is much refuse
within and also on the slope in front of the entrance.


A shelter cave on Henry Marsh's farm, facing Little Piney, 2 miles
south of Yancy Mills, has a front 35 feet wide, 15 feet high, and runs
back 60 feet. There is a wet-weather stream bed through the center.
Bedrock shows at the entrance, rising toward the rear for a few feet,
then becoming covered with cave earth, which probably has a maximum
thickness of 2 feet. There is considerable refuse scattered about, but
it is doubtful whether the shallow deposit would repay investigation.


A fourth of a mile from the above cave is one known as "Wild-hog
Cave," because in pioneer days these animals gathered here for shelter
and protection. It is a small, tunnel-like affair, with a solid rock
floor, and extends farther into the hill than anyone has ever dared to


Two small rock shelters near the Wild-hog Cave may have been resorted
to as temporary camping places.


A cave on the farm of James Phelps, 2 miles south of Yancy Mills, is
described as small, with a narrow entrance.


Near Yancy Mills there is something known as "the Key Rocks." It can
not be found by a stranger and no guide was available at the time the
place was sought. It is described as a small, deep, circular hole in
solid rock, in which were many stone covers or lids, one above
another, gradually diminishing in size and "cut to fit down on each
other." It is probably due to stream erosion.


On Little Piney, half a mile south from Yancy Mills, is a large cave
on the Jones farm. It is said to have a large entrance and much earth
on the floor. As the owner uses it for a warehouse in which to store
fruits and vegetables and utilizes the stream flowing through it for
preserving milk and butter, no examination could be made.


There is a small, shallow cave near the top of the bluff, half a mile
north of Yancy Mills. It contains no evidence of occupation, except
that walls and ceiling are blackened with smoke, due, probably, to
modern refugees or hunters.


It was reported, too late to visit the site, that on George Lane's
farm, on Little Piney, a mile north of Yancy Mills, is a mound "8 feet
high, built of earth," and surrounded with the usual evidences of a
village site, scattered over the level bottom on which it stands.


Gourd Creek flows into the east side of Little Piney River 12 miles
southwest of Rolla. It is less than 4 miles long, and but for three or
four large springs near its source, which keep its volume fairly
uniform, would be dry most of the year.

Parallel with it, a short distance to the southward, is a ravine
several miles in length, known as Coal Pit Hollow. This originally
discharged its drainage into Little Piney about half a mile above the
mouth of Gourd Creek. A ravine tributary to the latter, near its
mouth, has worked back until it has captured the flow of Coal Pit. The
lower end of the stream bed thus abandoned now forms a gap or
depression with a slight incline from the center in both directions.
The crest of the deserted portion is about 50 to 60 feet above the
present level of Little Piney. The hill inclosed by this quadrilateral
drainage is about a fourth of a mile in length along its top, has a
direction almost north and south, with a nearly uniform slope along
the summit, the southern point being somewhat higher than that at the
north, and terminates abruptly at each end. The sides descend at once
from the center line of the ridge, like a roof with a slightly rounded

On account of its isolated position the eminence is locally known as
"Lost Hill." It is not to be confused, however, with several similar
formations in this region, to which the same term is applied and which
may owe their existence to a like cause, or may be due to cut-offs by

On the top of this particular Lost Hill are six cairns, five of them
near the northern end, the sixth just where the ridge breaks off to
the south. The margins are uncertain owing to the upper stones being
scattered by hunters as well as by credulous individuals who are
firmly fixed in the belief that all such "rock piles" contain gold
hidden by Indians.

So far as can now be determined the five at the northern end were 16
to 18 feet across as left by the builders, the southernmost one being
somewhat smaller. All are in uncleared land, and crevices between the
stones are filled with a tangled mass of roots from the trees and
bushes growing on and around them.

The relative positions are about thus, measurements being made on the
earth between the scattered stones: (1) 10 feet, (2) 10 feet, (3) 50
feet, (4) 10 feet, (5) 1,000 feet, (6). The distance from (5) to (6)
is estimated by stepping and may vary considerably either way from the
measure given.

Cairns (1), (2), and (3) were thoroughly excavated.


This, the farthest north, was about 16 by 17 feet within the original
limits. When the outer loose rocks were removed there was disclosed a
wall of flat stones on the natural surface, so laid as to form an
inclosure apparently intended to be practically square. It measured,
across the center, from outside to outside, about 14 feet from north
to south by 12 feet from east to west. The north and south walls were
straight, the others outwardly curved. The approximate outline is
shown in figure 1. In most parts the wall was only one stone high; in
a few places there was another rock laid up. Over and within this wall
had been piled loose stones, ranging in size from small pebbles to
fragments of 150 pounds in weight, to form a heap whose original
height was about 2 feet.

  [Illustration: FIG. 1.--Outline of Cairn (1), at Lost Hill, Phelps
  County, Mo.]

When all these were cleared away the space within the wall was found
to measure 9 feet in each direction. Three feet from the middle of the
west wall was a fragment of a child's skull lying on the undisturbed
angular gravel which forms the natural surface on this ridge except
where a small amount of recently decayed humus may be held by rocks
and roots. Halfway between the center and the north wall was the top
of an adult skull, with three fragments of long bones. These, which
were much gnawed by rodents, were in black earth, evidently the former
home of some burrowing animal.

A foot north of the infant's skull were small remnants of an adult's
skull, probably belonging with the piece first found. There were also
some scraps of animal bones, much gnawed.


This measured from 16 to 18 feet across to the outer edge of the loose
stones, and about 30 inches high. Under the top rocks was a rough wall
similar to that in Cairn (1), but all the sides were nearly straight.
The outline is given in figure 2. The outside measurements, across the
center, were 15 feet each way. There were more stones in this wall
than in the first; mostly there were two, and in some places three,

  [Illustration: FIG. 2.--Outline of Cairn (2), at Lost Hill, Phelps
  County, Mo.]

Extending from north to south across the middle of the vault was a row
of large slabs standing on edge with their tops leaning toward the
east. Their inclination varied from nearly horizontal to nearly
vertical; so it would appear that they were not placed thus
intentionally but had settled irregularly. Probably they had formed
the covering of a pen or vault, of poles or timbers, in which a body
had been placed.

Close to these inclined slabs, near the north wall of the vault, was
the effigy pipe shown in figure 3. It is made of a fine-grained
sandstone and seems intended to represent a buzzard with an
exaggerated tail, though the beak is more like that of a crow. This
specimen lay between two flat rocks which were separated by a little
earth and gravel, but there were no traces of bone with it or near it.

  [Illustration: FIG. 3.--Pipe from Cairn (2).]

At a slightly lower level than the pipe were several flat stones
standing at various angles. When these were removed there were found
fragmentary remains of at least three adults, lying in confusion, as
if only the folded dismembered skeletons had been placed here. They
lay on a floor of slabs which, in turn, rested upon undisturbed

The facts observed are difficult to interpret, as the original order
was so broken up; but it would seem that as a preliminary to the
burial of bodies or skeletons, the superficial earth had been scraped
away and a rough stone floor laid, on which the bundled or folded
remains were placed and at least partially covered with earth and
gravel. Other flat rocks were then laid over them, either directly on
the earth or more probably supported by poles placed across, whose
decay had allowed them to fall into the confusion in which they were

A small flint knife was among the remains.

The pipe, being at a little distance from these bones, would suggest
another interment; but as no trace of such remained it may have been
placed as an afterthought or a separate deposit.

From these skeletons row after row of the slanting rocks continued to
the inner side of the eastern wall. Two feet east of the pipe was a
skull on its right side, the back against a small flat rock. It was
crushed flat, and only a small part of it remained. Possibly it had
turned after burial, as fragments of other bones were found here and
there toward the south from it, indicating an extended burial. The
teeth were hard, solid, and much worn. The bones found were more or
less gnawed, and among them were scraps, probably of food animals,
burned into charcoal. No bones found could be saved, as they were very


This was similar in construction to (1) and (2), as is shown in figure
4. The wall, along the outside, measured 14 feet on the south, 13 feet
on the north, 15 feet on the west, and 14 feet on the east. The
inclosed space was 10 feet across each way. Some one had dug out much
of the south end; the northern end was undisturbed.

  [Illustration: FIG. 4.--Outline of Cairn (3), Lost Hill.]

The prior excavation had barely missed, near the west wall, a few
fragments of an adult skull and three teeth. About even with the
middle point of the west wall, 2 feet from it, was evidence of the
burial of an adult--pieces of bone and skull, and some teeth. North of
these, near the northwest corner, were fragments of two adult skulls,
with one of which were some beads made of shells of water snails; 18
of these were recovered, all more or less decayed. Between these two
skulls were parts of a child's skull, the teeth not yet through the

Inclined flat stones in the eastern half of the grave, the tops
leaning eastward, denoted other burials; but nothing was found under
them, although small flat stones laid on the original surface
indicated the bottom of a grave.

Evidently several burials, of which all traces have disappeared, were
made in this vault.

Owing to the practical identity of these three graves, the poor
returns, and the difficulty of working in a tangled mass of tough
roots without displacing the stones so greatly that their proper
position became a perplexing question, the remaining three were not


Near the mouth of Gourd Creek, on the north side, is a cave which has
acquired much local reputation from its size and also from the
evidence it affords of a long-continued occupation by the aborigines.
It is easily reached from the road which passes in front; wagons can
be driven into it and there is ample space for them to turn and pass
out. Formerly it was much resorted to as a pleasant place for social
gatherings; but in recent years it has been used as a barn and
storehouse. The owner, Mr. Valentine Allen, gave cheerful permission
for all the excavation that was desired, subject only to the proviso
that the floor be put back in condition suitable for the purposes for
which he needed it. And it is only fair to state that he was not at
all difficult to satisfy in this respect.

A stream coming from the interior had a flow at the close of the long
drought in 1918 sufficient to fill a 2-inch pipe with a rapid fall; in
wet seasons the water spreads from wall to wall until it comes to
within 100 feet of the mouth.

Back in the cave, where the slope is greater, it has sufficient volume
and force to carry away all pebbles smaller than coarse gravel and the
material that finds lodgment among the stones.

The cave is easily traversed for almost 600 feet; beyond this are
narrow crevices and tortuous passages, where explorers must frequently
crawl or clamber. One adventurous party proceeded until they reached
an opening on the other side of the hill; but this was so choked by
fallen rock and débris from the hillside as to be impassable. In
storms a strong breeze passes through the main entrance, in or out in
accordance with the direction of the wind.

Owing to the irregular outline of the cliffs, the width of the
entrance can not be accurately given. From side to side, well under
the front of the ceiling the distance is 110 feet. Two hundred feet
toward the interior it contracts to 50 feet. At the entrance the walls
are vertical to a height of 25 feet; a short curve at the top on
either side, due to the breaking away of the ledges, connects them
with the roof, which is somewhat higher. Being a single massive
stratum, the top is practically horizontal, but the floor constantly
rises from the front with a slight and fairly uniform grade. The front
chamber is straight and well lighted for 300 feet, where it turns
abruptly westward; from this point the floor is solid rock which the
water keeps comparatively free from any loose matter except heavy
blocks from the walls or top.

Beginning at the entrance is a deposit whose farthest extension
reaches 100 feet into the cavern. It is composed to a small extent of
sand and clay carried by the stream, and of earth blown or washed in
from the outside; but, as investigation proved, it is mainly ashes
from prehistoric fires. The surface of this deposit, especially toward
the inner end, is very uneven, being higher near the walls than
through the central portion. This is due to two causes: In very wet
seasons water has carried away much of it, and a large amount has been
hauled out by the owner to scatter over his fields as a fertilizer. He
reports that in the course of this work he found quantities of pottery
fragments, broken bones, flints, and "two or three" human skeletons,
with fragments of others. This is the basis for the assertion,
frequently heard, that "many" or "very many" burials had been made
here. The only human remains which he saved are the complete skull of
an adult, remarkably preserved and apparently that of a white woman; a
rather large lower jaw, of a man; a few long bones; and parts of
skulls and jaws of three or four children.

From comments made and questions asked by visitors while the
investigation was in progress, it seems that bones and teeth of deer
and other animals are mistaken for those of people. No human bones
were uncovered in this work, except as noted below.

There is a firm belief in the community that somewhere in this cave is
concealed $100,000 in gold, seven "pony loads" in all, which was put
here by an old squaw, sole survivor of a massacre by which her tribe
was exterminated. Much of the irregularity of surface noted in the
deposits is due to the efforts of persons trying to find this money.

Before starting the work it was necessary to deepen the little stream,
which had cut its way through the accumulation much nearer to the
western than to the eastern wall of the cavern, in order to allow the
water to run out of the lower end of the deposit. Thorough drainage of
the whole mass was impossible, as water continually seeped in from the
gravel bed farther up, a condition which could not be remedied.

Bedrock was reached at a depth of 3 feet below the channel. The lower
2 feet of this distance was through a black, mucky substance which was
so tough and sticky that removing it was like digging through a bog.

Following the bedrock as a floor, the western side of the deposit was
first examined. It had a width of 35 feet at the mouth of the cave,
gradually narrowing inward for a distance of 75 feet, where it
terminated at the level of the water. Its greatest elevation, at the
side of the entrance, was about 10 feet; but this does not mean that
its thickness was so much at any point, as the rock sloped upward
quite as rapidly as the surface. So many stones were scattered through
it, fallen from the sides and roof, or rolled in from the outside
where they had broken loose from the cliff, that not more than
one-fourth of the area could be excavated. These rocks varied in size
from cobblestones to blocks weighing 3 or 4 tons. They were at all
levels, some lying on the rock floor, others only slightly imbedded in
the earth. Yet the superficial accumulation extended under all of them
except such as were in direct contact with the bedrock, proving that
the cave was occupied throughout the period in which such downfalls
occurred. An additional evidence of age is the fact that the usual
débris, such as bones, flints, pottery, ashes, etc., lay in immediate
contact with the bedrock where this has weathered to a chalky
consistency from 2 to 4 inches in depth since these objects were left

Owing to the uneven surface of both the bedrock and the deposits on
it, the thickness of the latter varied from 1 to 3 feet--not including
the muck, which last, however, disappeared at the level where the rock
rose above the water line. But, whatever the depth, more than half the
overlying material was pure ashes; either resting undisturbed on the
fire beds, or piled in irregular masses, where they had been thrown to
get them out of the way. The largest ash bed was near the wall; it
measured from 4 to 7 feet across, with a very uneven outline, as if
many fires had been made there at different times.

The objects discovered included flint knives, spearheads, arrowheads
(mostly broken), with many spalls and chips; potsherds (only very
small pieces were found); animal bones; mussel shells; bone
perforators; chert nodules, more or less flaked; two stone beads or
buttons; a small fragment of a pipe; but no mortars, hammers, pestles,
cooking-stones, or hatchets, such as are usually found on the sites of
Indian villages. None of the pottery was decorated, but most of it was
cord-marked, though some of it was so smoothed and polished as almost
to appear glazed. It varied through a wide range of color, thickness,
and general appearance, and was noticeably deficient in quantity. In
fact, the west side of the cave had less the appearance of a
permanently occupied site than of a camping place which was used as a
temporary resort by traveling or hunting parties; but at the same time
the depth and amount of ashes showed that it had afforded shelter
through a long period.

The excavation on this side included all the space bounded by the
ditch, the wall, the mass of rocks piled at the entrance, and the
water-soaked earth toward the interior. The muck, and the large blocks
scattered around, prevented a complete clearing out; but the part
thoroughly examined had an area of about 600 square feet, perhaps a
little more. No human bones were found, in spite of reports of their
discovery and reburial by treasure hunters in the past; and there was
wide disagreement on the part of visitors, who were also present when
the bones were found, as to the number of such interments. All finally
conceded that there was only one adult skull, though there was much
argument as to the number of children's remains discovered, the person
who was blessed with the largest memory insisting there were 13 "all
in a pile." There was also some discussion as to whether the remains
were actually found near the west wall or had been carried over there
and reinterred after being exhumed on the east side.

These particulars are given merely to show how little reliance is to
be placed upon the statements of perfectly truthful persons who do
not observe closely, whose memory plays them tricks, who are not
especially interested in the matter under discussion, or whose
recollections naturally become jumbled after several years have

Work was next begun on the east side, at the edge of the drainage
trench. Bedrock was reached as before, under 2 feet of muck, and was
weathered until quite soft and of a yellowish hue, for 3 or 4 inches
below its surface. An effort was made to keep on the rock as a floor,
removing all the muck; but this was so water soaked, so tenacious, and
so filled with chert and limestone gravel that it could not be managed
with either pick or shovel. A little of the gravel had no doubt fallen
from the roof; but nearly all of this mingled material had washed down
from the interior, as it was entirely similar, except for its dark
color, to that forming the floor farther in. Consequently it was
necessary to limit the explorations to that part of the deposit which
lay above the wet black mass. Numerous attempts were made to ascertain
the thickness of the latter; but water, gravel, and slush oozed or
slid into the hole as fast as they could be removed, and it was
impossible to reach the bottom. The eastward dip of the rock floor, as
noted on the western side of the cave, no doubt continues entirely
across. If such be the case, then the original drainage line was
against the foot of the eastern wall. Later, because the channel was
obstructed by talus, the stream was forced more and more to the west,
saturating, up to the level of its final outlet, the earth and ashes
which had accumulated. It may be, however, that either this line of
drainage, or the mass of talus in front of the cave, is of
comparatively recent origin. Such accumulations as those described
would be impossible under present conditions. At any rate, this
deposit of muck, then dry, started from the floor of the cave with the
earliest occupation; for artificial objects of the same character that
occurred in the dry deposit above were found in it to a depth of 3 or
4 inches. They may continue to the bedrock, but on account of the
standing water no satisfactory observations could be made below the
level indicated.

Lying above the muck and, as intimated, practically continuous with
it, was an accumulation of ashes with which here and there some earth
was mingled, though the latter made only a small proportion of the
entire mass, and was sometimes entirely lacking from top to bottom.
They were principally in strata or irregular layers, lying undisturbed
where fires had been made; but there were also many scattered piles,
usually small, where they had been thrown to get them out of the way.

The excavation on the eastern side began with a trench 25 feet wide.
When this had been carried about the same distance toward the wall,
rocks and earth rolled and washed in from the outside were encountered
on the right, the side toward the mouth of the cavern. These reached
from the bottom to the surface, and were continuous with the bank of
talus. As results had been meager along here, the sides of the trench
were turned to the northward and northwestward. The entire trench was
43 feet long and varied in width from 30 feet in the central parts to
18 feet at the extreme northern end. The left face reached, in its
entire length, nearly to the drain; on the right side the eastern wall
of the cavern was uncovered for 15 feet. It embraced nearly all the
area not previously dug by others, except a triangular space at the
east side of the entrance, filled with large stones, as just stated.

Near the middle of the excavated area was a heap of large fallen
rocks, fully a carload in all; some of them imbedded in the muck,
others barely penetrating the surface of the latest deposits. Ashes
lay under and between all of them, proving this side also had been
inhabited before the first of them had become loose, and that
occupancy was practically continuous until the last one had fallen.
The inmates, recognizing the danger, may have knocked these down.

The greatest depth of ashes found in any part of the excavation was 7
feet; but it may have been greater previous to any disturbance; nor
does this include such as may be present in the muck. There were
unbroken layers as much as 8 inches thick covering spaces 5 to 10 feet
across; many smaller, intact patches; and numerous masses, from a peck
to a bushel in volume, removed from fire beds elsewhere. Charcoal
among them showed that bark and dead wood, principally oak, was the
main reliance for fuel.

The wrought objects found were flints, mostly broken or of rough
finish; very many small fragments of pottery; mortars made of
sandstone slabs; hammerstones or pestles; bone perforators; mussel
shells, some pierced for suspension or for attachment of a handle,
some with outer surfaces and edges dressed for use as spoons; hematite
ore, in the rough or rubbed to procure paint. There was a great
abundance of bones from animals used for food, mostly deer, though
elk, bear, many smaller mammals, turtles, tortoises, turkeys, and
other birds were well represented. Singularly enough, when the
plentiful supply of fish in all the streams of this region is
considered, none of their bones or scales were found, although the
ashes would have preserved them perfectly. Nor were there many burned
rocks, in view of the amount of pottery and the number of bones which
showed that they had been boiled. Perhaps such stones had crumbled or
were thrown outside when near disintegration.

There is a consensus of belief, or at least of statement, in the
neighborhood that many human skeletons have been dug out close to the
east wall. In the only part reached during this work--which took in
about all that had not been searched by others--rocks lay along the
wall, so large and so numerous that no graves could have been dug
behind or between them. By careful and persistent questioning it was
established that skeletons had been found in two places and a detached
jaw in another.

A human skull, which was very soft and fell to pieces when uncovered,
was found on, and slightly pressed into, the muck at a point 15 feet
from the wall; there were no other bones about it, though a rough
stone hammer, whose presence was probably accidental, lay close by. A
single human molar was lying among some ashes.

These were the only human remains found during the work, except two
adult femurs of different individuals, and fragments of a skull and
some other bones from a child and from an infant, all of which lay
close to the wall where they had been thrown and slightly covered by
parties previously working here.

As the depth of the wet material on the rock floor of the eastern side
of this cavern is unknown, interesting results might be obtained by a
careful examination of it; but this can not be made until a ditch is
dug through it of sufficient depth to drain it thoroughly.

Slight investigation outside the entrance showed a large amount of
broken bones, pottery, and flint; and this dump may contain even more
material than was found in an equal volume in the cavern. But in
addition to the rocks of all sizes broken off from the cliff, there
were also many which had rolled down from the hillside above; and all
these were so interlaced with roots as to make digging very difficult
and unsatisfactory. Consequently further exploration at this site was
deemed undesirable.

Pointed bone and antler implements from Gourd Creek Cave are shown in
plate 4. A shell knife, a bead from a fragment of sea shell, and types
of flint arrowheads appear in plate 5.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a village site on Gourd Creek bottom, at the foot of Lost
Hill, and a little below the cave. Three small earth mounds are plowed
nearly level.

       *       *       *       *       *

A small village site is located on the east bank of Little Piney, half
a mile below Gourd Creek.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the bluff facing Little Piney, a mile below Gourd Creek, on the
opposite side, is a small, shallow cave with a low roof. Water cracks
on the floor show that it is sometimes flooded. No signs of use are

       *       *       *       *       *

On the hill over the cave just mentioned is a cairn, now destroyed.




Five miles southwest of Arlington, near the Boiling Spring in the
Gasconade, is Onyx Cave, so named because much workable stalagmite
occurs in it. It has a number of branches, some of which have been
explored for several hundred yards without coming to the end. The
entrance is 90 feet in width. A pile of talus at the front, lying
partly inside the cavern, reaches nearly to the roof; it has a height
of 26 to 28 feet above the level of the wet, muddy floor. Drainage is
through a small aperture in the north wall, whose outlet is not known.
Apparently the bedrock lies at a considerable depth; it is not visible
at any point in the steep ravine leading from the mouth of the cave to
the river. Formerly a large quantity of ashes covered much of the
inner slope of the talus, where it is protected from the weather; but
most of them have been hauled away to scatter over the fields. They
extend to a greater depth than any digging was ever carried. The
cavern has long been a refuge for stock, and this, with the trampling
of many visitors, has mingled all the superficial deposits, so that,
while ashes may be seen mixed with the débris, no ash beds are now to
be found.

There must be a very pronounced cavernous condition in this vicinity.
At a number of places, even extending to a distance of 2 miles from
Onyx Cave, the passage of a wagon produces a rumbling sound,
indicative of a cavity at no great depth. There are also many sink
holes, some closed, forming ponds, others with free openings. They are
so numerous that no one of them drains any considerable area. The
largest of these sinks measures from top to top of its slopes about
three-fourths of a mile long and half a mile wide. Around much of its
margin are vertical cliffs; there are few places where descent is
practicable. It is 300 feet deep, perhaps more; for when the
Gasconade, more than a mile away, is at flood stage the water from it,
backing through an underground passage, breaks in at two different
points not at the same elevation, and covers the nearly level floor of
the depression, about 15 acres in area, to a depth or 15 to 20 feet.

Another sink, near this, is conical in form, a fourth of a mile across
and more than 200 feet deep.


Goat Bluff Cave, 4 miles west of Arlington, on the left bank of the
Gasconade, is at the foot of a vertical cliff 50 feet high, the slope
above rising about as much higher to the crest of the ridge. A few
yards to the west is a slight ravine through which, with a little
effort, the top of the hill may be reached. In front, the declivity,
while steep as earth will lie, furnishes fairly easy passage to and
from the river which lies 200 feet below.

The entrance to the cave is an arch 30 feet high and 75 feet wide,
facing a little east of south. The width holds nearly the same for 90
feet, whence it rapidly contracts to 20 feet; the roof meanwhile
descending to 10 feet above the floor. The extreme rear of this
chamber is nearly filled with large blocks of stone. At the front part
the floor is several feet higher along the west wall than at the east;
this condition being due to the combined action of accumulation from
the ravine above mentioned and erosion by a little rivulet which
emerges from a crevice 30 feet within the entrance and flows at the
foot of the east wall. Beyond this the floor is practically level
across the inclosed space, with a slight and uniform ascent toward the
rear. No evidence of rock bottom appears at any point.

A preliminary cut at the outer margin of the cave showed two distinct,
sharply separated strata. The lower is a red or yellow clay containing
much angular gravel such as usually results from disintegration of
limestone in which chert is abundant. Above this is a deposit of very
loose fine material. Toward the rear the upper deposit had been
disturbed by "curiosity seekers," who reported finding much evidence
of prehistoric occupation, such as ashes, charcoal, fragments of
pottery, and worked flint, as well as several skeletons, the latter
"in a sitting position." The last part of this statement is a mistake.
The bodies were closely flexed and placed on the side; the bones
settled to the bottom of the grave, while the skull, if intact, is
reached first by excavators and the conclusion drawn at once that it
is "on top of the other bones." This error of observation is quite
common among relic hunters, and is not unknown among student

In order to dispose of material removed in excavating, it was
necessary to start a trench from the slope outside the mouth of the
cave. As it progressed the substratum of clay became wetter and more
difficult to dig. At 40 feet from the beginning, where the trench was
11 feet deep, the seeping water accumulated until it covered the
bottom of the trench, so that no greater depth could be reached. A
crowbar forced downward for 18 inches, as far as it could be driven,
did not reach solid bottom. Not the slightest trace of human agency
was found anywhere below the top of the clay, and from this point
excavations were confined to the upper stratum, to which alone the
following description is applicable.

This deposit was composed partly of fine loose earth, probably carried
in by the wind and on the feet of persons and animals; partly of roof
dust; and partly of ashes. A considerable portion of it was roughly
stratified in layers of varying extent and thickness, though much of
it was irregular, and it was mingled throughout with campsite débris.
Occasional layers of roof dust several feet across in any direction
and of varying thickness, from a faint streak to 6 inches, so closely
resembled ashes that many persons could not be convinced of its true
character. Its occurrence in this manner indicates that during
considerable periods the cave was unoccupied, or at most used only as
a temporary refuge. The intermittent character of occupancy is also
shown by the distinct segregation of numerous successive layers of
kitchen refuse.

About 10 feet within the point where a vertical line from the front
edge of the roof would meet the floor the skeleton of a very young
infant was found above and in contact with two thick angular blocks of
limestone weighing 300 to 400 pounds. These rested on the red clay and
had fallen from the roof. The thickness of earth above the bones was
about 3 feet.

Ten feet farther in, on the clay floor, under almost exactly 5 feet of
undisturbed material, were five flat stones. Three were of sandstone,
the largest about 25 pounds in weight, such as can be found in place
only on top of the hill. They were carefully arranged for use as a
fire bed; on and around them were potsherds, flint chips, animal and
bird bones, and a bone awl. This was the greatest depth at which
artificial objects were found; and their position shows them to be as
ancient as anything discovered.

  [Illustration: FIG. 5.--Fragment of glass bottle from Goat Bluff

At 25 feet in an interesting find was made. Eighteen inches below the
surface of the floor, in a mass of mingled charcoal, ashes, mussel
shells, flint chips, and other aboriginal refuse, was a small piece of
glass, apparently part of a bottle, shown in figure 5. Above it and
extending for several feet on every side was an unbroken stratum of
root dust from 2 to 4 inches thick. Above this, in turn were several
thin, undisturbed layers of camp refuse, about 6 inches in all, and
then 6 inches of the loose, incoherent surface earth. This discovery
is susceptible of two interpretations. One is that between the date
when Indians could procure articles from the whites and the date at
which they abandoned this fireplace there was time for the
accumulation of the given thickness of disintegrated material from the
roof, the cave, or at least this part of it, not being used meanwhile
for a habitation; then for the accumulation of several distinct layers
of camp refuse; and finally for the depositing of the cave earth over
it all. This hypothesis is unreasonable. While the rate of formation
of either roof dust or stalagmite is extremely variable, so that it is
not safe to predicate a definite antiquity for objects found beneath
even a considerable thickness of either, at the same time the small
area involved precludes the idea that a number of occupants sufficient
to account for the volume of débris could have lived here unless we
allow a much longer period than would necessarily elapse within the
dates indicated. The other, quite plausible, interpretation is that
the glass was dragged to the spot by a ground hog or other animal
whose runway had become obliterated by settling of the loose material
through which it was made.

The only purpose of elaborating this subject is to guard investigators
against attaching too much importance to an article found under such
or similar conditions, whether it be a "palaeolithic type," or an
"object undoubtedly of European origin."

Thirty-five feet in, under three flat slabs whose upper surface was a
little more than 3 feet below the floor, was an adult skeleton, on the
back, knees flexed to the chest. The body had been laid in a cavity
dug in the clay to a depth of 6 inches. The bones were well preserved
and fresh looking, but light and fragile.

Forty feet in, 3½ feet down, was a flat stone under which were two
skulls. One, shown in plate 6, was perfect, with a full set of sound
teeth; from the other, seen in plate 7, the lower jaw was missing. No
other bones were found except two cervical vertebræ, belonging to the
smaller skull. Undisturbed stratified ashes and roof dust were 30
inches thick above the stone.

To this point the trench was not dug to a greater width than 15 feet;
it was now gradually extended to a width of 40 feet to include most of
the central portion.

Sixty feet in, in the upper part of the clay, like all the human bones
discovered, was a skull with the scapulæ, a few ribs, and one arm
bone. The lower jaw was missing, and two phalanges were inside the
skull. With the scapulæ was one of a much smaller person. Eighteen
inches from these bones, and 6 inches higher, was part of a lower jaw.

At 50 to 60 feet in, on the clay stratum, lay a slab 10 to 12 feet
across and of varying thickness up to 18 inches or more. It fell from
the roof so long ago that the latter is worn and smoothed above it in
much the same way as at other parts. At the east edge of this slab was
a skull so soft and crushed that it could be taken out only in small
fragments; the teeth were very slightly worn, though of large size. A
few traces of other bones were found; not enough to identify. At the
north edge of the slab were two skulls, one of which is shown in plate
8; the other, which belonged to a young person, is given in plate 9.
The limb bones, scapulæ, and hip bones, with a few others, were in a
small pile at one side; but neither lower jaw, no ribs, and only a few
vertebræ were found.

  MO. a, Front; b, profile]

  [Illustration: PLATE 7 SKULL FROM GOAT BLUFF CAVE a, Front; b,

  [Illustration: PLATE 8 SKULL FROM GOAT BLUFF CAVE a, Front; b,

  Front; b, profile]




  [Illustration: PLATE 13
  a, Cairn six miles north of Arlington, Mo.
  b, Walled grave six miles north of Arlington, Mo.]

About 65 feet in, near the west side, an inverted pot which shows no
marks of use was found in a mass of ashes filling a cavity the size of
a half bushel, which had been dug in the upper deposit. Scattered here
and there among the ashes were also some mussel shells and
broken deer bones; but the presence of these was probably not
intentional, as the whole arrangement seemed to have the nature of a
votive offering. This was the only perfect vessel found in the entire
course of the explorations. It is of the ordinary "cocoanut form," and
is represented in figure 6.

Seventy feet in was a skeleton, on the left side; the bones were soft
and came out in small fragments. This was fully 6 feet below the
present surface, but some of this earth was piled up from earlier

  [Illustration: FIG. 6.--Pot from Goat Bluff Cave.]

Beyond this point the ground had been dug over to such an extent that
further examination seemed useless, and the work was concluded.

Throughout the deposit of black earth, ashes, and roof dust were
scattered irregularly arrowheads and knives of flint, some types of
which are seen in plate 10; mussel shells; fragments of bones from
food animals; bone perforators, some of which are shown in plates 11
and 12; potsherds; hammers; pestles; two or three mortars; a grooved
stone ax of granitic rock, presented in figure 7; and an abundance of
flint chips.

There is a small cave near the top of the bluff facing the Gasconade,
a short distance above the mouth of Little Piney. Within a few yards
of the entrance earth and rock carried in from a sink on top of the
hill fill the cavity to the roof. Water runs through after every hard

       *       *       *       *       *

Three small cairns, built of small stones, stood on the point of the
bluff at the junction of Little Piney and the Gasconade. All are

       *       *       *       *       *

On the edge of a high cliff over the Gasconade, 2 miles north of
Arlington, are three cairns, destroyed.

       *       *       *       *       *

In Bryant's Bluff, facing the Gasconade 3 miles below Jerome, are two
rock shelters, neither of them more than 20 feet across in any
direction. In both are shells, bones, and pottery; a rough stone
hammer was found in one. Exposure of bedrock on the outside shows that
the earth deposit in either is not over 2 or 3 feet deep.

       *       *       *       *       *

On top of Bryant's Bluff are four cairns, all of them torn up. The
extreme limit of the scattered stone is about 20 feet; so the cairns
were probably 12 to 15 feet in diameter.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the mouth of Turkey-pen Slough, 4 miles north of Arlington, is a
terrace with steep banks on two sides, next to the river and to the
slough. On this stood a village. Three house sites are plainly marked
by the refuse around, and there may be others; vegetation is very
dense. Mussel shells and burned stones are abundant, and many flint
implements have been picked up.

  [Illustration: FIG. 7.--Grooved ax from Goat Bluff Cave.]


Six miles north of Arlington is a clubhouse known as Sugar Tree Camp.
A short distance from the building is a high vertical cliff rising
almost directly from the Gasconade. The top of this cliff, near the
front, is of solid rock, almost bare of timber or brush, and in a row
along it close to the edge are seven cairns, all now so defaced that
any attempt at investigation is useless. The smallest, at one end of
the row, is of the common circular form, about 12 feet in diameter.
Three others seem to be of the same type; but their appearance may be
due to their destruction. One is shown in plate 13, a. The other
three are walled vaults. The largest, at the other end of the row, was
built up like a foundation wall of sandstone slabs. It is rectangular
in form, measuring on the outside 16 by 28 feet. All the walls are
more or less destroyed; the small portion of one remaining is shown in
plate 13, b. Two "walled-up graves" reported on the first ridge north
of Sugar Tree Camp, and one reported on the first ridge south, never
existed. There is a small cairn on a high peak half a mile east of the


In a ravine which joins Tick Creek about 2 miles from where the latter
flows into the Gasconade, and about 12 miles north of Arlington, is a
large cave known as the Saltpeter Cave.

The opening is wide and high, but the mouth and floor are much
obstructed by large fallen rocks and the bottom is constantly wet from
wall to wall with running and seeping water.

There is another entrance to this cavern around a corner of the bluff
and much higher up on its face. This opening is small and the sloping
passage from it to the cavern is almost closed in places by drip

It was never inhabited.


A mile east of Newburg a ravine now known as Pool Hollow, but formerly
called "Strawhorn's" [Strawhan's] Hollow, opens into the right (north)
side of Little Piney. Two miles from the river is a cave at the head
of a little cove. The entrance, facing directly south and visible from
half a mile down the ravine, is 12 feet high and 75 feet across. The
rear wall, where the cave makes a turn at 150 feet from the mouth, is
plainly visible from the outside.

At 60 feet within water reaches from wall to wall, and a constant
stream flows along the left side. The talus at the mouth is of tough
clay with many rocks scattered through it, and much of it has settled
back into the cave. Water drips from many places in the roof, so that
no part of the floor is ever entirely dry.

Some broken flints and chips were picked up about the mouth and in
front of the cave, but nothing else could be found.

In dry weather there might be spots which would afford a resting place
for campers, but no continuous occupancy was possible.


Nearly 2 miles northeast of Rolla is the beginning of a little valley
which for a short distance is parallel with the Frisco Railway and
close to the right of way; it then turns to the southward. Along this
"draw" are numerous mounds, starting well toward its upper end and
following its course for nearly a mile. They lie along either side,
and reach into the tributary widenings. Most of them are on the flats;
but they are also scattered along the hillsides, those farthest from
the water having an elevation of about 50 feet above it. They vary
from 30 to 60 feet in diameter and from 1 to 3 feet high. In all, they
are scattered over an area of at least 100 acres.


Half a mile west of Dillon a ravine heads at the Frisco track, goes
south a short distance, then turns southeastward. Near the track
begins a group of mounds which reach for fully a mile along both sides
of the little stream.

There are more than 100, most of them small, though at least one is 60
feet across and 3 feet high.


At the northern border of St. James is a small shallow valley with a
northern and eastern trend, practically parallel with the Frisco
Railway, and for 3 miles or more not over a fourth of a mile from it
at any point.

Starting near the Soldiers' Home is a group of mounds which extend for
fully 2½ miles down both sides of the valley.

Some are partly cut away by the stream, others are on the narrow flat
bottoms subject to overflow with every hard rain, still others are
built on the slopes to an elevation of 40 feet. They are somewhat
larger than the average, a diameter of about 60 feet and a height of 3
feet being not uncommon.

                    *    *    *



A cave on the McWilliams farm, near Jack Hinshaw's, at the upper end
of the Big Eddy, near the south line of Pulaski County, has an
entrance 8 feet high and 15 feet wide. There is a good light for 150
feet, at which distance the cavern turns. It is an excellent location
for an Indian home, having a floor of dry earth, and a small amount of
refuse was found; but the earth has been thoroughly dug over in the
search for missing residents, some human bones rooted out by hogs
having given rise to a belief that these may have been murdered and
concealed here.


Facing Roubidoux Creek, on the farm of J.W. Davis, 3 miles north of
Cookville, are three caves. The largest is 40 or 50 feet above the
foot of the bluff. It has an entrance 30 feet wide, the roof being 8
feet high. It is well lighted to a depth of 120 feet, where it curves.
No refuse was observed, but the situation is favorable for habitation.

Another cave, near this, has an entrance 30 feet wide and 10 feet
high; it is well lighted for 40 feet back.

The third cave of this series is a rock shelter a short distance south
of the second, and higher up in the bluff.

All these appear to deserve an examination.


A cave on George Berry's land, in a ravine opening into the east side
of Roubidoux Creek, 3 miles from Hanna post office, has a small
entrance which is nearly closed by "drip rock," the roof, walls, and
floor being thickly incrusted. These deposits, which it is said are
even more abundant farther in, seem to be rather rapidly increasing in


What is known as Maxey's Cave is 7 miles south of Waynesville, on the
west side of Roubidoux Creek. It is by far the largest open cave in
this region, the entrance being 40 feet high and 100 feet wide. It
extends across the head of a ravine, and if the loose earth at the
sides were cleared away it would be found still wider. The entire
floor is covered with a mass of rocks of every size up to several
tons, except at one side of the entrance where there is a small amount
of loose earth. The front chamber is 300 feet long to where the cavern
forks; in one of these forks daylight extends for 100 feet farther, or
400 feet from the mouth. Marks on the walls show that the entire floor
is sometimes covered 2 or 3 feet deep with running water.

A survey made some years ago disclosed a mass of earth and rock "a
long ways back in the hill;" definite figures could not be obtained.
Beyond this point it was impossible to proceed. By running
corresponding angles and lines on the surface outside the surveyors
came to a very large sink hole, into which flowed the drainage of
several farms. This explains the flood marks. Clearly the roof of the
cave had fallen in at this point.


Yoark Cave, a fourth of a mile east from Maxey's in a bluff facing
south on the left bank of Roubidoux Creek, has an entrance 40 feet
wide, 30 feet high, and is in daylight for 150 feet. Cave earth
extends for 100 feet from the entrance, and apparently continues from
this point under the gravel and clay which have washed from the

It is on the land of A.L. Foote, having been in his family
continuously since it was secured by Government patent. The name is
derived from "Grandma Martha Yoark," who was among the earliest white
settlers in the region. Her home was on the opposite side of the
creek, in a pioneer log cabin, the last vestige of which, except the
stones of the chimney, disappeared before the Civil War.

In the front portion many large rocks are lying on the surface of the
clay floor and others are imbedded in it; probably still others are
entirely covered. Farther back the clay is mixed with gravel washed
from the interior. This deposit is never entirely dry and in rainy
seasons is quite muddy. The difficulty of removing or digging under
the rocks, added to the certainty that water would be encountered
before the bottom is reached, render useless any effort at complete
excavation. The amount of refuse on the surface, however, is a good
indication that such researches as would be possible in the upper
layers, among the rocks, would disclose a large quantity of aboriginal
remains of comparatively modern date.


On the Laughlin goat ranch, 6 miles southeast of Waynesville, a high
narrow ridge level along the top and sloping abruptly on each side
extends northward from the hills on the right side of Roubidoux Creek
and terminates in a vertical cliff. Bedrock projects on the top and on
both sides, and vegetation is so scanty that the crest is almost a

On the summit of this ridge are seven cairns, the first one only a few
feet from the edge of the cliff, the last one about 300 feet back,
near where the ground begins to ascend toward the plateau. They are
small, none more than 3 feet high, and all have a depression in the
top where the stones have been thrown out from the center toward the
outside by relic seekers and rabbit hunters.

In three of them flat stones remaining in place at parts of the margin
indicate that an irregular square inclosure was constructed around the
bodies, as in those examined at Gourd Creek. Possibly this feature
existed in all of them at the time of their construction, but there
was no evidence that any of them had been walled up like those at
Sugar Tree Camp or the Devil's Elbow. Views of their present
conditions are shown in plate 14.


Near the site of Kerr's Mill, on Roubidoux Creek, 5 miles south-east
of Waynesville, is a cave at the foot of a bluff, the entrance 60 feet
above the bottom of the hill. Viewed from the outside it has the
appearance of a rock shelter 40 feet wide and 45 feet deep. Above
most of it the stratum forming the roof is 15 feet high; near the
front the successive overlying strata project in a hollow curve until
at the face of the bluff the drop from the ledge to the talus
immediately beneath it is fully 50 feet.

At one side, near the rear, is a passage 5 or 6 feet wide, not visible
from the front, extending back into the hill. Although the cave is
usually dry, clean gravel in this passage shows that sufficient water
flows through at times to prevent earth from accumulating; further
evidence of which fact is found in the mud cracks of the floor and the
ferns growing amid the rocks, large and small, which cover it.

The place could never have been occupied except for temporary shelter,
and there is no evidence that even this use was made of it.


Half a mile directly south of Waynesville, on the farm of Dr. W.J.
Sell, is a cave located in the northern end of a ridge entirely
detached from the surrounding hills. The entrance, facing northeast,
is halfway up the point of the ridge, overlooking a fertile bottom
along Roubidoux Creek. From the top of the ledge over the entrance the
hill has an easy upgrade for a fourth of a mile to the summit, which
is at an elevation of 250 feet above the creek. On top of the hill is
the site of an Indian village where some mortars, grinding stones, and
numerous flints have been found.

The roof of the cave has partially fallen in at the entrance, forming
a re-entrant curve 30 feet across and extending 11 feet inward; the
large blocks from this, and from the stratum described later, were
lying on and in the talus at the present front but did not extend to
the red clay beneath. Some of the blocks could be reduced with a heavy
sledge hammer to an extent that made it possible to roll them out of
the way; but 24 of them had to be broken up with dynamite.

The talus at its thickest part has a depth of 6 feet; it extends down
the hill on the outside and has washed back into the cave, gradually
decreasing in quantity, to a distance of 50 feet. The roof, at the
front, is 5 feet above the talus; the thickness of the ledge forming
it is only 8 feet, the slope of the hill starting from this line.
Owing to the restricted width of the ridge, on top, the entire area
draining over the ledge measures only 70 feet in width above the
entrance, and narrows irregularly to a breadth of 30 feet at an
outcrop 120 feet up the hill, or with an approximate space of 6,000
square feet. On this small tract more than half the rock is bare, with
scanty patches of soil and humus in the crevices and on flat places.
At the present time the water which flows over the ledge during hard
rains is scarcely turbid; consequently a period of several centuries
was required for the débris to accumulate.

Fourteen feet back from the farthest-receding part of the curve of the
roof at the front is the edge of a stratum 3 feet thick; the bottom of
this was 3 feet above the talus immediately beneath it. This stratum
is continuous, with a perceptible dip to the interior, as far as it
can be seen.

The width of the cave at the mouth is 44 feet; 30 feet within it
widens to 51 feet. A small amount of water making its way from the
interior over the level floor collects in a little basin scooped out
to receive it, and sinks into the floor near the inner foot of the
talus 55 feet from the entrance. At this point the width of the cave
is 36 feet; the height to the roof is 4½ feet. As the floor beyond
here is soft mud, the cavern was not followed farther.

Owing to the limited space between the floor and the roof it was
necessary to remove the excavated earth to the outside. The water
which flows from the hill and falls upon the talus during rains also
had to be provided against. A trench 4 feet wide at the bottom, with
sufficient slant to the sides to prevent them from falling in, was
started 25 feet out from the entrance, on a level which gave it a
depth of 6½ feet at the highest point of the talus, thus carrying it a
few inches into the clay which was the original floor of the cave.
This depth also brought it well below the level of the little pool
inside. When its greatest depth was reached the excavation was at once
widened to 25 feet, thus reaching well toward the cliff on either
side. Growing trees and large rocks made a greater width here

In the talus were flint implements, none small enough for arrowheads,
some well finished, others roughly made, a few being shown in plate
15; three sandstone mortars and fragments of four others; probably 100
cobblestones used as hammers and pestles, some of them pitted on the
sides, a few showing marks of much use (pl. 16, A); a small, very
solid piece of hematite worn round by use as a hammer; a small,
imperfect tomahawk made of quartzite (pl. 16, B, a); many mussel
shells, some used as knives and scrapers; animal bones, some of them
worked into implements, including a perfect skiver (pl. 16, B, b);
several pieces of hematite and limonite used as paint stones (pl. 16,
B, c); many fragments of pottery, some of them worked into disks and
perforated (pl. 16, B, d); occasionally small deposits of charcoal,
ashes, and burned earth. The meager amount of artificial material, and
its random distribution, as if one piece was lost here, another thrown
there, throughout the talus from the present surface to the underlying
clay would appear good evidence that the cave was never used as a
place of permanent abode, but merely provided temporary refuge at
intervals extending over a prolonged period.

  [Illustration: PLATE 14

  [Illustration: PLATE 15

  [Illustration: PLATE 16
  A, Pestles or grinding stones
  B, Celt, pottery disks, paint stones, and skiver

  [Illustration: PLATE 17
  Skull from Sell cave. a, Front; b, profile
  Skull from Bell's cave, near Waynesville. c, Front; d, profile
  Skull from Miller's cave. e, Front; f, profile

None of the pottery was decorated in any way, though most of it was
cord-marked; no piece was found which had a handle or a foot.
Nearly half a bushel of pieces was found, fragments of many different
vessels, with a range in thickness from one-eighth to three-fourths of
an inch.

If all this talus were examined, much material might be found, but the
result would not justify the labor.

Fifteen feet west from the east corner of the cave, 8 feet within the
edge of the roof, 3½ feet under the surface of the débris, which was a
foot lower here than at the highest point, was a bundled or bunched
skeleton; only small fragments of arm and leg bones, most of the lower
jaw, a little of the upper jaw, and traces of skull were remaining.
The bones were small but solid. They were packed tightly in the dark,
wax-like clay, but there were no indications of a grave; the earth in
contact with them could not be distinguished from that lying around
them. The body had been crowded into the smallest possible space, with
the head against a large stone. All the teeth were well preserved,
some of them not at all worn. Small fragments of deer bones were found
among the remains; these, also, were very soft and decayed.

In fact, all bones found, whether human or other, in this wet, tough,
heavy earth were nearly destroyed, and such portions as remained had
but little more consistency than the mud in which they were imbedded.
Much care was necessary in order to get them out.

Sixteen feet from the entrance, 13 feet from the east wall, 4½ feet
down, 18 inches above bottom, were part of a large femur and a few
fragments of other bones too small and crushed to identify.

Seven feet southwest of this femur, 14 inches lower, was a closely
folded skeleton, the skull nearly north, the other bones toward the
east wall. Some mussel shells, fragments of deer bones, and two flint
knives were near the head. The body had been placed in a shallow hole
dug in the talus as it existed at that time, some earth thrown over
it, and small rocks piled on. The covering rocks were under 3 feet of
detritus, washed in since they were placed there. Near the knees was a
piece of antler, neatly perforated, with rounded ends, giving it the
shape of a reniform bannerstone (fig. 8). This may have been an
ornament, an arrow-shaft straightener, or the holder for a drill or a
fire-stick. Near it was a polishing stone deeply worn on both sides
(fig. 9).

Twenty-two feet within the reentrant curve at the front, 20 feet from
the west wall, at the bottom of the talus, was a skeleton, the skull
in small fragments, which, however, were held in place by the tough
clay. The teeth were worn below the enamel in places; two well-worked
flint knives and one rough one (fig. 10) were near it. The bones
looked as if they had been thrown in, occupying only a small space;
but probably a folded body had been laid in on the left side.

At 24 feet from the entrance, 17 feet from the west wall, in a hole
dug to 20 inches below the present surface of the talus, were broken
and spongy bones of an adult. Pelvis, feet, and leg bones were in
confusion; the tibiæ were reversed in position, but it may be that the
body was laid on the back with the knees flexed and that the bones had
fallen as they were found. This is probable, as each patella was where
it belonged, and the body lay extended toward the southeast, as shown
by the position of the skull. The humerus was about 12 inches long;
all the bones were in small pieces. There were many mussel shells
among and above the remains, over which earth and small rocks had been

  [Illustration: FIG. 8.--Perforated object of antler from Sell

Two feet south of this skeleton and a few inches lower were the
crushed and decayed bones of an old person with the head lying toward
the east. The one tooth found (a molar) was worn entirely below the
enamel except for a small space at the front; the dentine was polished
until it resembled a piece of agate. Mr. De Lancey Gill first remarked
the fact that wear of this character denotes that the individual did
not gnaw bones, crack nuts, or indeed bite hard on any substance. If
he had done so this thin shred of enamel would have broken off. Two
large rocks which lay on the head and body seem to have been thus
placed before the grave was filled with earth.

  [Illustration: FIG. 9.--Rubbing or polishing stone from Sell

Near these bones were fragments indicating three other interments; the
humerus of the last was perforated.

Other arm bones found showed the same olecranal perforation.

Twenty-one feet from the entrance, 19 feet from the east wall, was a
skeleton, closely folded, on left side, head toward rear of cave. The
teeth were worn flat. The bones were crushed by rocks laid on or above
the body at the time of burial, as was the case with all the skeletons
found in this part of the cave; probably timbers had been interposed.

  [Illustration: PLATE 18

  [Illustration: PLATE 19

Near the surface, 18 feet from the entrance, 14 feet from the east
wall, were the right half of a skull and of a lower jaw; a few small,
scattered pieces of skull were found near them. The teeth were much
worn, some of them were decayed, and two had the roots swollen and
distorted by ulceration. South of the skull were fragments of feet and
leg bones, probably belonging with it. This interment was of much
later date than the others.

Thirty-two feet from the front, 16 feet from the east wall, 2½ feet
below the surface, and a foot above the bottom of the talus, was a
folded skeleton, on left side, head toward the interior of the cave,
face directly upward. So much of the skull as could be recovered is
shown in plate 17, a, b. The teeth were much worn, the bones broken,
soft and spongy, falling away with the clay as it was removed from
about them. The femur was about 17½ inches long.

  [Illustration: FIG. 10.--Flints from Sell Cave.]

Wear of teeth among aboriginal people does not of necessity denote a
great age for the individual. Grit from ashes and fine sand from
mortars and pestles will cut away the enamel to a much greater extent
than would result from the use of ordinary food.

The condition of the teeth mentioned, as well as of some from other
localities, is shown in plates 18 and 19.

From the inner end of the ditch, or runway, at the entrance the
excavation was carried back for 40 feet in a direct line; or making
allowance for passing around a massive rock which was in a position
where it could not be blasted, for 43 feet; the depth of the talus
here was 3 feet.

On the east side the talus was removed to the wall, a distance of 28
feet from the edge of the trench, and the wall rock exposed for 22
feet, to the rear bank of the excavation.

       *       *       *       *       *

All work, so far, had been carried on at a level a few inches below
the bottom of the talus, which rested directly upon the floor of clay
washed out from the interior of the cave.

Beginning next at the outer end of the trench, the entire space
included in the first excavation was deepened by a little more than 6
feet, giving a new floor about 13 feet lower than the highest part of
the talus. All the material thus removed showed that it was laid down
by flowing water, sometimes so quiet as to deposit clay of impalpable
fineness, sometimes with a velocity sufficient to carry stones
weighing 3 or 4 pounds. The material varied--red clay, now jointed,
was the topmost layer; below it, in patches and layers, were dark
earth, resembling soil; clay of different shades of yellow, brown,
red, and gray, sometimes almost blue; some of it uniform, some of it
mingled, one or any or all of the different sorts in small compass;
deposits of one sort filling sharply defined channels or potholes cut
in some other sort; occasionally there was a slight admixture of sand.
All included limestone pebbles, which were plentiful in some deposits
but entirely absent from others, were weathered to a chalky
consistency, the larger ones to a depth of perhaps half an inch, the
smaller ones throughout. Scarcely any chert was included, although it
is abundant on the hill; the few pieces seen were very small.

It took five weeks of steady work, with two men, to clear out the
second level. In all this clay there was not the slightest trace of
bone or other indication that living beings of any kind had existed
either in the cave or in any place from which the clay had come.

At 24 feet from the eastern side of the trench, projections on the
face of the east wall denoted that bed rock was not far away. A hole 8
feet across, at the rear of the excavation, reached sand with a slight
admixture of clay a few inches under the level at which the work was
being conducted; and 4 feet down, or 17 feet from the top of the
talus, the rock was found. It was rough and furrowed, like a solid
stratum that has been long exposed to atmospheric weathering.

Further exploration was useless. The sand results from disintegration
of the Roubidoux sandstone belonging next above the limestone in which
the cave was formed. None of this remains on the hill; it has all been
carried away by erosion. There is not now any sink hole or crevice
above the level of the cavern through which the sand could have made
its way. Such an opening must have existed at one time, on the slope
at one side or the other, or farther back where the hill is now cut
off. In either case, erosion has carried away its walls and filled up
the channel leading from it, and thus obliterated its site. To
accomplish this would require a long time; enough to produce a
considerable alteration in the topography, and so to predicate for the
bottom deposits in the cave an antiquity far beyond the possible
appearance of man in the region.


The Phillips Cave faces Roubidoux Creek near the Big Spring, a mile
south of Waynesville. Access to the interior is possible only by
crawling some distance on wet clay. Other caves in the same line of
bluffs are either very small or almost inaccessible. No refuse appears
about any of them.


In the upper part of the bluff bordering Roubidoux Creek just west of
Waynesville, on the farm of Robert A. Bell, are numerous caves, most
of them quite small. One, much larger than any of the others, has an
entrance 27 feet wide and 12 feet high. The floor is of earth mingled
with small rocks, and rises gradually toward the rear until at 70 feet
it almost reaches the roof, although the open space enlarges farther
in. The width of the cave varies from 19 to 32 feet. Several large
rocks have fallen from the roof and walls at a comparatively recent
date, as they lie directly upon the earth or are only slightly
imbedded in it.

Shells and flint flakes occur in small amount, but the cave is so
difficult of access that it was probably but little used.

Some human bones, rooted out by hogs, were scattered over the floor;
only a few remained, the hogs having chewed up most of them. Part of a
femur belonged to a person about 18 or 20 years of age. A skull and
part of a lower jaw, lying several feet apart but belonging to the
same individual, were secured; they are shown in plate 17, c, d. Few
of the teeth remained, though all had been in place at the time of


This is three-fourths of a mile west from Waynesville. It is small,
with a muddy bottom, and could never have been occupied.


Bucher Cave is 2 miles northeast of Waynesville. It has a small, low
entrance, nearly closed by a pile of chert gravel mixed with some
clay, which has been carried by surface water from the slope above.


On a low spur, projecting about halfway up a high hill opposite
McKennan's house, 2½ miles northeast of Waynesville, are two of the
ordinary stone graves or cairns, both small. One has been torn apart;
the other is intact.

They are mentioned only because in the one which has not been
disturbed the stones are sunken at the center, affording good evidence
that timbers were placed over the corpse before the stones were piled


In a vertical bluff overlooking the junction of Roubidoux Creek and
the Gasconade River is a cavern with a high, wide entrance giving
access to a large chamber which has several smaller but well-lighted
rooms opening into it. There was formerly a considerable depth of
earth on the rock bottom, but most of it has been taken out for
fertilizer. What is left is dry near the entrance, but wet farther in.
Although it would make an ideal Indian home, being easy of access and
within a few rods of the two streams, there could be found no
indications of such habitation; and owing to the small amount of earth
remaining, the presence of many large rocks, and the close proximity
of a large club house on the public highway immediately in front, no
excavation is possible.

A cairn on the point of the cliff over this cave has been completely


There is a large cave at the head of a ravine a fourth of a mile below
the bridge over the Gasconade River, on the Richland and Hanna road,
7½ miles from Richland. The entrance is 70 feet wide and 40 feet high;
daylight extends to a point 200 feet within, where the cave divides
into two parts, both of which turn abruptly. Cave earth near the
entrance on one side is scanty in quantity, damp and moldy; but beyond
this it is dry, unevenly surfaced, and appears to have been somewhat
disturbed. There is considerable refuse on and in the dry earth as far
back as the inner end of the front chamber, and were it not for the
many rocks, too large to be removed, which cover nearly the entire
floor and would make excavation very difficult and incomplete, the
deposits would probably repay investigation.


On the farm of Sam T. Rollins, 2½ miles northwest of Waynesville, are
two large caves.

The first, in a bluff facing the Gasconade, half a mile above the
mouth of Roubidoux Creek, is 50 feet above the bottom of the hill. The
entrance, toward the northeast, is 45 feet wide and 36 feet high. The
sides are parallel for 45 feet; at that point the east wall abruptly
recedes for 12 feet and then continues in a curving line for 120 feet
farther, to an outlet in the side of a shallow ravine trending toward
the west. This opening, 13 feet wide, is filled nearly to the top with
débris which slopes steeply for 40 feet into the cave.

The west wall, at 45 feet, makes an outward curve to a branch which
leads northwest for 25 feet and has an opening on the side of the hill
25 feet wide and 20 feet high; the talus at the front is 12 feet high
and slopes steeply into the cave. Beyond this branch the west wall
extends in a straight line to the small outlet at the ravine.

The floor of the cave has a gentle incline from the bottom of the
débris in the rear to the main entrance.

No refuse could be found in the cave or around any of the three
entrances; and the place would not be suitable for a shelter in winter
as the wind, no matter from what direction, blows directly through it.

The second cave is near the foot of the hill, half a mile up the river
from the first. A gentle slope in front leads to the bottom land along
the stream. The entrance, toward the northwest, is 60 feet wide and 10
feet high. At 65 feet within is standing water; marks in a channel
along the west wall show that at times there is an outflow with a
depth of a foot or more. At the front is a great amount of talus
partly fallen from the ledge forming the roof, partly washed down from
the hillside; the outer slope is 20 feet high, the inner slope has a
slight incline to the standing water. The entire deposit within the
cave and in front of it is of tough, sticky clay. Many large rocks lie
on the surface or slightly imbedded, and large trees grow on the
talus. No indications of occupancy could be discovered.


On the Mix farm, half a mile below the Gasconade bridge on the
Waynesville and Crocker road, on the left (west) side, at the head of
a ravine, is a cave with an entrance 75 feet wide and 20 feet high.
Cave earth, apparently not more than 3 feet thick at any point,
although it gradually rises to a level 6 feet higher than the floor at
the mouth, extends back 80 feet; beyond this is water-soaked clay and
gravel reaching 60 feet farther to a turn in the cave, making a
distance of about 140 feet in daylight. There is a shallow channel 12
feet wide along the east wall from the gravel to the entrance;
evidence that at times a volume of water of that width flows out of
the cave. The cave earth is damp for several feet from the line of
its contact with the clay, a certain indication that its lower portion
is saturated.

Much refuse, including several mortars, is distributed over the floor,
and it is especially apparent in the bed of the little stream; but
fully half the surface is covered with rocks too large to be removed,
and these, together with the water, will effectually prevent
satisfactory excavation.

One of the mortars has a grinding cavity on one face 12 by 20 inches
and 3 inches deep at the middle; on the other face, which has been
pecked, apparently with a flint tool, to make it level and even, is
also a cavity, but it is small and shallow, showing that this side of
the stone was but little used.


On Walter Miller's farm, 1½ miles below the Crocker and Waynesville
bridge, on the left side of the river, is the "Double Cave," so called
for the reason that it has two entrances. The one farthest down the
river is more nearly in line with the general trend of the cavern. Its
opening is 35 feet wide and 20 feet high. At 40 feet in from the
mouth, on the left or up-river side, the two parts of the cavern
unite, a triangular partition of the original limestone strata
separating them up to the point of junction. Across the apex of the
triangle the main cave is 50 feet wide; there is no vertical wall on
the right (east) side along this portion, the roof sloping down
gradually until it meets the earth floor; it may extend farther,
making the cave that much wider at the bedrock bottom. The cave earth
at its highest point is fully 10 feet higher than at the entrance; but
this may not mean that it is 10 feet deeper, for there are indications
that the rock floor also rises from the entrance toward the interior.
Digging in the front part of the main cave--that is, in the portion
behind the lower entrance--would be impracticable owing to the huge
rocks, some of them lying on the floor, others deeply imbedded in the
earth; consequently part of them, at least, fell while the cave was

From the junction of the two branches the cave earth extends back 60
feet to clay and gravel washed down from the interior; there is ample
light at this point, and for some distance beyond. In part, this
gravel seems to overlie the loose earth; it is still depositing, and
the manner in which the various materials intermingle and overlap at
their meeting place indicates that the cave earth to some extent
underlies the gravel and clay. This feature is worth investigating, as
it might have a bearing upon the relative age of the cave deposits.

The entrance to the branch cave is 20 feet higher in the face of the
bluff than that of the main cave, and consequently much above any
water flowing from the interior; it is 20 feet wide by 15 feet high.
Measured along the east wall, it is 40 feet from this entrance to the
apex of the triangle separating the two parts of the cavern. The
greatest width of the united caves, 70 feet, is just beyond this
point. The earth floor in the branch, a fine-grained yellow earth
apparently deposited by quiet or gently flowing water, is 3 feet
higher than it is at the highest point farther back in the cave, and
is 4 feet or more higher than the bedrock at the front. No direct
communication is possible, in front, from one entrance to the other.
The only means of transference is by passing through the caverns
around the triangular partition, or by going down to the talus from
one opening and then up to the other; though only a few feet of
descent is necessary. There is an easy passage to and from the
Gasconade, which flows at the foot of the bluff; and a good path in
either direction to the top of the hill.

Very little refuse occurs, and the site is not worth examining.


On railway property, north of the Gasconade River on the east of the
Waynesville and Crocker road, is a noted cave which "runs clear
through the hill," and can be entered from either end. From the
descriptions given it certainly could never have been utilized as a
dwelling place.


Bat Cave, so named because it formerly harbored immense numbers of
bats, is on Robert Page's land, 4½ miles from Crocker, near the
Waynesville road. The entrance is 40 feet wide and 30 feet high. Cave
earth extends for more than 200 feet in plain daylight; at this depth
the cave separates into two branches, one directly over the other. The
lower division continues into the hill on a level; the upper rises at
a slight angle; neither is high enough to permit a man to stand erect.

The greatest width, a few rods from the front, is 55 feet. A drainage
channel near one wall shows a considerable outflow in wet weather. In
the low, vertical bank of this drain, gravel and small rocks are
mingled with the earth in such quantity as to comprise more than half
the mass. But this is probably due to the fact that a large quantity
of earth, mostly, of course, from the upper part of the deposits, has
been taken away for fertilizer. Neither in the bank of the little
channel nor about the pits left by this digging is any refuse to be
seen, and there is none about the entrance. So, in spite of its
suitability for residential purposes and its favorable situation, it
does not seem ever to have been utilized.


A fourth of a mile from the Bat Cave is a natural tunnel or
underground passage which has its beginning in a deep sink hole half a
mile away on the farther side of the hill. Into this depression pours
all the water that comes through a ravine more than 4 miles long,
receiving several tributaries on the way; thus draining several
hundred acres of steep hillsides from which storm water runs off
almost as quickly as from a roof. From the sink hole it passes into
the upper end of the tunnel, an opening 10 feet high and 20 feet wide.
Trash and drift around this inlet show that the water rises above its

The lower opening of the tunnel is a beautiful, regular arch, 100 feet
wide and 50 feet high. For some distance in, the interior is so choked
with huge rocks, which reach almost to the roof near one side at the
front, that it resembles a great quarry. Gravel, sand, and driftwood,
including a large log 15 feet long, are piled on these rocks to a
height of 20 feet.


Brooks Cave, 11 miles southeast of Waynesville, has an entrance
through a sink hole in a level field. It is small and dark for some
distance back, and was never occupied.

Openings of this character are never the original mouths of caverns;
they are due to the roof falling in at a point where it has become
thin by wearing away from below.


Riddle Cave is on John W. Schord's farm, near Wildwood. The entrance
is through a sink, similar to that at Brooks Cave, and is due to the
same causes. It could never have been occupied.


Somewhat more than a mile north of Big Piney post office is a cave
known as Lane's Cave. Near it is a smaller cave; also a rock shelter.
They are all small, high up in the cliff, hard to reach, and
unsuitable for living in.


A cave on Dry Creek, north of Lane's Cave, is small and almost
inaccessible. Never used.


There is a group of house mounds, about 100 in number, close to the
site of the "Ranch House," which formerly stood near "The Falls" 4
miles southwest from Big Piney. Two other groups, north of this one,
carry the mounds for about 4 miles along a little valley, which
extends north and south about midway between Big Piney and Bloodland.
Most of the mounds, in all the groups, are on the slight slopes
bordering either side of the little stream--which sometimes ceases to
flow--but a few of them are on the narrow strip of level land along
the banks.

There is another group south of Bloodland. They were not learned of in
time to visit them.


A mile southeast of the steel bridge across Big Piney, on the
Edenville road, is Riden's Cave, in a small ravine opening into
another ravine. The entrance is 25 feet wide and 8 feet high, and the
front chamber extends 30 feet to an abrupt turn. There are large rocks
on the floor near the mouth and some cave earth and a small amount of
refuse at the front. Apparently it was never occupied except as a
temporary camp.


Near Miller's Spring, 2½ miles northeast of Big Piney, in a high
bluff, is a large cave whose name is derived from the quantity of
saltpeter collected from it in the early settlement of the country.
Earth for leaching was removed to such an extent that bedrock is now
exposed near the entrance and at several places within. In addition
many large rocks cumber the floor, consequently excavations would not
yield satisfactory results, although refuse still to be seen in the
cave and in front of it shows that it was a place of aboriginal


Three miles northeast of Big Piney is a cavern which from its
position, formation, and surroundings is particularly adapted to the
requirements of primitive people in search of a permanent shelter. It
is situated in a bluff rising from the left bank of Big Piney River,
200 feet above the level of that stream and half that distance below
the summit of the hill of which the bluff forms the front. It lies in
three different tracts of land, but the greater portion is on the farm
of Daniel S. Miller, who lives a little more than half a mile away.
For three generations it has been widely known as "Miller's Cave." It
opens toward the southeast, the river at this point flowing north of
east, and thus secures protection from the cold winds of winter,
receives the greatest amount of light through the day, and has the
advantage of sunshine at the season when this is most needed. Big
Piney, like all streams in the Ozark region, is extremely crooked and
its bed is a continuous succession of riffles and pools, or eddies as
they are locally known. In front of the cave is one of these pools
nearly a mile long and at lowest stages fully 15 feet deep in places;
even now it yields an abundance of fish, turtles, frogs, and mussels,
all of which are important items in the aboriginal dietary.

A fourth of a mile above the cave Big Piney makes an abrupt turn,
coming to this point from the southeast. Here it receives the outflow
from a large spring located at the foot of the hill, a fourth of a
mile to the southward, which boils up in a pool 40 feet across and at
its lowest stage discharges several thousand gallons every hour. Its
volume responds quickly to a heavy rainfall and to the succeeding
period of fair weather, although its level never passes above or below
certain fixed points. A singular feature of this spring, one which has
given it a wide reputation, is its rhythmic ebb and flow. With
absolute regularity, regardless of atmospheric conditions, it swells
for six hours, then subsides for an equal period, stages of high and
low water occurring at the same hours every day. The extreme range of
level is about a foot. Intermittent springs are not uncommon; but the
regularity of this one is remarkable, particularly so as its action is
not affected by changes in the volume. A dam was built below this
spring by the father of Mr. Miller to furnish power for a mill; when
the mill was not running the noise of the falling water, reenforced by
the echoes from the hills around, could be heard a long distance and
gave it the title of Roaring Spring. The Indians had a name for it
which was interpreted by the whites as "Blowing Spring;" but as there
are no unusual currents of air in the vicinity it is probable the
proper translation would be "Breathing Spring," on account of its
recurrent motion. The branch from this spring, following a course
along the foot of the hill, is wide and shallow, though swift, and is
nearly filled with a dense growth of long, moss-like vegetation which
was greedily devoured by deer, herds of them being frequently seen in
the water by early settlers.

From the mouth of the cave several hundred acres of fertile alluvial
land can be seen along both banks of the river. In the bottom land
lying nearest to the spring branch--which is itself entitled to be
called a creek--and extending southward to Miller's residence, partly
on an upper terrace, but mostly on the low land, was a village site on
which were formerly many small mounds which from the description were
undoubtedly house mounds. Mortars occur in numbers, while fragments of
pottery and flint, as well as many unbroken implements, were formerly
abundant to a depth of several inches. On the opposite side from the
cavern, in the angle formed by the abrupt turn of the river, is
another village site. A ditch, with an interior embankment about 6
feet high, formerly extended in a curved line across the point. This
fortification was about 600 feet long, coming to the river bank at
either end. In the part thus protected were many low, small mounds
placed close together but quite irregularly. These were probably house
mounds. No trace of any of this artificial work is now apparent except
that a difference in color may be seen here and there when the soil is
freshly turned, all the earthworks having been plowed and dragged
level as interfering with cultivation. A great amount of broken
pottery, flint implements, and fragments of animal bones has been
uncovered here. In fact, the field is known locally as "the place
where the Indians made their pottery." This site seems to have been
occupied within historic times; after an unusual freshet some years
ago, many "round musket-balls, such as belonged to the old-fashioned
muzzle loaders"--"hundreds," or "two gallons," of them is the usual
version--were picked up where the loose soil had washed off. There is
a local tradition, long antedating the discovery of the bullets, that
a "battle" was fought here between the French and the Indians.

On the hill over the cave are three cairns, but they have been so
searched through that scarcely a stone remains in its proper place.
There is also the site of a flint-working industry, a space 40 or 50
feet across being strewn with spalls, flakes, and chips.

When, in addition to the sustenance provided by deer and other large
game, there is taken into consideration the great numbers of wild
fowls which frequented the rugged hills and numerous streams; the
multitude of small mammals which found security in the myriad cavities
and crevices in the cliffs; the abundant food supply in the river; and
the further fact that so many mortars and pestles meant the
utilization of nuts and the cultivation of corn and no doubt of other
foodstuffs as well; it is apparent that the problem of mere
subsistence was one with which the natives had but little need to
concern themselves. That full recognition was accorded to these
advantages is amply attested by the great quantity of flints found
everywhere in the vicinity, the numerous workshops on the hills and in
the bottoms where the ground is thickly strewn with débris in every
stage from the intact nodule or block to the finished implement, and
the amount of refuse not only in this cavern, but in the Saltpeter
Cave in the same bluff and in the Freeman or Ramsey Cave 3 miles down
the river on the opposite side. Miller's Cave, however, possesses an
additional advantage, one probably not to be found elsewhere. This is
the absolute security of its inmates from the attack of an enemy. The
mouth of the cave is in the face of a perpendicular bluff, the wall
on either side so smooth that not even a squirrel can obtain a
foothold. The upper stratum of the precipice projects to such an
extent that a rope or a ladder let down from above would fall several
feet beyond the outer edge of the floor. Below, there is a vertical
drop of 30 feet to the top of the rough talus which is as steep as
rocks and earth will lie. If an assailant, by approaching from either
side, should reach the foot of this bluff he would offer a fair target
for stones rolled or hurled down by defenders who are safely out of
reach of missiles from any direction.

The only means of entrance is a small opening in the west wall,
communicating with another cave. This is so restricted in size as to
permit the passage of only one person at a time, and he must assume a
crawling or crouching posture. This opening, which for distinction
will be called the doorway, has its top, sides, and bottom coated with
stalagmite formation; so it may once have been somewhat larger than at
present. The limited amount of the deposit over the natural rock at
either end of the orifice is evidence, however, that it could never
have been high enough for a man to walk through without stooping, or
wide enough for two persons to pass each other; consequently one man
armed with a club or other weapon could easily guard it against any
number who might attempt to enter.

The cavern from which this opening leads, and which will be called the
outer cave, is close to and nearly parallel with the face of the
bluff, and its course is therefore approximately east and west,
forming nearly a right angle with the main cavern. It has a slight
curve, so that the doorway is not visible to one who is approaching
from the outside until he is within a few yards of it.

The outer cave has its beginning at a point where the bluff bends
toward the north; that is, where there is a shallow reentrant curve,
formed by the face of the cliff breaking away at this part and rolling
down the hill; a considerable portion of this cave itself has been
thus destroyed, as shown by another entrance into the bluff beyond.
Much talus has accumulated in this cave, over which there is at
present a fairly easy though winding and zigzag path to the entrance
from the top of the hill, and a rough and difficult way from the
bottom. It is a natural presumption that dwellers in the cavern had
well-constructed though necessarily devious pathways of easy grade to
both the top and the bottom of the hill; but owing to the loose nature
of the débris on the outside slopes all trace of these, when abandoned
or no longer kept in repair, would soon be obliterated by surface
wash, landslides, and the roots of trees.

By the side of the upper trail, at the bottom of the sandstone ledge
capping the hill, are many large blocks which have split off from this
stratum. On the flat surface of two of these are about 25 figures,
pecked into the stone apparently with a pointed flint implement. One
of them measuring 6½ by 30 inches, shown in figure 11, bears some
resemblance to a flying bird. All the others are of uniform design, an
oval or elliptical figure with a straight line or bar passing through
an opening in one end. These vary from 4 to 18 inches in length; two
of them are shown in figure 12. Owing to the rough weathering of the
stones accurate tracings were not possible, but the illustrations give
a fairly correct idea of the inscriptions as they originally appeared.

  [Illustration: FIG. 11.--Incised figure in sandstone near Miller's

  [Illustration: FIG. 12.--Incised figures in sandstone near
  Miller's Cave.]

The front part of the outer cave is partially filled with large rocks,
gravel, and clay, which have fallen or been washed in. A window-like
opening on the right, or south, side admits additional light. Near the
inner end the cave divides, one branch going to the southeast and
opening in the face of the bluff, the other turning north and
terminating abruptly near the doorway, which is worn through its rear
wall. A rough diagram (fig. 13) with some measurements is appended to
show this cavern's peculiar structure.

  Width at mouth (A)                                         17
  From mouth to "window" (B)                                 21
  Width of window (B), which has a very irregular outline     3
  From window to where cave divides (C)                      39
  From corner of divide (c) to opposite corner (H)           13
  From corner (H) to rear wall                               11
  Greatest width, from (B) to (F)                            22
  Width from (C) to (G)                                      10
  From north wall near (G) to face of bluff (D)              28
  Height at mouth from talus to roof                          8
  Height from floor to roof between (C) and (G)              13
  Lowest point in the cave (near C), below entrance (A)       7
  Mouth, at (D), lower than floor at (C)                      4

A small amount of refuse on the floor suggested use of the outer cave
for residence or shelter; but excavations at several points uncovered
bedrock, with very irregular surface, at depths of 6 inches to 2 feet,
the earth containing very little refuse and no ashes. On the talus at
the entrance, and also at the bottom of the bluff in which the caves
open, is much refuse which the inmates threw out as rubbish.

  [Illustration: FIG. 13.--Plan of Miller's Cave.]

The front chamber of the main cavern is quite regular in form, going
straight back like a vault for 80 feet, then turning abruptly westward
with a width of 47 feet, the west wall making almost a right angle at
the corner. The east wall abuts squarely against the rear; a narrow
crevice leads eastward from their junction, but as this was filled
with water and mud no exploration in it was attempted.

The floor of the front chamber, from wall to wall, and from near the
front to within 27 feet of the rear, was entirely of ashes, no earth
being visible until the extremity of these at either end was reached.
The floor of the western extension is covered with fine earth, washed
in, which gradually increases in volume until it fills the cave to
within a foot of the roof. It was not examined beyond this point.

Measurements show these dimensions:

 Width of cave at mouth                                 feet     64
 Least width of cave, 24 feet from mouth                 do      45
 Greatest width of cave, from doorway to branch in
  cave in eastern wall                                  feet     74
 Shortest distance from line of least width to line
  of greatest width, as given above                     feet     18
 From mouth of cave to doorway                           do      51
 Height of doorway                                     inches    42
 Width of doorway                                        do      33
 Length of floor of doorway                              do      56 §
 From mouth of cave to top of slope of ashes at rear    feet     84
 From top to bottom of slope of ashes at rear            do      16
 From foot of ash slope to rear wall                     do      27
 Extent of ashes in turn of cave along foot of wall
  beyond corner of west wall                            feet     22
 Width of these ashes, from foot of wall to the
  pool of water                                          do      22
 Width of cave from corner of west wall to east wall     do      56
 From corner of west wall to rear of cave                do      47
 Height of extreme front from floor at edge of bluff
  to most projecting ledge above                        feet     35
 Height from shelf or ledge near front of east wall
  to general level of roof                              feet     14
 Height from ashes to roof at middle of cave             do      10

  § This measure also represents the thinnest portion of the wall
    separating the main cave from the outer cave.

The walls were, as is usual in caverns, somewhat irregular, there
being a narrow bench or shelf along each side near the front, while
projections and indentations alternated from front to rear. There were
numerous small holes and crevices, enlargements of seams and joints by
percolating water at an early stage in the cave's history. These
furnish homes for various wild animals, and nearly all of them contain
bones, sticks, and trash taken in by ground hogs and wood rats which
seem to find much pleasure in carrying such things from place to

The work of excavation began at the extreme front of the cave, where
the original bottom, a mixture of sand, clay, and chert gravel, had
been exposed through removal of the ashes by winds and driving rain.
Almost immediately rocks, large and small, fallen from walls and roof,
were encountered and interfered greatly with the digging. In the upper
foot of the clay were streaks of sand and ashes, among which a mussel
shell and a flint chip were found; and the top of the clay was quite
uneven, appearing as if carried and thrown here, as perhaps some of it
was early in the occupancy of the cave, with the object of making a
more even or level floor farther back. But this admixture was only
superficial; below it, the material had all the appearance of a
running water deposit.

A ledge extended along the east wall for 40 feet, with a width of 12
to 14 feet; at the inner end it was about 4 feet below the general
level of the floor. At 8 feet below its top a second ledge projected
from it, sloping toward the center, slightly for 8 feet then more
rapidly for 10 feet farther, where it merged into the bedrock. Then
came level, nearly smooth rock for 18 feet, to the foot of the slope
of the west wall, 14 feet out from that side of the cave. This was
probably the original drainage channel.

By the gradual erosion of new channels through the limestone and the
consequent abandonment of old ones, subterranean drainage is
continually altering its direction and force. In this way caverns may
be left entirely dry, with bare floors; or may, especially if they
receive the drainage of sink holes, be partially or even entirely
filled with débris thus carried in. Like others, Miller's Cave has
undergone such changes. It was begun by clear water; enlarged by
erosion and by breaking down of walls and roof; presently clay, sand,
and gravel were carried in; finally the water no longer flowed through
the front, but found its way out in some other direction. In time the
deposits became sufficiently dry to afford a good site for camps and
for permanent occupation. There is no way of ascertaining the rate at
which these changes took place; it may have required many centuries to
make an appreciable difference in appearance; or, on the other hand,
the transition from one stage to the next may have been rapid.

Along the foot of the ledge from the east wall the clay was only a few
inches deep; farther out on the ledge, and on the projection extending
from it, were layers of red sand. Occasionally a small patch of it
appeared along the western side. Probably it was washed in among the
last of the natural deposits.

There was considerable chert gravel mixed with the clay, making
excavation as difficult and laborious as digging up an old,
much-traveled macadamized highway.

The surface of the ashes sloped upward rather rapidly for a distance
of 29 feet from the front. Kitchen refuse, found in them from the
start, contained many mussel shells; bones, including those of bear,
deer, panther, turkey, and other large fowls, tortoise, turtle, fish,
and various small mammals and birds; potsherds; broken flints, with
the débris of chipping work; mortars, pestles, hammers, and mullers.
Near the west wall, 14 feet from the mouth, imbedded in the ashes and
a foot below their surface, was a well-preserved cranium, shown in
plate 17, e, f. There were no other bones, not even the lower jaw; it
seems to have been thrown here and covered with the dumped ashes.

At 18 feet from the mouth the rocks became larger and so numerous as
to be almost in contact, projecting above the ashes and imbedded in
the clay down to bedrock; they extended for 22 feet farther in and to
within 14 feet of the west wall. The clay attained its highest level
at the beginning of this pile of rocks, having an elevation of 9 feet
above bedrock; it became lower toward the interior, with its surface
everywhere rough and irregular.

The rocks were too large to be either moved or broken up, and owing to
the condition of the roof an attempt to reduce them by blasting would
have been attended with great danger, so they were perforce left in
place and as much as possible of the clay between and under them dug
away. Beyond those near the front, others, not reaching the top, were
found one after another buried in the clay; owing to their constantly
increasing number, and to the inward slope of the east wall, the
limits of the excavation gradually narrowed, hampering the movements
of the workmen, and it was necessary to handle the earth two or even
three times to get it out of the way. There was growing risk, too, of
the projecting rocks splitting off or breaking out of the clay matrix.
As some of them weighed several tons, the danger became too imminent,
and efforts to continue along the bedrock had to cease.

Two other attempts were made to get to the bottom; one at 40 feet from
the mouth just beyond the large rocks on the surface, and one at 15
feet farther in. The last one started on an area 8 by 15 feet, which
would have been ample if the sides could have been carried down even
approximately straight. Neither of these efforts met with success, for
the same reason that led to the abandonment of the first one.

From here to the end, examinations were confined to the deposit of
ashes. The surface, except as it had been disturbed by relic hunters,
was practically level from wall to wall, but the depth varied with the
undulating top of the clay beneath. Where it was deepest, in the
central portion about 50 to 75 feet from the mouth, the deposit had a
thickness of 6 feet. From this it diminished to about 3 feet on the
sides, with an occasional thinner patch on a narrow shelf formed by a
ledge or a crevice. The average thickness was close to 4½ feet, so the
amount was not far from 800 cubic yards. This was composed entirely of
ashes from small fires for cooking, heating, and lighting purposes,
increased to a very limited extent by kitchen waste, and by discarded
or mislaid wrought objects. It represented the combustion of many
hundreds, perhaps of thousands, of cords of wood, all of which had to
be carried in from the hilltop or slopes and passed through the
constricted doorway. This labor would be a sufficient guarantee of
economical use; we may be sure that no fuel was wasted. If proof were
needed of such a self-evident proposition, it would be found in the
almost complete absence of charcoal; here and there, but seldom, a
small mass of it showed that a burning chunk, covered up, had
smoldered until the inflammable portion was consumed. Bunches or
handfuls of coarse grass or small weeds had undergone the same
process. Perhaps these had been used as kindling.

In all the deeper parts the ashes had been dumped promiscuously, from
fires made at other points; no camping fires seem to have been made
along the middle of the cave until the depressions in the clay had
been at least partially filled. The ashes in the upper 4 feet of the
ash beds where these were deepest, and in nearly all the shallower
portions, were stratified and usually level, though at the front and
rear the strata followed the natural incline of the slopes. The first
impression was that the ashes had been carefully spread out, or
dragged, to make their surface even; but it was discovered, when
shoveling some of them for the second time, that ashes may assume this
appearance no matter how carelessly thrown. The ashes at the top, to a
depth of 3 or 4 inches, were as fine as flour, and when shoveled back
hung in clouds for hours at a time, to the great discomfort of the
excavators, whose eyes, throats, and nasal passages were in a state of
constant irritation. The stratified or laminated, hard-packed
condition below the loose surface means, perhaps, that they were
occasionally sprinkled and trampled by the occupants to prevent this
trouble. Possibly they were covered with mats, skins, weeds, or
leaves, in the parts where the inmates congregated. The loose,
incoherent condition of the lower portions, which "shoveled like
snow," may denote that only a few persons dwelt here at first, who
found ample room on the higher ground near the doorway. However, all
such attempts at explanations are not much better than mere guesswork,
and we must be content with accepting the facts as we find them.

Where the ashes were white and packed hard, whether on the site of a
fire or in thin layers where thrown, they contained very little
extraneous material; whereas in the darker, more mixed material broken
bones, potsherds, shells, and other refuse were abundant, while there
was scarcely a cubic foot anywhere in which was not found a piece of
flint or bone, sometimes several such objects, which had been
intentionally altered from their natural condition.

Near the center of the cave was a curving pile, 6 by 2 feet, and
several inches thick, of mussel shells of every size from less than an
inch to above 5 inches in length; more than half of them were over 3
inches. None of them showed any marks of fire; some had both valves in
position, as if they had never been opened, and a few of the larger of
these had been filled with small shells and closed again. A few were
broken, but most of them were entire. About 1,400 valves were in this
pile, meaning that at least one-half of that number of mollusks were

The first interment was found at 46 feet from the front, 14 feet from
the east wall. The folded skeleton of a very old person lay on the
right side, head east, in loose ashes, on a large flat rock whose top
was 30 inches below the surface. This rock had not been placed here,
but had fallen from the ceiling; probably its existence was not known
until it was uncovered in digging the grave. The skull still retained
its shape, in part, being held in place by the ashes, but fell in
pieces when this support was removed. A portion of it was gone; two
fragments were found, several feet away, not near each other, one of
which fits in the skull, and the other probably belongs with it also.
The frontal bone is nearly half an inch thick; the sutures partially
obliterated; the teeth worn down to the necks, some of them nearly to
the bone; the forehead is low and receding. A restoration is seen in
plate 20, a, b. In addition to the missing portions of the skull, most
of the ribs, half of the lower jaw, and nearly all the dorsal vertebræ
were absent, probably having been dragged away by ground hogs. The
bones are all light and fragile. Lying above the skull, in contact
with it but supported by the ashes on both sides, was half of a large
mortar hollowed on both sides. Above the skeleton, and extending for
several feet on every side, was an undisturbed stratum of closely
packed ashes, 17 inches thick at the middle, which broke off under the
pick in large clods; these, of course, had accumulated after the body
was interred.

The spongy condition of these bones, in spite of the preservative
action of the ashes, is evidence of the fact frequently noted, that
with advancing age some change takes place which renders them less
resistant to destructive influences. Bones of children only a few
weeks old near this skeleton held their structure perfectly and were
easily secured.

Ten feet east from the pile of mussel shells, at a slightly lower
level, was nearly half a gallon of snail shells which had been boiled,
probably in soup. With them were a few pieces of bones.

Scattered irregularly through the ashes were many cavities which
somewhat resembled the "postholes" so common beneath the mounds in
Ohio. Some were barely an inch in diameter and a foot deep; from this
size they varied indefinitely to the largest, which was a little more
than 3 feet deep, reaching from about a foot below the undisturbed
layers just under the loose surface ashes to within about a foot of
the bottom. "About" is used advisedly, because at this point neither
the top nor the bottom of undisturbed material could be determined
with certainty. The lower 2 feet of this cavity was uniformly 7 inches
across; above this it slightly expanded, funnel-like, to a diameter of
8 inches at the top. The sides of this, as of all of them, large or
small, were as smooth and hard as if made with a posthole digger or a
boring tool. Strata of ashes, not changing their level or appearance
in the least, were continuous around the margin. But the holes were
not always straight; some of them changed direction as if due to a
crooked post or stick. Nearly all of them were rounded, even
hemispherical at top or bottom, or both, like the bottom of a pot.
They were not molds, for nothing could have been taken out of them
without changing or destroying its form. If they had contained any
solid substance like a post it must have stood unchanged until the
layers of ashes surrounded and covered it, and then must have so
completely disappeared as to leave no trace of its existence. They
were not formed by driving any object down, because in that case the
bottom would not have been so regularly rounded and the ashes around
the sides would have been more or less displaced. They were not due to
burrowing animals. In fact, if there be imagined a nearly cylindrical
mass of ice, straight or slightly crooked, with rounded ends, placed
upright and retaining its position unmelted until completely buried,
the appearance of these cavities will best be understood. Some of them
were filled to the top with fine loose ashes which occasionally
contained fragments of bone, shell, and pottery; sometimes they were
nearly empty, with traces of decayed wood at the bottom, mingled with
a little ashes and charcoal. In one was found a long, perfect bone
perforator, shown at a in plate 30; in another near the corner of the
west wall was found the pipe shown in figure 14. About 45 feet from
the front near the east wall were four of them of different diameters
and depths but all in a straight line within a space 2 feet long;
these were in front of a crevice under an overhanging ledge where a
man could not stand upright. Wigwams may have been erected in the
cave, or at least skins stretched to prevent drafts or to confine the
heat of fires in winter and perhaps to insure some degree of privacy
if this were desired; but there are no present indications of such
shelters unless these holes were to secure them; otherwise their
purpose or object is still unsolved. They would probably not contain
posts for hanging things on when the walls afforded so many small
crevices and holes into which poles better adapted for such purposes
could be thrust.

  [Illustration: PLATE 20
  a, b, Skull from Miller's Cave, Pulaski County, Mo. (a, front; b,
  profile). c, Part of skull of child from Miller's cave (front

  [Illustration: PLATE 21
  SKULL OF YOUNG WOMAN FROM MILLER'S CAVE a, Front; b, profile; c,

Other holes or depressions, shallow, saucer-shaped, or dish-shaped,
some dug in the underlying clay, others at any level almost to the top
of the ashes, were fire pits or cooking places, containing charcoal
and ashes. Two such depressions were lined with a coating of gumbo
half an inch thick, which, however, was not mixed with sand or shell.
Pots may have been shaped in these. Occasionally a small mass of
gumbo, never so much as a peck, sometimes as small as a pint measure,
would be found loose in the ashes, seemingly thrown there at random.
Two pieces were squeezed into a rough ball; one was patted or rolled
into a flattened sphere with a rounded depression on one side. These
were no doubt intended as material for making vessels, as was a
roughly cylindrical mass of red clay and pounded shell as large as a
quart cup--the "biscuit" of modern potters.

About the middle of the cave a saucer-shaped depression, 4 feet across
and 10 inches deep at the center, had been dug in the red clay; ashes
had been deposited to a depth of 2 feet over this space before the
excavation of the hole was begun, and streaks of red clay lay at about
this level all around the pit. Many rocks, large and small, apparently
thrown in, were in this basin and above it. No fire had been made in
it; nothing buried; and the upper layers of ashes extended across it
unbroken. It forms another of the unsolved problems.

  [Illustration: FIG. 14.--Clay pipe from Miller's Cave.]

In the den of a burrowing animal smaller than a ground hog was the
frontal bone and upper portion of the face of a child of 8 or 10
years; 12 teeth are cut and others can be seen. It is shown in plate
20, c. Part of a cervical vertebra lay at the top of the skull, and
there were fragments of a few other bones.

The ulna of a child, broken off at the wrist, was near the doorway in
a mass of refuse in a ground-hog burrow. For several feet in every
direction around here the ashes were traversed by the tunnels and dens
of these animals, some of them extending down into the clay.

Twenty-five feet east of the doorway, a foot below the highest layer
of unbroken ashes, was the top and back of a thin skull.

Sixty feet from the front, 15 feet from the east wall, at a depth of
14 inches, was a partial skeleton, lying on the back. The right arm,
folded, lay by the side; the left forearm across the pelvis. All bones
from the atlas to the sacrum, except some bones of the hands and
wrists and the left ulna, lay in such position as to show they had
been interred with the flesh on, or at least while the cartilages
held them together; but no trace of the skull--which had lain toward
the west--or of any part of the legs or feet was present. Fragments of
coarse cloth were adhering to the pelvis. The bones, which were almost
like punk, were those of a young person, the caps of the long bones
being separate from the shafts; but they were of good size, the
humerus being 13 inches long. The left ulna (at least a left ulna) lay
above where the face should have been, but some inches away, with one
end near the surface. It is quite probable that ground hogs are
responsible for the condition of this skeleton, and that some of the
bones found scattered in the ashes belonged to it. About a foot under
the bones, but not connected with the burial in any way, were three
large pieces of a large pot.

Four feet east of this, a foot lower, was the skeleton of a baby, the
humerus only 3½ inches long. The bones rolled out with some loose
ashes, and not all of them could be recovered.

Thirteen feet from the east wall, 16 feet from top of rear slope of
the ashes, 4 feet below the surface was part of a skeleton. The bones
lay on a damp, close-packed bed of ashes 6 inches thick. They were
closely folded, the femurs and lower leg bones being in contact; the
skull, scapulæ, right humerus, sacrum, and some of the vertebræ were
missing. Such bones as remained were in their proper positions, except
that the sternum lay in the pelvis and the elbows at the knees. All of
them were in a space only 18 by 22 inches, measuring to the outermost
points. The situation of such bones as remained indicated that part of
a skeleton had been buried after the flesh had decayed, or had been
removed, but while the joints were still united, and covered with
loose ashes, whose settling had caused some sagging of the stratified
ashes, a foot in thickness, which lay above them, there being no
evidence that they had been disturbed since they were placed here. All
were as light as cork and, except the left tibia, which was 15½ inches
long, fell to pieces when taken up.

Eight feet east from the last skeleton was one of a very young infant,
on left side, head toward the front of the cave. It was 2½ feet below
the surface, partly under a jutting portion of a large rock whose top
was above the ashes. It lay on small angular rocks, with similar rocks
over it.

Two feet west of this was the ulna of a child 10 years old.

Sixteen feet from the east wall, 10 feet from top of rear slope, 2
feet under surface was another infant's skeleton, lying on the back,
head toward the mouth of the cave. The femur was only 4½ inches long.

Fifteen feet from east wall, 8 feet from top of rear slope of ashes, a
little more than a foot below the surface, was the closely folded
skeleton of a woman between 20 and 25 years of age. It lay on the
right side, with the head east. The bones were in perfect condition,
even the coccyx being intact. All the teeth were present, solid, and
symmetrically set. Unbroken strata of ashes a foot thick above this
skeleton sagged somewhat owing to settling of loose ashes thrown
around and over the body at time of burial. The skull is shown, front,
profile, and back, in plate 21.

A few inches below these bones, with ashes intervening, were piled
some bones of a child of about 8 years. The caps of the joints were
not adherent, and some of the teeth had not come through the bone. The
skull, which was intact, lay on left side, vertex north, ribs, arm
bones, and feet bones lay on the top, at the back, and at the vertex,
in contact with the skull and with one another. As there was no
evidence that they had ever been disturbed by animals, it would appear
that only the bones mentioned had been deposited; even the lower jaw
was absent. They lay in a mass of kitchen refuse, shells, burned
bones, charcoal, and ashes, the upper layers of which were curved as
if the bones had been laid on a level area of this mixed material and
the rest of it piled over them. Their position, and the small number
of them, indicates that the flesh had been used as food. The skull is
shown in plate 22.

Between this partial skeleton and the complete one above it,
apparently thrown in with the refuse which covered and surrounded
both, were fragments of two large pelvic bones which did not belong to
either of them.

Directly below these burials, 3 feet under the surface, was part of an
infant's skeleton, with five shell disk beads among the bones; the
only instance in which ornaments were found with human bones. The
skull and some other bones were present, but most of the remains had
disappeared into the runway of a burrower.

At several places in the central parts of the cavern, at almost any
level between the top and the bottom of the ashes, were human bones,
singly or a few together, some of them apparently remains of
interments, others carried to the points where found. Most of these
scattered bones were of children or infants; but now and then larger
ones were found, notably two large adult tibiæ which were a foot
apart. While a few of them may have been thrown in with the ashes,
most of this confusion resulted from the activity of rodents, though
some of it was due to desultory former investigations.

At one point was the perfect lower jaw of a child 8 or 10 years old;
with it were a scapula and some vertebræ which may have belonged to
it, also some ribs, vertebræ, and arm bones of an infant. Two or three
of them bore marks of fire, especially an ulna of a child which was
completely charred.

Four feet from east wall, 4 feet below surface, at the beginning of
the slope to the rear, was the skeleton of a child less than 2 years
old. It lay on left side, head east, legs bent, one arm folded with
hand by head, the other along the body; just such a position as would
be assumed by a sleeping infant. Some of the teeth were cut. All the
bones were in place, though soft and brittle; above them was an
unbroken stratum of ashes.

Four feet west of this, 2 feet higher, was the skeleton of a still
younger child.

Sixteen feet from east wall, at the beginning of slope to rear, near
the bottom of the ashes, was an adult's skeleton, extended on back,
head west. Three rocks, weighing from 75 to 300 pounds, were placed
over the body. Most of the bones had disappeared from decay; the
middle third of one tibia was much enlarged by disease, as shown in
plate 23.

Eleven feet east of this, 4 feet below surface, was an adult skeleton,
folded, on right side, head toward rear of the cave. The bones were
spongy and soft. Portions of the feet and legs, most of the pelvis,
the left arm, and some of the vertebræ were present, but there was no
trace of right arm, skull, or shoulders. A slab weighing 100 pounds or
more was set on edge just where the head should have been. One tibia,
the only bone with both ends remaining, measured 14½ inches.

Near the wall, just beyond the break of the slope, was the entire
skeleton of a dog so old that its teeth were rounded and smooth. It
had been killed by a spear thrust entirely through its body, from the
right side, both scapulæ being penetrated; the holes are three-fourths
of an inch in diameter. The skull of a fox was found near this, higher
in the ashes.

Fifteen feet from east wall, halfway down the slope, 18 inches under
surface, was the skeleton of an infant only a few days old. No trace
of pelvis or right leg remained, though all the other bones were well

Twenty-four feet from east wall, at beginning of rear slope, was the
complete skeleton of a young child, extended, on back, head toward
rear of cave. The bones showed evidence of disease, as may be seen in
plate 23. The skull is shown in plate 24.

Nineteen feet from east wall, 13 feet from foot of slope, was a hole
4½ inches to 5 inches in diameter, 21 inches deep, extending into the
loose dark earth underlying the ashes. The bottom of the hole was
muddy, being at about the level of the standing water, and contained
charred and decayed remains of oak wood. Ashes, in layers having the
same slope as the surface, extended over it, proving the post (?) to
have been burned some time before the cave was abandoned.

  [Illustration: PLATE 22
  a, Front; b, profile]

  [Illustration: PLATE 23

  [Illustration: PLATE 24
  a, Front; b, profile]

  [Illustration: PLATE 25

West of the doorway a ledge, projecting from 4 to 6 feet, extended to
the west corner. It was covered 2 feet deep, or less, with ashes
containing the usual refuse. Large rocks lay on this, or had
fallen over it to the clay lying against its lower part, or into
the ashes on the clay.

Near the west wall were four holes in an almost straight
north-and-south line. The first (1), was 29 feet north of the doorway,
18 inches deep and 7 inches in diameter. In it was the clay pipe shown
in figure 14. Number (2), 5 feet from (1), was 24 by 9 inches; No. (3)
2 feet from (2), was 26 by 7 inches; No. (4), 4½ feet from (3), was 30
by 5 inches. Fourteen inches northwest of No. (1) was another hole, 15
by 3 inches. The description on a previous page as to character,
appearance, and contents applies to all these holes; the ashes
extended above all of them in continuous layers.

A little to the west of No. (1) was a small pile of crumbling
fragments of sandstone and limestone used in boiling food.

Near No. (4), a foot under the surface, on the slope, 15 feet from the
water, was a small pile of charcoal on which lay a human scapula, some
vertebræ, fragments of ribs, most of a humerus, and most of a femur of
a person not fully matured; they were of good size but the cap fell
away from the humerus when it was moved. Some of them were without
marks of fire, others were charred, while a few pieces were burned to
cinder. As the mass was surrounded by clean ashes, it could not be
determined whether the charcoal had been burned where found, or had
been carried here. Whichever it was, the bones had been thrown on the

Thirteen feet just north from the corner of the west wall was a hole
19 by 7 inches which differed from the others in that the bottom
instead of being rounded was irregular, and deeper at one side; the
top, however, showed the usual hemispherical contour.

Two feet from corner of west wall, almost under a point projecting
from it, 4 feet below surface, was a cranium from which the upper jaw,
one orbit, and part of the right parietal were missing; with it were a
lower jaw, a clavicle, a sternum, the bones of the left arm, and some
phalanges, all in good condition, except the ulna, which was broken.
No other bones were present. The skull lay on right side, face toward
the wall; the arm bones were on it, and the other bones by it. With
and around them were some deer bones. The entire lot had the
appearance of being thrown together here at one time, and it would
seem that the flesh of all of them had been eaten.

Fourteen feet north from the corner, halfway down to the water, in the
wet earth at the bottom, were human bones evidently placed here
entire, but so decayed and broken that nothing could be ascertained
except that it seemed a closely folded body or skeleton had been
deposited. The teeth were worn down to the gums.

The refuse behind the corner of the west wall was cleared away as far
as the conditions would permit. The amount of water at the rear of
the cave varies with the rainfall; sometimes it almost disappears,
again it may be fully 2 feet deep; but at all times the earth and
ashes near it are saturated above its lowest level. Consequently, on
account of the mud, excavations could not be carried fully to the end
in either direction. As scarcely anything was found in the last few
feet, this omission was not important.

The entire distance worked over, from the front margin to the line
where no further advance could be made, at 14 feet from the water, was
91 feet. No spot that could be reached throughout this length was left

The small openings in the west wall presented no features worthy of
special mention; but those in the east wall yielded interesting

First of these was a small cave 39 feet from the main entrance. At the
front its width was 11 feet; 6 feet within it narrowed to 4 feet. A
hole on the north side ended at a crevice that led to a chamber higher
up, from which, in turn, another crevice extended. All this space,
even beyond the point to which a man could worm his way, was filled
with fine earth and ashes containing much refuse. Worked objects were
found at the greatest distance which could be reached.

A few feet within the entrance this minor cave divided into three
parts. A crevice trending northward is too small to follow. The two
others extend in a general easterly direction. The central branch, the
left of the two, also closes within a few feet. Neither of these
contained anything but natural earth. In the one to the right, 7 feet
from the entrance, was a pocket on the south side, 18 inches wide, 30
inches high, and 4 feet deep; it was filled with ashes containing bone
and shell, but no worked object except a flake scraper. At intervals,
within the next few feet, were two mortars, a much used pestle, some
bone awls, and flints, all of them in places where it was scarcely
possible for a man to sit erect, as the tunnel-like cavity,
circumscribed by solid rock, was nowhere as much as 4 feet in
diameter. At its narrowest part it measured only 3 feet high and 18
inches wide.

At 20 feet the cave opens into a well-like enlargement, 5 by 6 feet,
and 5 feet high. Bone and shell in small amounts were found here, and
among them the skiver shown at d in plate 36.

From this well-like cavity three branches start; one continuing in a
direct line east, one to the north, and one to the south. The east
(middle) branch is only 24 inches high and 17 inches wide, with solid
rock all around. It contained ashes, with a little refuse, as far as a
man could reach.

The branch to the north is entered through an opening 3 feet high and
31 inches wide in a thin wall of the original rock, just within which
it widens to nearly 7 feet, holding the same height of 3 feet. Within
this doorway, on the red earth bottom, were a small mortar and a
grinding stone worn by much use; both were stained with red paint. A
foot farther in was part of a skiver; and 2 feet beyond this was a
large knife of white chert almost as clear and compact as chalcedony,
shown at a in plate 27. Ashes continued in the north tunnel for 26
feet from the entrance, beyond which no further progress was possible.
Before this point was reached, the refuse which had been continually
decreasing in amount no longer appeared.

The tunnel leading from the well toward the south is 19 inches high, 3
feet 9 inches wide. At 3 feet it branches; one fork, 2 feet high and
17 inches wide, turns eastward and curves to join the east branch from
the well. The other branch continues south, but soon closes; in it
were found a small piece of an adult's skull and the hip bone of a
young child.

The floors in all the branches of the small cave were covered from 3
to 12 inches deep with a reddish mixture of sand and clay, on which
were ashes filling the space above almost to the roof. In a few places
refuse was found in this silt, of the same general character as that
in the ashes, but in very small amount. This is not significant; such
remains were dragged down by animals, which range everywhere. The two
deposits are quite separated and distinct.

The clay and sand on the rock bottom came from disintegrated rock on
top of the ground outside, or at any rate from some level higher than
that where they are found now; but how ashes, shells, broken bone, and
especially how worked objects came to be in places too contracted for
a man to creep, and where they could be neither carried nor pushed, is
not to be explained except on the hypothesis of a chamber above,
whence they may have worked or may have been thrown down; but at no
place, either in the cave or in the outside surface, could there be
found any evidence of such communication.

Fifty-five feet from the mouth of the cave, in the east wall, is a
crevice into whose lower portion extended the red clay of the cavern
floor. It branched into various tortuous divisions, all of which were
filled with ashes containing a large proportion of refuse. It appeared
at first that all this had settled in, or been thrown in, from the
main cavern; but one branch, having a very irregular outline, was in
such situation and trended upward at such an angle that it could not
have been filled from below. As in similar cases previously noted,
however, no other opening to it was to be found. The smallest workman
cleared it out to as great a distance as he could crawl and use a
trowel, but did not succeed in reaching the end of the deposits.

At the bottom of the crevice were ground-hog burrows extending between
loose rocks, under ledges, and into the red clay. All these were
followed as far as they could be, and found to contain quantities of
refuse. There was also a considerable amount of fine dark earth in the
burrows, showing they have another outlet somewhere. Occasionally a
mass thrown out by a shovel or a trowel contained more refuse than
ashes. There was nearly everything which was found elsewhere in the
cave, and almost every shovelful contained something worth preserving.

Near the rear of the cave erosion of the lower part of the eastern
wall formed a rudely triangular recess or cavity 30 feet long by 7
feet deep at the widest part. The upper margin of this was below the
surface of the ashes, so that its existence was not suspected until
these had been removed from in front of it. The roof was 5 feet above
the rock bottom, the entire space being filled with loose material.
The upper 2 feet of this was clean ashes in which were great
quantities of refuse, so much that it had all the appearance of a
general dumping ground. Below this depth, patches of fine dark earth
were mingled with the ashes and refuse. The latter continually
decreased in quantity, until at a foot above the bottom they ceased
altogether, the lower portion of the deposit consisting of nothing but
earth. The pure ashes were slightly damp; and the moisture increased
with the depth until at a foot above the bottom the earth was
saturated and could no longer be removed with tools.

The refuse in the ashes consisted of animal bones, entire or in
fragments; broken flints and pottery; mussel and snail shells; and
numerous wrought objects. These continued, though in smaller amount,
where the ashes were mingled with earth, though bones and shells were
soft owing to the moisture, and could be removed only in fragments.
Among them were the flint shown at a in plate 28, and the hematite ax,
at a, plate 29. The latter was at the lowest level to which the ashes
extended; perhaps its weight caused it to settle below the place at
which it originally lay.

Near the middle of this chamber, 2 feet from the rear wall, lying at
the bottom of the mixed ashes and earth, were 12 entire and 3 broken
leaf-shaped blades; they were not closely piled, or arranged in any
order, but seem to have been hastily or carelessly laid or thrown on a
small space. Another was found a foot away. They are shown in plate





Here and there among the refuse were found the upper jaw, with left
orbit, of a young person; a fragment of an occiput, perhaps belonging
with the above though not lying near it; fragments of the skull of a
young child; half of an ulna of a child probably 12 years old; a small
fragment of the lower jaw of an adult with one molar remaining in it,
which has been burned until black. These fragments were all in such
position and condition as to show they were not carried in by animals;
were not disinterred from graves and placed here; were not in any
way accidentally present; but had been gathered up with the refuse and
thrown in as a part of it. The broken or burned condition of these, as
well as of other human bones found at random among the ashes of the
main cave, are presumptive evidence that dwellers here sometimes
devoured the flesh of human beings; and the fact that a majority of
such bones are those of children indicates that it was not eaten
through a belief that the valor and skill of an enemy could be thus
absorbed by the victor, but that it was used as food, like the flesh
of any other animal. Such conclusion may not be justified; but the
facts are not readily accounted for otherwise, except on the equally
repulsive hypothesis that the inmates of the cave were brutally
indifferent to the bodies or skeletal remains of their fellows.

Omitting this question from consideration, however, there is still
ample evidence that the inhabitants of Miller's Cave were in a low
state of savagery, or, if the phrase be preferred, in a very primitive
stage of culture. There was a remarkable paucity of articles used as
ornaments or for personal decoration, and the few that were found were
simple and crude, being only rubbed stones or rough pieces of bones
which were possibly intended for beads or pendants. The pottery, while
strong and serviceable, was plain in form and devoid of any
ornamentation or design except that a few pieces showed impressions
such as would be made by scratching or pressing with the end of a
small stick or bone. Nearly all of it was cord-marked, though some was
smooth, one red piece appearing almost glazed. It varied much in
thickness, hardness, and color. Most of it was dark gray, some red,
occasionally a piece yellowish or nearly white; due to the different
clays of which it was made. So far as observed it was tempered with
shell. The shards were small, as if when a pot was broken the
fragments were still further demolished. The curvature showed there
was a wide range in size, from about a pint to 2 gallons or more.

Their mortars were natural blocks or slabs of sandstone, such as may
be picked up by thousands in the immediate neighborhood, and showed no
alteration of form beyond ordinary wear except that the rough faces of
a few were pecked, apparently with a pointed flint tool, to make them
less irregular. Some were flat and smooth from use with a muller or
grinding stone; most of them were worked or hollowed on only one face;
a few showed depressions on both sides; one had a few hemispherical
indentations near the margin, like those observed in cup-stones.

Only one pestle was dressed into any of the forms which we are
accustomed to associate with the name, and this was a truncated cone
with rounded top, shown at b in plate 29. All the others were
cobblestones from ravines or the river shore. A few had undergone no
change in form; most of them were battered on the perimeter; a few had
pitted sides; some had been used as pestles, mullers, or grinding
stones until the surface was more or less smooth. All such stones are
classed as "pestles," for convenience; they could have also been used
as hammers, bone crushers, and in various other ways.

In all, 73 mortars were found; counting only those stones which bore
marks of use as such. The largest one was at the bottom of the ashes,
near the doorway. There were more than 100 pestles which bore evidence
of much use; and probably as many more on which there was little or no
sign of wear. As the cavern was not of sufficient size to provide
living quarters for many families at any one time--10 or 12 at the
most--the large number of these utensils may imply that the inmates
would not use an object which had previously belonged to some one

Among the flint implements there was a wide range in the character of
stone, the shape, and the degree of finish, although the variation in
size was quite limited. Very few of them may be classed as either
large or small. The longest, shown at a in plate 28, measured 5½
inches; few were more than 4 or less than 2 inches. Tapering stems
predominated. The principal forms are shown in plates 26-28. Only
three arrowheads were found; but this was to be expected, as arrows
would be used only out of doors. One of these of clear, fine-grained
pink and white chert, shown at b in plate 28, so far surpasses in
delicate finish any other specimen secured that it is probably exotic.
The large number of cores, blocks, spalls, and flakes shows that many
implements were made and repaired here. But, while a few specimens
showed that their fabricators were masters of the chipping art, most
of them were roughly finished. Some which are so little altered from
the original form of the rough flake or spall that they would be
classed as "rejects" if found about a flint workshop have a smoothness
or "hand polish" which denotes much service. There is the possibility,
of course, that hunting or traveling parties from some other part of
the country may have availed themselves of the shelter, either when it
was temporarily unoccupied, or as guests of those living in it; and
that these, also, may have left some small articles when they
departed. However this may have been, all the objects from the top to
the bottom of the deposits, in dry ashes or in sticky mud, in crevices
or branch caverns, on the red clay, the barren muck, or the
bedrock--all, if we may except the few flints of superior
workmanship--are identical in general character: That is to say, any
object from any part of the deposited material had its practical
duplicate at various other points on different levels.

Only three grooved axes and three pestles were found. They are shown
in plate 29, along with a cobblestone used as a pestle.









The cave was especially rich in objects wrought from bone and antler.
A few of these are shown in plates 30-36 and figure 15.

  [Illustration: FIG. 15.--Perforated bone object from Miller's

Plate 36 illustrates four stages in the manufacture of skivers. It
shows that instead of being always rubbed down from its natural form
the bone was sometimes split by blows of a stone hammer until
complete, subsequent smoothing probably resulting from use, as shown
by the implement at c. When skivers were broken, the ends were dressed
down for other uses; as observed in the upper row of plate 32.

Shell spoons, knives, and scrapers were abundant. Some are shown in
plate 37, along with perforated pottery disks and the bowl of a spoon
made from the frontal bone of a deer.

Figure 16 represents the only adz or gouge form implement found. It is
made of gray chert, the edge highly polished. In figure 17 is shown a
broken clay pipe, identical in form and material with that in figure

  [Illustration: FIG. 16.--Adz or gouge of chert from Miller's

The red clay which had formed the floor of the excavated area from the
mouth of the cavern to well past the central portion suddenly dipped
to the north and to the east shortly before reaching the corner of the
west wall. Attempts to follow it downward were frustrated by black
earth, which when dug with pick or shovel assumed the consistency of
"hog-wallow mud."

For a space of 4 or 5 feet inside the doorway, whose floor was about 3
feet higher than the average surface level in the cave, the ashes were
not more than a foot thick, the clay rising to this extent. It spread
out fan shape, with a continuous slope for several yards in every
direction, thus making an easy grade for entrance and exit.

There are three ways in which this condition could have been brought

First, the aborigines may have constructed a graded way; though it is
not at all likely they would have piled the clay so far to each side.

Secondly, it may have washed through the doorway from the outer cave
when the main outlet of the latter in the face of the bluff toward D
(fig. 13) was obstructed in some way. This is improbable.

Thirdly, it may be due to material deposited in the eddy or swirl
created by the corner of the west wall whenever a large volume of
drainage water flowed from the westward in the main cave and was
sharply deflected toward the south when it struck the east wall. This
is no doubt the correct explanation.

Whether or not these floods had any part in piling up the clay at the
doorway, beyond doubt it was to them that the clay, gravel, and sand
resting upon the floor of the main cave owe their origin. To them is
likewise due the dark earth overlying the clay at the rear and
covering the floor of the recess in the east wall. Clearly, there was
at one time in the cave's history a current at intervals, which
carried mud and small rocks from the interior of the cave, or from the
outside surface through sink holes, and left at least a part of it
where the velocity of the stream was checked. Later, much of this
water found other drainage channels, and the coarser matter could no
longer be carried into the cave; but at times of unusually heavy
precipitation enough of the torrent followed the old course to bring
in the dark earth. The last is due to top soil containing a large
amount of humus from decaying vegetation. Finally, no more water came
this way except as seepage, which is the condition at present.

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--Clay pipe from Miller's Cave.]

The pool at the rear may be entirely empty in dry seasons; and after
heavy rains may contain a depth of 2 feet. This water now has a greasy
looking scum and a sour, unpleasant odor.

The cave was inhabited before the water had entirely ceased to flow
through it; this is proven by the alternation of refuse and silt in
the recess under the east wall. Kitchen waste would be thrown here,
and when the water rose sediment would cover it. There was then dry
ground near the doorway; and the water in the pool, having an outlet
toward the east, through the crevice, was fit for use, except,
perhaps, when turbid.

On the rear slope, 18 feet from the water, the excavation was carried
to the level of the bottom of the pool. The lower 2 feet was mud, and
at the bottom water oozed in. Scattered through this muddy earth was
much charcoal in small fragments; and for a short distance it also
occurred for a few inches below the surface of the red clay. This
charcoal was carried in by the water at the same time as the earth
with which it was associated, and must be due to fires on the hill
outside. At any rate, it did not come from any fires made within the
cavern. No refuse or worked objects of any kind were found in this
black earth, except in the recess in the east wall, as described, and
in the upper portion immediately under the ashes. Such as existed
outside the recess may have become mixed in the same way; that is, by
being thrown on the top as it existed at the moment and being later
covered by the water; or it may have worked in from the ashes above.
Nor was there much refuse in the ashes on the rear slope, although
these were quite regularly stratified.

To entirely remove the rocks and clay and expose in a satisfactory
manner the bedrock floor would require months of labor, the use of
mechanical appliances, and complete drainage to the rear wall through
the mouth of the cave.

Without attempting to make a detailed list, there may be given a
summary of the objects shipped to the National Museum:

  12 skulls, most of them more or less broken.
  10 partial skeletons, including those of children.
  8 fragments of skulls from different individuals not included in the
  74 objects of shell.
  711 worked flint objects; knives, scrapers, cores, etc.
  10 grooved axes, tomahawks, and flint hammers.
  10 mortars.
  40 pestles, stone hammers, rubbing stones, etc.
  413 wrought objects of bone and stag horn.
  2 clay pipes.
  1 box of pottery fragments.
  A number of small objects, not classified.

There were left in the cavern several hundred broken flints; more than
60 mortars; probably 200 stones used as pestles, hammers, etc., and
several large wagonloads of shell, bone, and broken pottery.

There is no way in which the age of the deposits in either the Miller
or the Sells Cave can be determined. The accumulation of ashes in the
one and of talus at the front of the other would certainly imply the
lapse of several centuries, perhaps a thousand years of continuous
occupation. Intermittent habitation would lengthen this period.


Ramsey's Cave, better known as Freeman's Cave, is in a bluff on the
right bank of Big Piney River, 3 miles below Miller's Cave. It is
about 150 feet above the level of the stream and the same below the
summit of the hill behind it. Within a hundred yards to east and west
are shallow ravines by which access is fairly easy to a ledge nearly
on the same level as the cave; this is wide enough for one person to
traverse, but in most places too narrow for two abreast. The talus in
front is rough and steep but a crooked path with no difficult grades
can be made to the water.

Chambers on each side near the entrance, which are accessible only by
means of a ladder, provide excellent living quarters and command
approach from any direction, even along the foot of the cliff on
either side.

The entrance, which faces southwest, is a symmetrical arch 75 feet
wide and 20 feet high.

Bedrock shows just in front, covered with loose material washed over
the cliff. The floor ascends and the roof descends toward the rear,
until at 70 feet they approach within 6 feet of each other; beyond
this the cave is choked with fallen rocks and with earth and gravel
probably from a sink hole some distance back on top of the hill.

Refuse shows about the entrance and for 40 feet toward the rear, where
earth from the interior has worked down over it. The surface is strewn
with rocks, large and small, so that excavations are possible only in
small areas. Several holes were dug at intervals between the front and
the rear; a considerable amount of ashes was found over the middle
portion, thrown from still farther back. Very little was found in
them. The rock bottom slopes upward slightly and was covered in some
places with clay and gravel, on which lay the ashes and other refuse;
these were nowhere more than 3 feet deep, and usually much thinner.

The place was so difficult to work in and the returns were so scanty
that systematic investigation did not seem warranted, and the work was
not extended. The only objects secured were a bone perforator, part of
another one, a snail shell, apparently a bead, a very small piece of
sandstone used as a grinder or polisher for bones, a fragment of
worked mussel shell, and nine rough flints. There were also a few
small fragments of pottery.

A man living near the cave reported that a few years ago he was
digging in a narrow space between the east wall and a large fallen
rock. He came upon the feet of two skeletons and took out the lower
leg bones. Being assured by a friend that these were not bones of
Indians because they were not "red," and so must be remains of white
people, he replaced them and threw the earth back on them. He was
certain the spot had never since been disturbed; but in this he was
mistaken, for investigation revealed a pile of human bones lying in
confusion, in which the frames of two individuals, as he had said,
were mingled; but no trace of the skull or jaw of either. Evidently
some one had come afterwards in search of the skulls. The femur of the
larger individual was just 19 inches long; the other frame was much
smaller; but all other bones were in such fragmentary condition they
could not be measured.

There is a rock shelter a short distance down the river from the
Ramsey Cave and in the same ledge. It is 45 feet long, 15 feet deep,
and 8 feet high in front, the roof coming down to the floor at the
rear. There is nothing to show that it was ever used, even as a
camping place.

       *       *       *       *       *

A fourth of a mile above this cave is another from which flows a
never-failing spring. There is a pile of ashes near the front,
containing some refuse, but these mark only the site of an occasional
camp, as the place could not be occupied in wet weather.


On Graham's land, high up in a bluff facing Big Piney, opposite the
mouth of Spring Creek, is a small cave difficult to reach and not
suitable for occupancy.


At the mouth of Spring Creek, on land of John Pillman, near the top of
the bluff, is a cave with an entrance 30 feet wide and 30 feet high. A
steep rock ledge at the front offers an impassable obstacle to any
stock except goats. The front chamber is well lighted for a distance
of 80 feet, where it makes a turn. Bedrock is exposed near the
entrance and rises toward the rear, showing here and there through the
covering of earth, which is not more than 2 feet deep anywhere. Water
cracks appear even in the highest spots, proving the floor to be
saturated at times. There is considerable refuse inside the cave, but
none in front, and it is reported that human skeletons have been found
in it. If so they must have been on a ledge or in a crevice. Plate 2,
a, shows the hill, from the west; plate 2, b, the entrance to the

Two large cairns stood on top of the bluff above the cave. So far as
can be determined in their dilapidated condition, there seems to have
been a row of stones inclosing a definite area, but it is impossible
to ascertain with certainty whether this was the case.

On a lower ridge, to the north, are three similar but smaller cairns.
These are constructed entirely of sandstone slabs, and there was
plainly some sort of system used in placing them; but, as in the case
of the first, it can not now be determined whether there was a
continuous wall, and, if so, whether it was more than one stone high.

       *       *       *       *       *

A village site is reported in the river bottom on David Thomas's farm
on the Big Piney, near Moab.

There were cairns, now totally destroyed, at two places on the ridge
over which passes the road from Devil's Elbow to Spring Creek.


A minor ravine, known as Woodland Hollow, opens into a small unnamed
creek a mile above its junction with Big Piney River at the Devil's
Elbow. In the west slope of this ravine is a large cave, named from
its location. Through the middle part the floor is muddy; along the
wall on the left, dry cave earth, with a width of 20 to 30 feet,
extends for 70 feet from the entrance, its surface 4 feet above the
level of the wet floor. A smaller amount of dry earth lies along the
opposite wall. The sides of the cavern recede at the bottom, the dry
earth passing under them. No estimate can be made as to the total
depth of the deposits. At the mouth of a ground-hog burrow were two
bone perforators, potsherds, fragments of bones, and pieces of worked
flint, including two knives, which had been thrown out by the animal.
Two mortar stones were found on the margin of the dry earth.

The cave belongs to Philip Becker, of St. Louis, who peremptorily
refused to allow any examination whatever to be made; the only case in
the whole region where cheerful permission was not given for any
amount of excavation desired.

Three cairns, all demolished, stood on the Stuart property, half a
mile from Woodland Cave.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a cairn on top of Lost Hill, half a mile south of Blue, or
Shanghai, Spring on Big Piney.


Three miles above the point at which it passes out of the hills into
the bottom lands on its way to the Gasconade, the Big Piney River
doubles on itself with an abrupt curve, which raftsmen have named "The
Devil's Elbow." For more than a mile above and below this bend the
stream flows in opposite directions in nearly parallel east and west
channels around the foot of a spur from the high land to the west.

Into the Elbow, on its outer curve, three ravines from the east and
southeast open within a fourth of a mile. They form the boundaries of
two very narrow ridges or "hog-backs," which terminate in precipitous
slopes near the river. For some distance back from the points the
limestone bedrock crops out, a slight accumulation of earth in the
crevices supporting a scanty covering of weeds but being insufficient
to permit the growth of trees or bushes; hence the term "balds" by
which they are locally known. The ridges have a gradual and nearly
uniform slope toward the summit of the hill, which lies half a mile
to the eastward. The sandstone capping the hill appears within a few
hundred feet and is covered with an abundant growth. On the upland are
many large trees.

The ridge farthest south, on the farm of Joseph Ross, has five stone
graves along the crest, numbered here in their order from the bluff.
Number (1) is a few rods below the sandstone outcrop, and is
constructed partly of weathered limestone blocks such as are now lying
around it and partly of sandstone slabs carried from farther up the
hill. All the other cairns, although (2) and (3) stand on the
limestone bedrock, are built entirely of sandstone fragments ranging
from the size of a brick or smaller to pieces weighing over 200

At first sight the cairns appeared to be only piles of stones thrown
together; but more careful inspection showed that each burial place
was outlined by a wall, laid up with as much regularity as was
practicable with the material at hand, and inclosing a space
approximately square. Measuring from face to face of their walls, the
spaces between these cairns were as follows: (1) to (2), 21 feet; (2)
to (3), 19 feet; (3) to (4), 36 feet; (4) to (5), 34 feet.

Not one of these walls was intact at the time of examination; hunters
had torn away portions of all of them in pursuit of small animals
which had sought refuge among the stones; and such parts as were not
thus injured were more or less displaced by roots of trees penetrating
in every direction the soil which had accumulated in the open spaces.

So far as could be judged in their chaotic condition, the first step
in their construction was to lay a row of slabs around the area
required; then another row upon this; and the work was continued in
this manner until the desired height was reached. As a rule, the
stones were so laid as to break joints and to interlock at the
corners, for greater stability; but in a few places this was not done.
If a stone, once laid up, did not fit as it should, the builders
apparently did not take the trouble to replace it with another better
suited to the requirements. Seemingly, care was taken to build in such
a manner that each outer face should be vertical, and in a straight
line from corner to corner; but the inner side was left rough and
irregular according to the shape and size of the blocks, no attempt
being made to even it up. If timbers of any kind had been laid across
the top, resting on the walls, there remained no indication of the
fact. However, the bodies may have been protected at the time of
interment by small vaults or pens constructed of poles, whose decay
would allow the stones to settle, and of which no traces would now be

The space inclosed by the walls was filled with loose stones lying in
such disorder as to suggest that they had been carelessly or hastily
thrown in to fill the interior and round up the top; but some of this
confusion may have resulted from the same causes by which the walls
were defaced.

It does not appear that any stones had been piled against the outside
of the walls to assist in retaining them in place; such as were found
in this position were either thrown there by the present inhabitants
or had fallen from the top.

Two of the cairns, the second and the third in order, were so torn up
and overgrown that no investigation of them was attempted; the three
others were fully examined.


In the first, that nearest the terminus of the ridge, all stones lying
against the outside of the structure were thrown aside, bringing the
outer face into plain view. The inclosure thus revealed resembled the
rude foundation of a small building. Measuring from corner to corner
the north wall was 14 feet long, the south wall 16 feet, the east wall
14 feet, the west wall 13 feet. The walls were as straight and the
corners as square as they could well be made with surface rocks not
trimmed or dressed from their natural rough condition.

The space within was next freed of stones; the topmost were 3 feet
above the outside level, though no doubt higher when first piled. The
inside measurements were: North wall 10 feet, south wall 10 feet, east
wall 9 feet, west wall 9 feet; all measurements being approximate, as
no definite boundaries could be determined.

The south wall was practically destroyed; the others were not much
injured, but no longer plumb, as they undoubtedly were when
constructed. The east wall was in best condition; the outer face was
nearly vertical; the top of the highest stone remaining in it was 28
inches above the bottom of the lowest. The general appearance of the
wall indicates that it was somewhat higher.

After the stones were thrown out there remained a deposit of loose
material, composed to some extent of very scanty soil and of humus
from decayed weeds and leaves, but principally of disintegrated
sandstone which had settled or washed in. Its thickness above bedrock
was about 16 inches. All this was carefully examined.

Near the center, a few inches above the natural bedrock, were some
fragments of human bones which seemed to belong to two adults. Another
adult body, or skeleton, bundled or closely folded, had been placed
against the south wall, which had partially fallen in on it. Pieces of
long bones, including heads of two femurs, the ends of the bones at an
elbow, phalanges, and a fragment of rib were found in a space less
than a foot across. Nothing more of them remained and nothing else was


The fourth grave in order was worked out in the same manner as the
first. On the outer face the north wall measured 14 feet, the south
wall 15½ feet, the east wall 16 feet, the west wall 14 feet. The
interior lengths were: North wall 12 feet, south wall 11½ feet, east
wall 12 feet, west wall 11 feet.

Near the center were a few fragments of bone, with a columella bead 4
inches long, perforated lengthwise. It is shown in figure 18. To the
east of these, also to the south, were other fragments, indicating, in
all, at least three interments.

  [Illustration: FIG. 18.--Columella bead from Cairn (4), Devil's


In grave No. 5 the walls on the north and the south were entirely torn
out except some stones in the bottom row of each; the upper portions
of the east and the west walls were also gone. For this reason the
rocks lying outside the structure were not removed.

The north wall, outside, was 15 feet long; the south wall, 14 feet;
the east wall, 16 feet; the west wall, 14½ feet. The corresponding
inner measurements were, north wall, 10 feet; south wall, 10 feet;
east wall, 12 feet; west wall, 12 feet. But as the position of the
corners was uncertain these figures are no doubt somewhat in error in
either direction.

The central portion had never been disturbed, the stones lying as they
were put originally, except for a possible settling due to their
weight; the top of the rounded heap was about 4 feet high. This
justified the hope that something might be discovered beneath them.
But although the entire space within, up to the fairly defined inner
faces of the walls, was thoroughly cleaned out down into the untouched
gravelly subsoil, no trace of a bone or other indication of a burial
was found. The only artificial object was a section 3¼ inches long of
a columella perforated lengthwise, apparently lost by the wearer, as
it lay on the natural surface. This is shown in figure 19.

  [Illustration: FIG. 19.--Columella bead from Cairn (5), Devil's


To the north of the Ross farm, on the ridge which is owned by Daniel
Helm, are three stone graves made of shapeless limestone blocks such
as cover the surface around them. One of these is about 300 yards
from the bluff, on a knoll capped with the sandstone; the others are
at the break of the ridge. All have been opened, two of them
practically demolished. Those on the end of the ridge are only 14 feet
apart, measuring from their adjacent margins, and were about 16 and 20
feet in diameter as built, both being somewhat widened now owing to
the stones having been thrown outward from the central parts by
hunters. Each was probably 3 feet high.

The smaller, being least defaced and nearly free from timber, was
entirely removed, except a small portion along one margin, and the
earth beneath it examined down to the bedrock. There was no sign of a
wall; but one that would stand could not be made with stones rounded
by weathering.

Remains of at least three bodies were found. One was laid in a
crevice; only a few fragments of the long bones were left. With scraps
of bone from another body were four teeth worn almost to the roots.
They were not close together, but this was due to small burrowing
animals which had scattered them. Of the third body, a few pieces of
arm and leg bones remained. By itself, loose in the earth, was a
single molar, not in the least worn, and with a very small root.

So far as appearances go, it seems the bodies were laid on outcropping
rock, or in crevices, and stones piled on them without any attempt at
order or arrangement.

The graves on the Helm farm are merely piles of stone, such as are
found in various States. Those on the Ross place are of the same type
as the cairns on Lost Hill at the mouth of Gourd Creek in Phelps
County, but of a more advanced form. In both places flat stones were
laid to inclose the burials. At Lost Hill, however, there was seldom
more than a single layer, while at the Devil's Elbow a regular wall
was built, seven superposed slabs being observed at one point with a
certainty that others had been placed above these. They are not of the
same class as the walled graves found in earth mounds along the
Missouri River. In the latter, the inner face of the wall was as
smooth and regular as it could be made, the outside being rough and
upheld by stones and earth piled against them; while in those on Big
Piney care was taken with the outer face which, it seems, was intended
to be left exposed to view, while the inside was rough and hidden by
stones thrown in. But no inference must be drawn from the different
methods of filling or covering the vaults after they were completed.
Along the Missouri, earth was abundant right at hand, but stones had,
as a rule, to be carried some distance; while on the bluffs of the
Gasconade and its tributaries the reverse was the case.

Petroglyphs, 75 feet above the level of the river bottom, are reported
to be cut in a bluff facing the Gasconade River on the east side, 2
miles below the mouth of Big Piney.

       *       *       *       *       *

A rock shelter not more than 15 feet wide and 10 feet deep is near the
top of the bluff overlooking the Gasconade, almost opposite the mouth
of Big Piney. It contains a quantity of ashes, but as it was
frequently resorted to by bushwhackers during the Civil War, and is
still much used by trappers and hunters who camp in it, these are
probably not due to Indians.


So near to the county line that there is some uncertainty as to
whether it lies in Pulaski or Phelps County is Ash Cave in a bluff
over Baker's Lake, an artificial pond, 4 miles west of Arlington. The
cave is small, and notwithstanding its name it contains no ashes or
other remains of occupancy. The great number of large rocks on the
floor makes examination impossible.


At the head of a ravine opening into Clemmens Creek, about 4 miles
south of Dixon, near the Piquet orchards, is a cavern with an entrance
55 feet wide and 40 feet high. The depth is 110 feet to loose rocks
and clay, partly from the sides and roof, partly washed in through
side caves and crevices. There is a small amount of cave earth along
one wall, but it is damp, moldy, and covered with a growth of minute
green fungus. Most of the floor, however, is of clay strewn with loose
rocks and swept over by water at times.

There is no refuse, and the cave was never fit for habitation.



It is widely known that many caverns exist along the Niangua River and
its tributaries, in Camden County, especially in the vicinity of
Hahatonka, or, as it is locally termed, "Tonky." This is one of the
show places of Missouri. The name includes a post office; a store; a
school; an immense spring coming out at the foot of a cliff; the creek
formed by this spring; a lake of several hundred acres, made by
damming the creek; a picturesque ruined mill with the usual
accessories of such a building; numerous caves; and a magnificent, but
unfinished, residence crowning one of the hills. This has already
called for an expenditure of half a million dollars; and at least
double that sum, additional, will be required to complete it in
accordance with the original plans. Whether it be due to the national
appreciation of architectural beauty or the national appreciation of
ability to do things in a large way, the palace seems to impress most
visitors more than the remarkable combination of natural features.

The principal caves in the vicinity have distinctive names, as "Onyx"
(there being two thus called), "Robbers'," "River" (this because there
is a stream in it which can be crossed only in a boat), "Bridal," etc.
Others are named for the owners of the land, or from some peculiarity,
as "Dry," "Bunch," "Morgan," "Arnholdt." Many are not deemed of
sufficient importance to have specific titles.

All those named were visited, as well as a number of the others.

A detailed description is not necessary. Not one of these caverns has
ever been occupied unless as a temporary shelter. Some are flooded at
intervals, either from the outside or by interior drainage; some have
very restricted entrances and are dark at the front; some have rock
floors or muddy bottoms; some can be entered only by clambering over
talus to an opening at the bottom, or near the bottom, of a sink hole.
Some shallow cavities, which under different conditions would be
available as rock shelters, are in places difficult of access, remote
from water, or otherwise unsuitable.

Some of these caverns have wonderful deposits on ceilings, walls, and
floors, rivaling in beauty and ornate patterns those of the most
famous caves of the country; and if they were easily accessible or
could be conveniently explored, would attract hosts of visitors. One
in particular, the "Bridal Cave," so called from a mass of stalactite
material fully 10 feet from side to side at the top, which hangs in
delicate translucent loops and folds and convolutions, equals Luray or
Wyandotte for beauty, though not for extent.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was reported that two walled graves stand on a "bald" on the farm
of Will Robert Eidson, on the divide between the Niangua and the
Little Niangua Rivers, about 4 miles north of Roach post office. They
were described as "rocks laid up in a regular wall about 4 feet high,
and about 30 steps square, and filled up inside with rocks." A visit
to the site disclosed two ordinary cairns, made by throwing weathered
limestone boulders into a rounded heap. Both piles have been
scattered, and as they now exist one is about 25 feet, the other about
30 feet across. Such exaggerated, misleading descriptions are common,
and result in much fruitless investigation.

Several caves are reported in the vicinity of Toronto, in Camden and
Miller Counties; especially the Cokely Cave, 4 miles from Brumley on
the Linn Creek road. From the descriptions given by informants, none
of them appear to be suitable for habitation.

Many cairns exist on the ridges in this region, especially on high
points overlooking valleys. All of them were built up with chert or
limestone blocks, and all are more or less torn up. So far as could be
learned there is no sign of a wall in any of them.

In the present state of knowledge, Camden County offers no inducement
for archeological research.


The geological deposits in this region comprise three principal
formations which are named in the State report as the Jefferson City
limestone, the Roubidoux sandstone, and the Gasconade limestone. It is
in the last (which is the lowest) that caverns are found.

In various places erosion, either internal or superficial, or both,
has formed crevices or sink holes through which the disintegrated
sandstone finds its way into caverns below, where it accumulates and
hardens until more resistant than when in its original condition.

Further erosion has in several places carried away the limestone from
around these intrusive masses, allowing them to project above the
present surface. Sometimes, where the sand piled up, they resemble
haystacks; but usually they are of indefinite form, having spread out
on the floor of the cavern, as such material will do in a shallow

An interesting example of this action is the "Standing Rock," 4 miles
west of Linn Creek, the county seat. Here was formerly a large cave
with an eastward trend until near the mouth, when it turned sharply
southward, the opening being in the direction of a little stream. The
lower end of this cave became solidly filled with sand, and the water
found an outlet farther back. All the limestone which formed the roof
and walls of the middle portion of the cave is gone, a narrow ravine
marking its course. The sandstone obstruction held its place, and now
extends directly across the ridge between the two ravines. Its surface
is an exact cast of the interior of the cave which it filled, and
nodules of chert, remaining when the limestone dissolved, are still
imbedded in its surface. The line of demarkation between the limestone
matrix, where this still exists in part, and the siliceous filling is
as distinct as that between the stone and brick in a building. The
loose cave earth shows plainly under the sandstone near the former
mouth of the cavern. Plan and section are shown in figures 20 and 21.

                    *    *    *



A mile and a half west of Brumley, near Glaize Creek, is Wright, or
Brumley, Cave. The entrance is 15 feet high and 40 feet wide. At 20
feet from the mouth the width contracts to 20 feet. The depth is 120
feet in daylight to a stalagmite floor. Dry cave earth extends for 35
feet from the entrance, at which distance it reaches tough, sticky
clay; this continues to the stalagmite. Above the clay are growing

  [Illustration: FIG. 20.--Plan of Fossil Cave.]

In front of the entrance were a few flint chips, but no indications of
pottery or shell. A small implement, shown in figure 22, was found
which is of interest because it was worked to a sharp point at one end
of a narrow drill, while the other end widened into a squared form
with a straight base which was dulled and polished from use as a
cutting tool; the entire surface was polished from long service. An
object of this kind would be highly suitable for mending moccasins and
leggins. Finding this and nothing else strengthens the probability
that this cave was used as a temporary camping place, but was never
permanently occupied.

  [Illustration: FIG. 21.--Section of Fossil Cave.]


Facing Barren Fork of Tavern Creek, on the farm of John R. Bond, 8
miles northwest of Iberia and 12 miles southeast of Tuscumbia, is a
cave celebrated by reason of a provision in the will of a former
eccentric owner.

There is a small cave which has an opening in the bluff, a few feet to
one side of the larger cave. This can be reached only by means of
ladders 60 feet long.

Jack Wilson came from Ireland and settled on Tavern (or Cavern) Creek
in 1822. For a number of years he lived in this cave, with his
family. He died in 1855, leaving instructions that his body was to be
packed in salt and placed in the small cave, "with a ten-gallon cask
of good whisky," the entrance then to be sealed up. In order to carry
out his last wishes, and at the same time to give him a "Christian
burial," his wife had all his internal organs removed and interred in
a cemetery; his body was filled with salt, and placed in a coffin,
which, according to his wishes, was deposited in the cave, with the
whisky. On the seventh anniversary of his death the whole community
was to assemble to "eat, drink, and be merry." For many years
residents in the vicinity had used the cave as a place for festive
gatherings; but this occasion was to be on a scale beyond anything
previously attempted. If necessary, Scriptural methods were to be
employed; that is, messengers were to be sent out in all directions,
urging every one to come. The floor was to be enlarged, and a platform
erected on it. When all were assembled, the whisky and the coffin were
to be brought from their resting place and set on the platform. Then
certain famous fiddlers were to ascend the platform and play, while
the guests danced. When the whisky was exhausted, and the fiddlers in
the same condition, the picnic was over and the assembly would
disperse. The coffin was then to be replaced in the little cave, which
was to be again sealed up, not to be reopened until the Day of

  [Illustration: FIG. 22.--Perforator and knife from Wright Cave.]

The preliminaries were carried out according to program, but when the
time for the celebration came round the people were more concerned
with the Civil War, and especially in the activities of the
bushwhackers who infested that part of the country, than they were in
picnics; and Wilson's resurrection was brought about by persons whose
identity was never discovered. They got into his tomb in some manner,
drank all the whisky, broke open the coffin, and threw Wilson's bones
to the outside, where they were scattered down the slope. Horrified
relatives gathered them up, replaced them in the cave, sealed it
again, and Wilson is still there awaiting his final summons.

The entrance is 20 feet high and 45 feet wide. Dry cave earth extends
for 135 feet; from this point it continues, partially filled with
fallen rock and stalagmite, 40 feet farther, or 175 feet in all, in
plain daylight, at which distance the cave makes a turn; and the cave
earth was followed in this to complete darkness without coming to its

Beginning 100 feet from the entrance and extending for 35 feet, a
narrow row of loose rocks fallen from the outcrop of stratum along the
center of the roof lies on the surface. The cavern here measures 35
feet in width.

There is a wet weather stream along one wall, but the amount of water
passing out is never large.

Solid bedrock, with patches of cave earth on it, is exposed, in
slightly rising strata, for 10 feet from the little bluff at the
mouth; within this it is hidden by the earth which gradually rises to
a height of 6 feet; but some of this rise may be due to increased
elevation of the rock floor. The entire cave can be easily cleared out
to the stalagmite; and it would be advisable to remove at least
portions of this in order to ascertain what may lie beneath it.

Refuse appears in considerable quantity in the bottom of the little
stream bed and under the receding walls; and likewise a small amount
outside the entrance. But the bedrock crops out frequently in narrow
ledges between the mouth of the cavern and the foot of the hill, so
very little débris of any kind lies on the slope outside.

Some alteration of the surface of the earth floor has taken place in
consequence of the construction of platforms; but aside from this it
has remained practically undisturbed.


A large cavern is near the top of the "Bagnell Hill" on the Bagnell
and Linn Creek road, on the right (south) side of the Osage River, and
about 3 miles from the town of Bagnell. On account of the "millions"
of bats which shelter in it, the name of Bat Cave is applied to this
as it is to many other caves in the region.

The entrance is so small that the cavern can be entered only by
crawling in; and as no traces of Indian remains have ever been
observed in it, or around the front, no examination was deemed


Half a mile south of St. Elizabeth is the Ben Bode Cave. The roof has
fallen in near the front, leaving the original exterior standing as a
natural bridge a few feet wide. The present entrance to the cavern is
40 feet behind the bridge. It has a wet, rocky floor, and much water
flows through it after a rain.


On John Luckenhoff's farm, three-fourths of a mile south of St.
Elizabeth, facing Tavern Creek, is a small cave with a rocky floor.
The entrance is nearly blocked with a mass of stalagmite, behind which
the cave is dark.


It was reported that in a "cave" on the farm of Conrad Jurggenmeyer,
2½ miles east of St. Elizabeth, a human skull was discovered. The
statement may be true; but instead of a cave there is only a tunnel a
few rods in length. Beyond the upper arch is an open ravine.


On Ben Daerhoff's farm, 4 miles north of St. Elizabeth, is a cavern
facing a narrow valley through which a small stream flows to Tavern
Creek a mile and a half away. The entrance is 8 feet high and 55 feet
wide. It is well lighted to a depth of 120 feet, where it makes a
turn. Dry earth extends back for 55 feet; from there on it is muddy. A
small stream flows along one wall, from the wet portion of the floor
to the entrance; with a little ditching this could be made to drain
off all the water, forming a dry bottom to the rear wall. No refuse of
any kind could be found, and the owner says he has never observed any
either in the cave or in front of it.


In the bluff facing Tavern Creek, half a mile above its junction with
the Osage, is a cave with an entrance 10 feet high and the same in
width. It has a depth of 45 feet in daylight. The floor is of clay and
angular gravel, and so wet that puddles are found near the entrance.


This is in a bluff facing the Osage, a mile south of the Rock Island
Railway bridge. It is not accessible except by means of a ladder or
stairway fully 60 feet long. The roof overhangs the entrance, and the
floor projects over a shallow rock shelter which reaches for a few
rods along the foot of the bluff. A small amount of water seeps from
the entrance. Persons who explored the cavern years ago--there is no
way to reach it at present--say it divides into three large chambers,
mostly dry, and with floors of solid rock or of earth containing much


Four miles below Tuscumbia, on the left bank of the Osage, is the
mouth of Saline Creek which comes in from the north. On the lower
(east) side of their junction, on the farm of Charles Tillman, is a
low spur projecting toward the creek. On this is a pile of stones, all
that remains of a vault or box grave which formerly existed there. Mr.
Tillman says it was originally 35 or 40 feet across, a mound or
rounded heap of stones, those about the top being larger than those
nearer the base. Needing rock for various purposes, he procured them
from this pile, beginning at the top to remove them and proceeding
outward. In the course of this work he found that a wall had been
built up to a height of about 4 feet, forming a practically square
inclosure. The space within was filled and the structure entirely
covered with rocks of various sizes. He removed the stones as he
reached them, and consequently did not notice whether the outer face
of the wall was straighter or smoother than the inner face, or whether
there was any particular difference. In all, he took away not less
than 40 wagon loads of stones.

On the level top of the hill from which the spur extends is a village
site, where mortars, pestles, quantities of flints, and much broken
pottery have been found; but no shell.


Six miles south of Eldon, on a farm now owned by George Irvin, is a
cave which is continuous with a small ravine leading up to it. The
entrance is 45 feet wide and 16 feet high; a small stream flows from
it, along the foot of the left (northern) wall. This skirts a thin
deposit of damp earth, which lies along the southern wall, gradually
narrowing as it extends inward, until at 50 feet it runs out at the
edge of a shallow pool reaching nearly across the cave. The bottom,
except for the earth mentioned, is rocky.

The cave was never fit for occupancy.


In an old "History of Miller County" mention is made of a large group
of small mounds on a certain man's farm, without giving the locality.
It is believed by old residents that this man "lived at one time 2 or
3 miles west of Ullman." If they existed, they were no doubt house


Several graves, in a group, were formerly on John Tillman's land, 6
miles south of Eugene. The stones have been entirely removed. When the
ground was plowed bullets were found under the sites of the cairns.

                    *    *    *



This is a fourth of a mile up the river from the bridge crossing the
Gasconade, 2½ miles east of Vienna. It is near the top of the hill at
the head of a shallow ravine. The entrance, 35 feet wide, can be
reached conveniently only near one wall, as a pile of talus
immediately in front completely closes the opening; behind it the roof
is 7 feet above the floor. If this accumulated material, which has
increased somewhat in height within the memory of men now living, were
removed to the level of the floor, the main chamber would be amply
lighted to its end, a distance of 150 feet. There is a gradual
downward incline from front to rear, the floor sloping more rapidly
than the roof. After hard rains some water runs into the cavern from
the inner slope of the talus; otherwise the floor is perfectly dry for
65 feet, then becomes wet, and near the rear wall there is standing
water. It is apparent that a former drainage outlet in this direction
is now choked with sediment, brought down perhaps through a branch
opening. At 25 feet within the entrance the cavern is 25 feet wide; at
65 feet the distance across is 35 feet, with both walls sloping away
like a low-pitched roof and loose earth filling the space under them.
At the rear wall the width between the two branches into which the
cave divides is 40 to 50 feet. The floor here is clay, with numerous
little puddles.

Some pottery, bone, and much shell, but no flint chips, are scattered
on the floor and for 50 or 60 feet down the slope outside.

The cavern would make an excellent habitation and is well worth


This is on the farm of Harrison Hutchinson, who lives 10 miles
southeast of Freeburg, on the road to Paydown. It is near the top of a
bluff facing the Gasconade. Talus has accumulated in the front part of
the cavern until it rises within 2 feet of the roof; farther back the
cavity is of sufficient height for a man to stand erect, although
nowhere more than 10 feet wide. Owing to the talus the interior is in
almost total darkness. Were this accumulation removed the roof at the
entrance would be 8 or 9 feet above the floor. The cavern may have
been occupied, but there are no indications of such fact, although the
recent natural deposits may conceal some remains.


Half a mile below Lackaye Bluff, opposite the lower end of an island
in the Gasconade, is a rock shelter 85 feet in length, 15 feet high in
front, 6 feet high at the rear, and 15 feet deep along the middle
portion, wedging out at either end. A large pile of talus in front
forms a natural windbreak, and the depression is a favorite camping
place with present-day hunters and fishermen. A small quantity of
flint chips and many shells can be seen around the wall and for some
distance down the slope in front. The site may repay investigation,
though there is no great depth of earth.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is reported that paintings of a deer or elk and other objects are
to be seen on the face of a bluff near Paydown.


On the farm of Henry L. Stratman, 2½ miles above the Rock Island
Railway bridge across the Gasconade River, is a cave near the top of a
bluff facing the Gasconade. The entrance is 33 feet wide and 35 feet
high. Forty feet back the walls approach each other, forming a doorway
or short passage 5 feet wide. Beyond this is a room 18 feet deep and 9
feet across, with a rock ledge or shelf on each side several feet wide
and elevated from a foot to 2 feet above the earth floor. This room is
well lighted. The earth at the rear is 10 feet higher than at the main
entrance. Behind this, in turn, nearly shut off by a large column of
stalagmite, is a third room, 8 feet wide, whose earth floor rises
rapidly. Were the stalagmite removed, there would be ample light for
20 or 30 feet farther, or about 90 feet in all.

Refuse, mostly shell, shows for 100 feet down the hill. There is some
shell in the cave, along the walls; but most of the floor is a
comparatively recent accumulation of roof dust and small fragments of
rock, and is quite dry as far as light penetrates.

The entrance is much more easily reached from the top of the hill than
from the foot of the bluff.

The trend and appearance of the reentrant side walls connecting the
present entrance with the straight face of the cliff indicates that
the earth in the cavern has a depth of 30 feet or more. Should this
prove to be the case, here would be a most excellent place to search
for evidence of occupation which, whether continuous or not, might
bridge the time from the modern Indian to the earliest inhabitant.

Certainly no other cave in Missouri offers such facilities or
inducements for careful and thorough investigation with a view to
determining the existence of an early "cave man" in this country.

                    *    *    *



This is at the foot of a bluff facing the Gasconade, 2½ miles below
Gascondy. It has a solid rock bottom, rising steeply for a few feet
within the entrance, and a constantly flowing stream covers half the
space between the walls.


There is an excellent rock shelter, 50 feet long, over which the cliff
projects for 15 feet, in front and to one side of the entrance of
River Cave. On this is a slight depth of earth in which were found
some broken bones and shells. The site is an excellent one for camping
parties, but has no evidence of other than temporary use.


Four miles east of Freeburg, in a ravine, is a cavern popularly known
as Beer Cave, being formerly used as a storage room for beer made in a
brewery built just in front of it. The entrance is 8 feet wide and 12
feet high. The front chamber, having practically the same dimensions,
extends directly back for 50 feet, then makes a turn. The floor is a
mixture of clay and angular gravel, with a continuous downward slope
from front to rear. Water cracks show that it is sometimes flooded.

The place was never fit for living in.


At the Gasconade River bridge, on the Rich Fountain road, two creeks
on the west side, Brush and Swan, separated only by a narrow ridge
which terminates abruptly at either end, come in a fourth of a mile
apart. Both rise in the same lake, 6 miles from the river, and flow
through parallel valleys, thus draining an abandoned ox-bow curve of
the stream.

On the extreme eastern point of this ridge are two cairns. A fourth of
a mile from these are two others; and farther back still more of them.
All are now destroyed. They were the usual conical heaps of stone, 18
to 20 feet across.


A group of house mounds extends for half a mile eastward from Rich
Fountain, along the valley of Brush Creek. They are fully 100 in
number, and it is said there were formerly many more which are now
leveled by cultivation. The ground is low, in some places swampy, so
that water or mud surrounds many of them after a heavy rain.


This structure, also called the "Indian Lookout," is located on a
bluff facing the Osage, half a mile below the "Painted Rock," and near
the buildings of the Painted Rock Country Club, of Jefferson City.

Except for a slight projection or offset at one side, which contains
an opening or doorway, it was practically identical in appearance with
the vault graves along the Missouri River bluffs, described in Bureau
of American Ethnology Bulletin 37; or else with those on Big Piney
River in Pulaski County. It is formed of sandstone slabs, once laid up
in a wall but now scattered in confusion as if fallen or thrown down.
Apparently it measured about 32 to 35 feet outside and 12 or 13 feet

                    *    *    *



This is at the top of a bluff facing the Osage, one-half mile below
the Rock Island bridge. It is only 10 feet wide and the same in
height, and extends back 20 feet to a narrow passage which is almost
closed by stalagmite. The site is difficult to reach, but disclosed a
few fragments of pottery and some shell. The earth of the floor
ascends rather steeply to the rear and contains many large rocks. It
was only a camping place.

                    *    *    *



On the Brown property, 7 miles southeast of Stover, is a reported
cave, which proved to be a natural tunnel 400 feet long. The drainage
from several farms passes through it from ravines above. The lower
entrance is 40 feet wide and 50 feet high, the upper entrance 20 feet
wide and 10 feet high.

Natural bridges and tunnels of varying lengths and widths are rather
common in this part of the Osage Valley.


Southeast of Stover, beginning at the edge of the town, is a group of
house mounds extending over an area having a very irregular outline,
but fully half a mile across in any direction. They vary from 20 to 35
feet in diameter and are scattered promiscuously at intervals of 25 to
150 feet. The surface on which they are built reaches over a
succession of small knolls and ridges with slopes of 4 or 5 degrees.
Most of them are along the sides of a wide, shallow valley draining
northward, and of two or three small tributary depressions coming into
it from either side, though a number are also to be found beyond the
slight watershed which separates this drainage area from that to the
southward. They exist in woods, meadows, and cultivated ground, so
that some of them retain their original form, others are flattened and
widened, while still others are barely traceable. Probably some have
been entirely effaced by plow and harrow.



Certain conditions are to be taken into account in deciding whether a
cave afforded a desirable permanent shelter to primitive man. It
should be accessible; the floor should be dry, at least fairly level,
and sufficiently free from large rocks to allow the inmates to move
about freely; the entrance should be large enough to permit free
passage and to light the interior to a distance that would insure
protection from the elements. Temporary shelters or camping places
might be deficient in some of these particulars and still be resorted
to frequently; but if there were opportunity for choice, a man with
intelligence to select a cave in which to live continually would, it
is fair to assume, look for one possessing such features.

If such conditions, once established, were free from the mutations of
time, the explorer would have but little difficulty in deciding upon a
suitable site for his labors. But limestone, more than any other solid
rock, is subject to constant erosion, crumbling, and falling; while
the soil and loose fragments resulting from such action move downward
year by year over the slopes and into any cavities where they can find
their way. In the course of centuries the entire aspect of a cave may
be so altered as to bear no resemblance whatever to its original
appearance. Consequently a careful study must be made of the immediate
surroundings, in order to determine what topographical changes may
have occurred since the earliest time within which it is probable that
man may have existed in that locality. Should the floor, at present,
be of solid rock; or covered with only a slight layer of earth; or
have a stream flowing over it; or show by marks upon the walls that it
is subject to inundation either from adjacent streams or by surface
water which finds its way in through sink holes; or be in such
situation as to make it apparent that the original bottom was thus
flooded in comparatively modern times, even though such may not now be
the case--in any such event excavation would be labor wasted. On the
other hand, all the necessary requirements for a convenient residence
may now be present, and yet result from causes which have begun to
operate within the historic period. In other words, there are very few
cases in which the present appearance of a cave is to be deemed a
certain or even an approximate indication of its actual state a few
thousand years ago. There is only one way to determine whether
extended excavations may possibly result in satisfactory returns, and
that is to sink shafts or run trenches in the superficial deposits.

                    *    *    *


The cave region of this State extends from Owen and Morgan Counties to
the Ohio River. The caverns and sink holes gradually increase in
number and size toward the south, until they culminate in Wyandotte
Cave, second only to Mammoth Cave of Kentucky in extent, and in the
so-called "valleys" of Harrison County which are in reality nothing
but sink holes several square miles in extent. Some of the caverns are
described in detail by W.S. Blatchley, the State geologist, in the
Twenty-first Annual Report of the Survey (1896). Very few of those
mentioned by him are at all suitable for permanent occupancy, though
several would afford excellent shelter except in the rainy season, at
which time most of them have the floors muddy or perhaps covered with
water for weeks in succession. Such as were visited in these
explorations will now be taken up in their order.


ROCK LEDGE QUARRY.--Early in 1903 periodicals mentioned an interesting
discovery made at this place. According to the report, workmen in
excavating a cut for a railway found an old cave entirely filled with
stalagmite matter. In this, 10 feet below the former top of the
cave--the cut did not extend to the bottom of the stalagmite--were
discovered some bones which were pronounced by "several physicians" to
be those of a human being. Among them was a "jaw tooth" (molar) and
part of a skull. Correspondence failing to elicit any satisfactory
information, a visit was made to the site. The cave could not be
traced in either direction from the railway cut; but it had plainly
served as an outlet for several large sink holes on the hill above it.
Nothing could be learned here regarding the matter except that the
objects had been found and were then in the museum of the State
University at Bloomington. This place was next visited and the
specimens inspected. There were many fragments still imbedded in the
matrix, which was travertine rather than stalagmite. No exact
determination of them had been made, but only casual inspection was
needed to see that none of them could be human. The "jaw tooth" was
from a peccary, the "human skull" was the carapace of a tortoise.

SHILOAH CAVE.--It was reported that, although the entrance to this
cavern, 7 miles northwest of Bedford, was in a sink hole, the floor
was level and accessible. The opening is almost at the bottom of the
sink, whose slope is quite steep. After every rain the water runs in;
and while the floor is level, as stated, it has a constant stream of
water flowing over it and is in absolute darkness.

DONNEHUE'S CAVE.--Although water flows continuously from the entrance,
the amount of discharge was said to be small and the cave floor level
and covered with earth, while the cave itself was large and well
lighted. The approach, however, is quite difficult; the earth is
nowhere more than 2 or 3 feet thick, and after a heavy rain the stream
extends from wall to wall.

Between Bedford and Donnehue's cave is one, unnamed, at the head of a
ravine which was once an extension of the cavern. The opening is of
fair size but the floor is of rock and the outflow of water is steady.

Just outside the corporate limits of Bedford, to the south, is an
opening in the cliff at the head of a deep ravine, more in the nature
of a rock house than of a cave. It would make an excellent shelter for
a few persons, being accessible, protected from winds, and close to
water. While it may have been so used formerly, the deposit of earth
and stone on the floor is very scanty and anything beneath could well
be quite modern.

Two caves were reported 2 miles south of Bedford. One is a small
opening from which a stream issues, flows across a meadow, and enters
the other cave, which is much larger. They are parts of one passage,
the roof between these openings having broken down, and the stream is
the same which finds its outlet at Donnehue's cave.

Several other caves in the vicinity of Bedford were visited. They are
all small and of no importance from an archeological standpoint.

DONNELSON'S CAVE.--"The mouth of the cave is found at the head of a
deep gorge worn through the limestone by a good-sized stream which
flows from the cave and down the gorge to the broader valley beyond.
Many centuries ago the cave extended the full length of the gorge, and
the waters of the stream flowed directly from its mouth into the
valley. The roof of the underground channel finally became so thin
that it collapsed, the gorge was then started, and as the centuries
went by grew in length, the cave becoming ever shorter by the
continued falling of the roof.

"Three passages open directly into the mouth of the cave. The right
hand passage has the level of its floor about 5 feet above that of the
entrance, while the opening on the left is 12 feet above the level of
the stream and very difficult to enter without a ladder. The middle
passage extends straight back from the common vestibule or main entry.
The latter is 25 feet long, 21 feet high, and 18 feet wide, but at its
farther end is reduced to the narrow middle passage between great
masses of limestone. The water in this passage is waist deep and
explorations must be made by wading or in a light canoe. One hundred
feet within is a magnificent cascade, where the stream rushes and
leaps down a narrow passage with such violence that the noise is
plainly heard at the entrance.

"The right-hand passage for the first 100 feet is about 10 feet high
by 15 wide, with a clay bottom and a roof on a level with that of the
vestibule. It then expands into a large room, 230 feet long and 40
feet wide, which lies east and west at right angles to the entering
passage. This narrows at the west end to 20 feet, and at one point the
outer air flows in through a small opening in the roof. From near the
small end of the room a narrow passage starts off to the southward and
can be traveled for 200 feet, when it becomes too small for further
advance. Along this passage a small stream flows, disappearing through
a hole in the floor near the entrance to the larger room. Other than
this, both right and left passages leaving the main entry are dry.

"The passage at the left of the main entrance to the cave is about 150
feet long by 20 broad, and contains no points of especial interest."
[W.S. Blatchley.]

It may be added to the above description that a heavy rain causes a
rapid rise of several feet in the stream through the middle passage.

The cavern is situated 3½ miles east of Mitchell. It has been fitted
up by the State University as an experiment station for the study of
underground fauna and flora.

The branch to the right is never entirely dry. Throughout the year
water trickles or seeps over the stones and keeps the mud soft and
sloppy, while after extremely heavy rains the water may be 2 or 3
inches deep for a short time--enough to keep all the earth washed from
the floor for 50 or 60 feet from the entrance.

The northern or left branch presented a smooth, solid floor of rock at
the beginning. The roof is about 13 feet above the floor, being a flat
stratum broken by a joint-seam along which there is a slight fault. A
ledge of friable sandstone 3½ feet thick lies next below the roof. The
disintegration of this gave a dry covering to the clayey earth which
covered the floor almost to the extreme edge of the rock overhanging
the stream and gradually rose toward the rear, where it entirely
filled the space from floor to roof. The distance between the side
walls is 8 feet at the mouth. They diverge slightly, and at 65 feet
are about 12 feet apart. Here they separate more sharply, forming a
chamber 30 feet in diameter, measuring on every side to the contact of
the earth and the roof. At the extreme rear a slight wash or
depression in the earth revealed the top of a vertical solid wall,
thus marking the limit of the cave in that direction. It seems,
however, to extend farther to the east and the west than it can now be
followed; in fact, the indications are that at one time a considerable
cross-cavern extended along this line.

The work of clearing out this branch began at the entrance. The
superincumbent earth was removed by a trench whose boundary was the
solid rock on each side until the cave widened to more than 8 feet
between the walls; then a width of 7 to 9 feet was excavated midway
between the sides, the entire trench having a length of 92 feet, or
reaching nearly to the vertical wall at the rear. For about 60 feet
the earth was removed to the rock floor. At this distance the floor
dipped. The bottom of the trench continued to follow the same level it
had held to this point, in the belief that the dip in the floor was
due to a crevice or slight erosion channel and would soon disappear,
bringing the rock to its normal position. This was not the case;
several holes were dug, the deepest one 3 feet, into the mingled clay
and rock, without finding any evidence of a solid bottom. The
conclusion seemed certain that the passage leading from the entrance
of the cave to the large room at its farther end was only a tributary
or branch of a cross-cave extending in an east and west direction, as
intimated above. Prof. Eigenmann, of the State university, reached the
same conclusion through surveys not connected with this work. Under
the circumstances further digging seemed useless; for if this should
be a cross-cave the bottom would probably, almost certainly, be on a
level with the stream now flowing through the central passage, while
if it should prove to be only a cellar-like deepening, it would not be
utilized for a habitation.

At 30 feet from the entrance the accumulated earth had a thickness of
6 feet; from there it rose gradually to the roof at the end.

At 37 feet, in a pocket of coarse sand on the rock floor, such as
settles in a gentle current, were four fragments of bone. There is not
enough of them to identify with certainty, but they seem to belong to
a deer, a turkey, and some bird about the size of a quail.

At 66 feet in, a foot lower than the surface of the bedrock (being 5
or 6 feet beyond the above-mentioned dip), were small fragments or
particles of charcoal, or what had every appearance of such. They were
in earth that showed the lamination or stratification due to
successive water deposits, and had been introduced in the same manner.
The entire earth deposit below the sand capping showed this
lamination, sometimes horizontal, sometimes curved, proving a long
period of deposition. Further evidence of age is found in the
travertine, 7 inches thick, that occurs on top of the earth at the
back of the cave.

In the absence of all other evidence the specks of charcoal can not be
accepted as proof of human life in the vicinity at the time these
deposits were forming.

While the work was in progress three students from the university came
through the central cave in a small boat, having entered through a
sink hole 3 miles away in an air line. At some point of their course
they lost their lanterns and made the remainder of the journey in
absolute darkness, feeling their way along the walls, dragging or
carrying the craft over shallows, and at one place lying flat in the
bottom and propelling the boat by applying hands and feet to the roof,
which was less than a foot above the water.


Various caves are reported in the vicinity of Shoals. Those whose
location was clearly given are merely "rock houses" or recesses in the
Carboniferous conglomerate bluffs bordering the east fork of White
River. Some of them would make fairly good shelters, but all which can
now be examined are at so low a level that the river gets into them or
very close to them in flood periods. Consequently there is no
probability that ancient remains are to be found in them. Some of the
shelters higher up on the cliffs may have been utilized, but the
bottom of these is now covered with huge blocks, some weighing a
hundred tons. It is true that such rock houses, in all parts of the
country, were regular resorts for modern Indians, and they probably
furnished shelter to the earliest inhabitants of this region, no
matter how remote the period of occupation. But owing to their open
front and the exposed situation of most of them, it is quite possible
that the wind may remove the fine material falling from roof and sides
almost as fast as it is deposited. At any rate the débris on the
floors is seldom more than 3 or 4 feet deep, and articles very plainly
of no great age are frequently found at all levels in it.

In a few places along the river bluffs limestone crops out beneath the
sandstone, and springs occasionally appear along the line of junction,
eroding small cavities, but these are subject to overflow, and none of
them has an opening large enough to enter without crawling.


VICINITY OF PAOLI.--From this town six caves were visited, all that
could be located by diligent inquiry. None of them has any particular
designation except "Mill Cave," which is so named because the stream
issuing from it furnishes power for a flour mill. The water covers the
floor at all seasons.

One, though quite small, could have been occupied at a former period,
but the roof and front fell in some years ago, entirely closing it.

A third has a small entrance on a hillside. A steep and rough descent
was followed beyond reach of daylight without coming to a level

The other three are very small with rock bottoms.

FRENCH LICK SPRINGS.--Two or three miles from this place is "Star
Cavern," which is advertised as being of great size and beauty. The
immediate surroundings are quite romantic and deserve the praise
accorded the spot by visitors. The cave itself, however, more
resembles an artificial tunnel than a natural result of erosion. The
floor is clean rock with a little brook flowing over it.

Two other caves not far from Star Cave are dry, but with solid rock
floors, so they were not visited.

ORANGEVILLE.--Near this place are the so-called Gulfs of Lost River.
The stream sinks a few miles east of Orleans, emerges at the "Gulfs"
from one side of a very large sink hole with precipitous margin, and
immediately goes out of sight again in a deep pool or chasm. It
reappears a mile or so away at the foot of a cliff where, after heavy
rains, it boils up like a gigantic fountain. Numerous small caves or
sink holes exist in the neighborhood, three of which were reported as
being dry, lighted, having good entrances, and well suited for
habitancy. One of them is at the bottom of a sink hole on a hill. The
descent is steep and rocky for 20 feet (it was not followed farther)
and no doubt so continues to the level of the river which flows almost
directly under it.

The two others are in the principal "Gulf." They are open and of good
size, but mud high on the walls shows they are filled with water in
wet seasons.


MARENGO CAVE.--This is growing famous as it becomes better known.
Blatchley says that in it "are probably crowded more beautiful
formations of crystalline limestone than in any other known cave of
similar size in the United States." Visitors who have been in both say
it surpasses Luray Cavern in the magnificence of its sheets and
columns of deposited material.

As it was not opened until 1883, and the bottom can be reached only by
a stairway 60 feet high, it was of course unknown to the aborigines.

A small cave near Marengo has an opening on a hillside, and can be
directly entered from the outside; but it is at times a passageway for
a strong current of water 3 feet deep and extending the full width of
the cavity.

MILLTOWN.--A mile north of the town is a large cave which would
furnish an abode for scores of people. The entrance is in a slight
depression on the level upland west of Blue River. The descent is down
an easy slope of fallen rock and earth about 30 feet deep to a rock
floor. Beyond the foot of the slope there is a slight thickness of
earth, so that explorations could reveal nothing that had a certainty
of antiquity.

There is presented here a fine example of the manner in which caves of
this character become exposed to the upper world. At first, there was
an underground channel draining the adjacent country over a territory
of varying extent, sometimes many square miles. At some point the roof
fell in more rapidly than in other parts, until at last it became so
thin as to give way entirely. If the débris was not sufficient in
amount to extend above that part of the roof which remained intact on
either side, so that it would be gradually carried away, the cave
would remain open in both directions, as is the case at the "Gulfs"
just described and at other caves statements of which appear in
subsequent pages. Usually the débris quite chokes up one side and all
the superficial drainage is turned into the other, which is thus kept
open. In time, the slope around the depression becomes tolerably
uniform except close to the entrance, and there is no outward
indication that the cave ever extended farther than the spot where the
new entrance is located. So the cave, as it is now open to
examination, is only a portion of the original passage, and as the
explorer pursues his way, he may be going toward either the former
mouth or the source. In the former case, he comes out of a large
opening, or what was formerly such, on some slope in the neighborhood,
or descends until his way is obstructed by water. In the latter, he
may find his way shut off by diminishing passages, or he may descend
to lower levels through newer drainage channels cut by the streams
which have been reversed and forced to carve other outlets for

This change occurred in the Milltown Cave a very long time ago.
Standing on the débris, several feet within the entrance and beneath a
part of the roof now perfectly dry and showing no marks of percolating
water, is a stalagmite 31 inches in diameter, which has weathered to a
depth of 3 to 4 inches from atmospheric influences alone.

WYANDOTTE CAVE.--So much has been printed concerning this celebrated
cavern that no mention need be made of its interior features. The
place seems excellently adapted as a habitation for primitive people.
It is situated on a hill at whose foot is the bank of Blue River. Five
miles away, as the road runs, is the Ohio. The backwater sometimes
reaches up the tributary for more than 10 miles. The flint-bearing
stratum of the Harrison County aboriginal quarries outcrops a short
distance away and appears at several points within the cave. The
country is extremely rugged, and good springs occur frequently. Game
was formerly abundant in the hills, and Blue River still rewards the
angler with various species of fish, many of them of large size.

A former race, presumably the modern Indian, did much work within the
cave. Tons of travertine or stalagmite, the so-called alabaster, have
been quarried from some of the deposits, while a large number of flint
nodules has been dug out of the cave-earth where they fell from the
disintegrating limestone. Some of this labor was carried on more than
a mile from daylight.

The mouth of the cave was formerly almost closed by a mass of talus.
About 10 feet has been removed from the top of this, so that one may
now walk in without difficulty. On the inner side of the portion
remaining there is a slope for 96 feet, to a vertical depth of a
little more than 27 feet. The next 100 feet gives a descent of about 3
feet; then another steep slope begins. The first point at which
bedrock floor is found within the cave is 120 feet lower than the
point of entry. It is supposed that the drainage to which the cave
owes its origin was outward; if this was the case the floor must be
more than 120 feet below the roof at the doorway. While this may be
true, it is not indicated by the condition of the visible strata. For
about 50 feet outward the side walls are nearly parallel and nowhere
more than 30 feet apart. Then they terminate at an angle in the
outcrop of the ledge along the hillside. The appearance and condition
of the upper strata, together with this narrow separation of the side
walls outside the cave, produce the impression that at a period not
very remote the roof of the cavern reached to the outcropping ledge in
which the walls end. Even though the rock floor should be at the great
depth supposed there is a possibility that an earth floor could be
found below the detritus which has accumulated since the roof fell in
or has worn away.

To test the matter a shaft was begun at a point 16 feet in front of
the doorway. This was as near as such work could be done without
interfering with the advent of visitors, and allowed a margin of 30
feet toward the outer slope. The shaft, 6 feet in diameter, soon
passed into a compact mass of red clay filled with rocks of various
sizes. At 14 feet down this was broken by an irregular stratum
averaging a foot in thickness, of coarse sand or fine gravel with a
slight admixture of clay, such as would form in a running stream. Its
slope was inward or toward the cave. As there are sandstone ledges on
the hillside above, this sand may have come from them, but, if so, it
is singular that none appeared elsewhere. At 18 feet down was a mass
of travertine measuring nearly 3 feet across and from 6 to 12 inches
thick. It had formed around the lower part of a stalagmite 18 inches
long, and the bottom of the whole formation rested horizontally on
clay. This gave the excavators hope that an earth floor had been
reached, as the stalagmite was vertical and resembled in all respects
stalagmites in the cave. But it was soon found to be a foreign
inclusion, and the same confused mixture of clay and stone continued
below as above. Various fragments of stalactites and stalagmites were
found as part of the detritus. These, especially the vertical one,
seem to confirm the supposition that the roof reached out this far at
a period which is quite recent as compared with the age of the cave.

To a depth of 25 or 26 feet the task of excavating was as tedious and
difficult as digging up a much-traveled, rocky road, the earth being
dry enough to scour the shovels. Then the earth grew moist and within
2 feet was muddy. Cavities appeared, into some of which a switch could
be thrust 3 or 4 feet. Where such a cavity extended under a large
stone, stalactites were in process of formation. Soon the earth began
to work into a soft mud under the feet of the workmen, and at 32 feet
particles and small clods were noticed falling from the sides of the
shaft. A foot lower this breaking away became more decided. It may
have been due merely to the loose condition of the wet earth allowing
unsupported portions to fall from the freshly exposed surface, but
there was also the risk that the softer earth was sliding under the
weight of that above. The workmen, two of whom were experienced well
and cistern diggers, declared the risk too great and demanded to be
brought to the surface.

The depth reached by this shaft was at least 5 feet lower than at any
point inside, within 200 feet of the mouth of the cave. The material,
with the exception of the sand layer, was almost identical from top to
bottom, there being no apparent difference other than increase of
moisture in the lower part. The only explanation suggesting itself at
present is that the chasm is filled with large loose rocks up to a
point near the bottom of the shaft; that débris from the hillside
above has covered these more rapidly than it could settle in the
crevices and cavities among them; and that water which makes its way
downward finds some obstruction to its free passage out at the bottom
of the chasm.

The only safe plan of excavation seems to require the removal of all
the earth between the side walls to a depth below the mud. If the rock
bottom, or any solid bottom, is at a depth of 120 feet, there is small
chance that man lived in this region at a time when it was easily

SALTPETER CAVE.--This is about 600 yards northwest of Wyandotte Cave.
"The entrance, in a side of a ravine, is 5 feet high and 19 feet wide.
Once within, a gigantic room expands, 220 feet long, 75 feet wide, and
10 to 30 feet in height, with smooth flat ceiling and earthen floor,
the latter descending and with its edges much encumbered with fallen
rock." [W.S. Blatchley.]

From the description given, this would seem an ideal site for
research. Unfortunately, the bottom of the ravine is not more than 5
feet lower than the top of the talus at the entrance. This slight
elevation is the only barrier which keeps the surface water from
flowing in, and while the ravine seldom has any water in it, there
would be enough after a moderate rain to drown out the diggers who
were working below its level if the bank were removed.

LITTLE WYANDOTTE.--This, like three caves on Blue River above
Wyandotte, four in the vicinity of Leavenworth, and one on the
opposite side of the river in Meade County, Ky., has a small entrance
in solid rock, with a steep and narrow passage to the foot of a slope
which does not expand into a room of any size until at some distance
beyond daylight.


The only cave of any note in Harrison County is at the King quarries,
5 miles east of Corydon. It has two outlets, one at the foot of a
little cliff, through which a fine spring has an exit; the other in
the face of the cliff, about 10 feet higher and a little to one side.
The latter discharges more or less water after every rain. The
drainage of several large sink holes is through the two openings. The
owner says mud has accumulated to a depth of 3 feet on the floor
within his remembrance, due to cultivation around the sink holes,
which causes the soil to waste.

                    *    *    *



MAMMOTH CAVE.--The so-called "Mammoth Cave of Illinois" is near
Burksville, in Monroe County. An opportunity was afforded to visit it
while engaged in the cave work. It is very extensive, according to the
owner's description, being "7 or 8 miles long." The mouth is at the
bottom of a sink hole, and the cave is now reached by a narrow
stairway 40 feet high. Formerly it was necessary to clamber down the
walls, stepping from ledge to ledge with a foot and a hand on either
side. Then a ladder was made, said to have been 50 feet long; and,
with more frequent visitors, the stairway followed. The crevice is
very short, a mere crack, apparently made by water working its way
down from the bottom of the sink. All the drainage within the rim goes
into the cave, and it accumulates in the rainy season until the floor
is covered. A farmer living near says he has seen the water from the
cave rise until it covered the bottom of the sink hole. As similar
depressions are numerous in the vicinity, probably the combined inflow
is greater than the cave can carry away. The floor has been leveled
and a close pavement of large slabs laid over the muddy portions. No
one has ever heard of human remains being found anywhere in the cave.

                    *    *    *


Crossing the Ohio River from the southern Indiana cave region, the
counties of Kentucky lying in the belt of lower Carboniferous
limestone were next visited. No cave that seemed worth examining could
be heard of above the extreme southern portion of Hardin County. The
sections examined will be taken in their geographical order from north
to south.


HUTCHINS OR BRADLEY CAVE.--This is in the bluff bordering on the left
bank of Nolin River, 2 miles west of Upton. It was reported that human
remains had been found in it. The present owners, who have known the
cave for a long time, never heard of any such finds. The entrance is
low and narrow, so that access to the cave is to be had only by
creeping several yards. The cavern then expands into a very large
chamber, separated into three by curtains or partitions of stalactites
and stalagmites. Very little of floor, roof, or walls is to be seen,
being almost entirely covered by secondary deposits. Some of these are
remarkable for size and beauty. There is no probability that the cave
was ever inhabited.

SALTPETER CAVE.--This is 3 miles southwest of Upton. It has a large
entrance and an earth floor, but the dirt has all been worked over for
making saltpeter, so there is nothing to search for.


LAIRD'S CAVE.--About 2 miles north of Northtown is a large, roomy
cave, with a good entrance, but water drips from all parts of the
ceiling, and the floor is muddy and rocky. The drainage from 3 or 4
acres of hillside flows over the arch of the entrance and logs 6
inches in diameter are carried into it by the surface floods.

LOCK'S CAVE.--This is a mile east of Rowlett's Station, near the top
of a ridge, and lying nearly parallel with its crest. It affords
another instance of a cave which has come to light only after a
portion of its roof has fallen in. The detritus entirely conceals the
opening at one end. The other end is entered by going down the fallen
rocks over a slope of 15 or 20 feet, which leads to a bottom strewn
with rocks. In such cases there can be nothing under the loose
material, because the cave had no entrance until this had fallen in.

GARVIN CAVE.--This cavern, which is 3 miles southeast of Munfordville,
has an opening at the bottom of a sink hole, requiring a rope or
ladder for descent.

HARLOW CAVE.--This is 3½ miles southeast of Munfordville. It is a very
large cave, apparently, as the slope down the débris is more than 40
feet high, to a rocky shelf, beyond which the descent was followed
some yards without finding any indications that a level bottom was
near. It is another illustration of the fallen roof.

WYNNE'S CAVE.--Three miles south of Rowlett's Station is a large sink
hole. Stones thrown into the vertical shaft at the bottom can be heard
striking the sides for three or four seconds before coming to rest.

WASH. ROWLETT CAVE.--On "the old Lewis Martin place," 1½ miles west of
Rowlett's Station, a section of roof, 20 or 25 feet across, has
dropped into a deep cavity. The sides are still insecure. The descent
to a spring under what appears to be the original roof is somewhat
more than 40 feet. The ceiling is not more than 6 feet high.

STEFFY'S CAVE.--Four miles southwest of Munfordville between 200 and
300 feet in length of the roof of a high and wide cave has fallen in.
Ice remains in this cave until May or later every year.

JOEL BUCKNER'S CAVE.--About 10 miles northeast of Munfordville is a
large cave with the entrance on a hillside. The roof has evidently
extended several rods farther out than at present. The front part of
the cavern is wide and high, but is now nearly filled with débris. The
roof slopes at about the same angle as loose material within, there
being not more than 3 feet of space between the two at any place
nearer than 30 feet from the present mouth. Rocks thrown back showed
the same uniformity of slope to continue at least several yards and
the depth there to be about 20 feet below the top of the detritus at
the mouth. This cave was suitable as a habitation before the material
now choking the mouth had accumulated, provided water was obtainable.
The nearest spring now is more than a mile away. An exploration would
require, as a preliminary, the removal of several hundred cubic yards
of compacted rocks and clay.

HARRY BUCKNER CAVE.--Half a mile north of the cavern last named is
another with a very narrow entrance. The floor, which slopes downward,
is solid rock in part, and the place is not adapted for occupancy.

CUB RUN CAVE.--Cub Run is a little settlement 12 miles west of
Munfordville, near the Edmonson County line and about equidistant from
Green River and Nolin River. Two miles in a direct line south of the
village is a cave or rock shelter which has much local notoriety from
the fact that three skeletons were found in it. They were imbedded in
mixed ashes and earth and accompanied with several pestles, bone
perforators, three flint knives, a small celt, and part of a clay pipe
stem. One of the skeletons was that of a child not more than 8 or 10
years old. It has been pronounced the frame of a white child on
account of the shape of the skull, but is more probably Indian, as the
three were found together. Two of the bodies had been laid side by
side; the other was near their feet at a right angle to them. In the
back of the child's head is an incision somewhat over an inch long.
The skull is slightly fractured downward from one end of this cut, and
the corner or angle thus formed in the bone is pressed outward.

A flint implement found almost in contact with the skull fits closely
into the aperture and may have produced it, as the form of the wound
could have been thus caused.

The cavity or chamber of this cavern is about 100 feet across in each
direction. There is a small opening near the back which has been
examined to a distance of 75 or 80 feet, being there obstructed by
large blocks of sandstone similar to those which fill the space from
floor to ceiling along the back end of the shelter.

There is another very large block just at the entrance, in which are
one shallow and two deep circular depressions which were probably
mortars. Bones of deer, bear, and other animals have been found within
a foot or two of the surface both outside and inside of the cave.
Contrary to what is usual in sandstone cavities of this sort, the
outside earth slopes upward from the entrance and after heavy rains
considerable water flows into the cave. This makes the earth on the
floor quite sticky at times, although it is mainly sand, containing
very little clay.

The skeletons were found at a depth of about 16 inches, close to the
side wall. A small trench dug where they were unearthed showed, in
succession, a layer of ashes 4 or 5 inches thick and not more than 3
feet across, a foot below the surface of the floor; a few inches of
earth; a layer of ashes an inch thick, at two feet; below this,
yellowish undisturbed sand, apparently fallen from the sandstone roof,
and continuing to the rock floor, which was about 32 inches below the

Another trench was dug about midway across the cave and the same
distance from the front as the skeletons were found. This was on or
close to the line of heaviest drainage into the cave and the earth was
so wet as to be very sticky. A few little patches of what appeared to
be ashes but which had not resulted from fires made on the spot, three
or four broken mussel shells, and a chip of flint were found in the
first 18 or 20 inches. More than this amount of earth could easily
have washed in since they were left here by modern Indians. Below this
level the earth contained not the slightest object of human origin, to
the rock floor which was found at a depth of 6 feet. On the rock was
nearly pure sand, probably the result of disintegration; some clay lay
on this; then the mixed loam, sand, and clay composing the outside

It would appear that this cave was utilized as a place of shelter at
irregular intervals by Indians in tolerably recent times; that at
least one of those found, perhaps all three, had died or been killed
during a somewhat protracted sojourn; and that only a slight covering
of earth, if any at all, had been placed over them.

Two similar caves are within 8 or 10 miles, but were not visited.


MAMMOTH CAVE.--For miles from the entrance saltpeter workers have dug
down to a level where the amount of loose rock rendered further
excavation too expensive. In many places walls of stone are piled
against the sides of the cavern. They were among the earth that was
removed and have been so piled to get them out of the way.

As far back as "Chief City," 3 miles from the mouth of the cave, the
floor is littered with fragments of canes (reeds) and saplings, which,
from the appearance of the ends, were broken, twisted, or bruised off
with blunt tools like stone hatchets. Most of those remaining are
lying on massive loose rocks now forming the floor, though the ends of
some are seen projecting from beneath stones much larger than two men
can lift. It is possible the latter have recently slid or slipped from
higher up the slopes, but the indications are that they have dropped
from the roof since the time of these early explorers. If this be the
case, it points to a considerable antiquity for the remains, because
no such downfalls are known to have occurred since the cave was first
explored by white men.

So much work has been done about the entrance of late years for
improving the approaches that excavation would be useless, even if
allowed, unless carried to a depth of more than 20 feet. Such work
would greatly interfere with the plans of the management.

WHITE'S CAVE.--This is about three-fourths of a mile from Mammoth
Cave. The entrance, quite small, is near the crest of a ridge, and the
floor descends abruptly. Only a narrow chamber exists within reach of
daylight, and the cave is wet all the time a short distance back.

COLOSSAL CAVE.--It is said to be 4 miles from Mammoth Cave, but is
really only a little more than 2 miles. The present entrance is
entirely artificial, the descent to the floor being about 120 feet.
The original entrance was in a crevice which explorers descended by
means of ropes. It is said that another entrance is known to one man
who, however, has to crawl a long distance.

SALT CAVE.--This is 4 miles from Mammoth Cave, though belonging to the
same company. The entrance is at the bottom of a conical sink hole
draining about an acre. Not much water runs into the cave from this
cause, as the surface slopes outward from the margin except on one
side, where a ridge leads to the hills. A spring which comes out near
the top of the sink falls over a ledge at the bottom into the
entrance to the cave. It is said that this water soaks into the ground
within a few rods and that just beyond are large, dry rooms, well
adapted for habitation, which formerly contained many evidences of
aboriginal occupation. Exploration is impossible now, as the entrance
was effectually closed some years ago by throwing in logs, brush,
rocks, and earth, in order to protect the formations from relic
hunters. The water from the spring falls directly on and flows into
this, and can not now be turned aside. Even if it could, all excavated
material would have to be carried up a steep slope and deposited in
the field surrounding the sink hole.

DIXON'S CAVE.--It is supposed, with good reason, that this was at one
time connected with Mammoth Cave. It can be easily entered, through a
large crevice, where the surface rock has fallen in. Approach to the
bottom is down a steep and rugged slope of about 60 feet vertically.
Within, no earth is visible, it having been entirely removed by
saltpeter miners, who left the rocks piled in great rows from side to
side across the cavern.

MAMMAL CAVE.--This is so named because a tusk was formerly exhibited
at the hotel which was reported to have come from here. It was
afterwards learned that the specimen was imported from another State.
The cave is small and damp, not suitable for living or even for
stopping in.

PROCTOR'S CAVE.--This is 6 miles from Mammoth Cave. The present
entrance is artificial and so far as could be learned the cave is a
recent discovery.

HAUNTED CAVE.--The name is given to commemorate the fact that human
bones were found in it. Physicians, it is said, pronounced them bones
of a white person. The cave, which is on Green River, some miles below
Mammoth Cave, was not visited, as the entrance is described as a
crevice through which a man has difficulty in squeezing his way, while
the interior is nowhere more than 8 feet wide. The cave soon connects
with another narrow vertical crevice which reaches the surface at the
top of a ridge.

BRIGGS'S CAVE.--About 6 miles west of Cave City, and 4 miles west of
north from Glasgow Junction, is a cave on land of Ike Briggs, which
was described as fit for habitation. Its entrance is in a small sink
hole, on a hillside. The approach is easy, and entry not difficult;
but the cave receives the drainage of several acres and the floor is
always muddy.

POYNER'S CAVE.--This is a mile east of Briggs's. While a large cave,
the entrance is at the foot of a sink hole an acre in area. It is
necessary to stoop for some distance on entering, and the bottom here
is rough and wet. Farther in it is dry and roomy--so much so, that
people in the neighborhood use one chamber as a "ballroom." This part
is some distance beyond daylight. As in all caves which are entered
from a sink, it would be very difficult to dispose of any excavated
earth, as it would have to be carried up the steep slope to the

SHORT CAVE.--Chaumont is a station on the road to Mammoth Cave, 3
miles from the Glasgow Junction. The cavern, which is so named from
its limited extent as compared with Mammoth, is a mile from the
station. The entrance, reached by a winding way along the ridges, is
on one side of an irregular depression comprising 3 or 4 acres. At
present there is a heavy bank of earth, several feet high, across the
entrance, nearly closing it to the top, except at the middle where a
wagon road has been cut through to allow fertilizers for mushroom beds
to be hauled in. This earth, so it is stated, was not there when the
cave was discovered, but has been carried from the interior partly by
saltpeter workers, and partly by the present owner in order to cover
up some rocks and to make the floor smooth and level. In front of the
cave and of the earth piled at the entrance is a level space of 25 or
30 feet to a deep sink hole. Some water and mud, in time of wet
weather, runs into the front part of the cave but its effect is not
noticeable for more than 30 or 40 feet. Beyond this is a reach of more
than 200 feet of perfectly dry level floor. It was not so smooth
before some grading was done for the mushroom beds, but was at no time
rugged or difficult to travel over. At 300 feet from the entrance is a
slope about 20 feet high, at the foot of which begins another floor so
dry as to be dusty in places. Whether this apparent thickness of 20
feet is of earth, or earth and stone mixed, or is indicative of a dip
in the rock floor, is not known, as no excavation has ever been made
except for the plant beds. There is a slight descent, not more than 3
or 4 feet, from the entrance to the point where the flood water seems
to reach. This is seemingly due altogether to the wash. The width of
the cave is about 50 feet, and notwithstanding the partial closure of
the entrance there is sufficient light as far back as 200 feet to
enable one to read ordinary print. So there is ample room within reach
of daylight for several hundred people to gather without

The owner, Capt. J.B. Briggs, who lives in Russellville, has granted
permission to make any excavations desired, provided the floor be left
in good shape when done. It is evident that any satisfactory
examination will demand a large expenditure. If only a preliminary
trench were made, the necessary slope would require a considerable
width at top, while if anything should be disclosed that called for
extensive research, the earth must be wheeled or otherwise removed to
the sink hole in front, and the whole floor brought to a nearly
uniform level.

So far as appearances go, this cavern is better adapted for occupancy
than any other which has been examined. The depth of earth shows it to
have been open for a long period. If nothing can be found here,
denoting extreme antiquity of man, it would seem useless to make
further search in central or western Kentucky.

BEAR CREEK.--A very large rock house is on the right bank of Bear
Creek, 3 miles above its mouth. It would afford good shelter to a
large number of people, except in rainy seasons when they were most in
need of it. After heavy storms the creek covers the entire floor.

Other rock-shelters exist along Green River above and below Bear
Creek. They are not worth investigating. Some are flooded; others
difficult of access; still others become muddy after rains; while in
none of them is there any great depth of earth.


CRUMP'S CAVE.--A mile north of Smith's Grove is a large sink hole,
from one side of which extends a cave nearly a mile long. There is
abundant room and a good light near the front, and it is reported that
quantities of ashes were formerly to be seen on the earth a short
distance in. A considerable outside area drains into the cave, and the
floor at the present time is everywhere so wet as to be quite muddy.
Much water also falls from the roof. A hydraulic ram, not far from the
entrance, formerly forced water from one of these falls to the farm
residence. A descent of 6 feet, over large rocks and wet earth, brings
one to the nearly level floor, 40 feet from the mouth. The amount of
flood water running into the cave is indicated by a gully 4 feet deep
and the same in width, while trash and driftwood litter the floor from
wall to wall for more than a hundred yards.

THOMAS CAVE.--This is a mile north of Bowling Green. The roof of a
cavern has fallen in and forms a high mound of rocky débris, down
which a path winds on each side, giving access toward either end of
the cavern. There is scarcely a possibility that it was ever occupied.

MILL CAVE.--Three miles south of Bowling Green a stream emerges from
the foot of a slope, flows a hundred yards through a canyon-like open
channel, and disappears under a cliff. This is another instance of an
open cave due to a falling roof. The open end is large and forms an
excellent shelter for cattle. On either side of the stream, under the
cliff, is a shelf or projecting ledge, covered with loose stones.
Neither is 2 feet higher than the water level in a wet season.


PAYNE CAVE.--This, also known as Saltpeter Cave, is near Temple Hill,
9 miles southeast of Glasgow. The bluff in which it is situated is a
conglomerate limestone, rising from the waters of Skagg's Creek. The
cave has three different entrances, 100 feet or more apart, and each
entrance is broken into three or four by columns or masses of stone
that have resisted erosion. None of the entrances is large, or opens
into spacious chambers within daylight. Flood marks are visible in
all, and it is said that after prolonged or heavy spring rains the
water covers the floors.

BEN SMITH'S CAVE.--This was discovered while digging out a fox den. It
is a tunnel-like cavity, not more than 6 feet high or wide, and not
suitable for habitation. It lies a mile and a half south of Temple

FORD'S CAVE.--This is between Freedom and Mount Hermon, about 14 miles
southeast of Glasgow. Originally the entrance was about 8 feet high
and 20 feet wide, and opened into a well-lighted chamber probably 40
feet wide and 60 feet long. The floor was of earth and level, with
ample space between it and the roof, as shown by marks on the walls,
for people to move about readily in any part of the room. The entrance
is now artificially closed by earth and stone, except for a space 4
feet square in which a door is hung. Old men in the neighborhood claim
they can remember when the floor was 20 feet lower than at present; a
manifest impossibility, for that measure would bring it several feet
lower than the bed of Mill Creek just in front of the cave. They also
claim that blocks of conglomerate and travertine 5 to 10 feet in each
dimension have formed from "drip" within their recollection; which, if
true, would prove these persons to be almost contemporaneous with the
cave men. The more probable statement is also made by them that in
early days saltpeter workers dug up and leached all the earth in the
cave, filling the entrance and the narrow space before it with the
leached earth from the front part of the cave and throwing that from
farther back into the cavities and pits left by the prior workings.
Inside the cave, near the entrance, is a never-failing spring whose
waters flow through a short, narrow crevice at one side. While easily
accessible, the water does not reach any of the earth floor.

This would have been an excellent site for aboriginal residence, but
there is now no undisturbed earth within daylight nor for some
distance beyond, and no one can remember that anything of an
artificial nature was ever exhumed.

THE ESMITH CAVES.--Two caves situated on Peters Creek near Dry Fork
post office, 14 miles southeast of Glasgow, were reported to be
admirably suited for shelter purposes. The smaller is not more than a
foot high, from floor to roof, and is filled with flood water after
every heavy rain. The larger is above flood line, but the entrance is
not over 2 feet high, and the "cave" is scarcely sufficient for a
sheep shelter. If the floor were cleared off to a depth of 4 feet from
its present level, it would be covered whenever the creek reached
high-water mark.

BONE CAVE.--Five miles east of Glasgow human bones were found in a
cavern. Particulars could not be obtained. The cave is on a hillside
and is entered through a narrow crevice by straddling the walls or
going down a ladder. Rocks and trash form a mound in this, the top
being 15 feet below the outside surface. On either side of this mound
one can make his way continuously downward to darkness, and a rock
thrown ahead can be heard going on down some distance over loose
stones. If human bones were ever found in here, either they were
thrown in or some person fell in and was unable to escape.

SLICK ROCK CAVE.--This is near the post office of Slick Rock, 7 miles
east of Glasgow. The entrance is in a narrow crevice at the brow of a
low hill. The descent is steep and rugged to beyond daylight.

LOVE'S CAVE.--This is located on Dr. Love's farm, 3 miles north of
Slick Rock. It is now used for storing apples and potatoes. The
entrance is through a large sink hole, formed by the falling in of the
roof of a cave which was at least 50 feet wide at this point. As is
usual, the débris has blocked the cave in one direction. Descent is
regular, though steep, along the slope into the other end of the cave.
The floor is wet and muddy the entire year on account of the drip from
roof and overhanging rock at the mouth. The vertical distance from top
of the débris to the level floor is about 30 feet, and from the top to
the outer surface about 20 feet more. Any attempt at excavation would
be difficult and costly, and conditions are such as to make it
probably fruitless.


Four caves in this county were represented as being worth
investigation. All are north of Tompkinsville, the county seat.

(1) A rock house in the conglomerate sandstone on the land of Dr. E.E.
Palmer, 7 miles north of Tompkinsville, shows smoke stains on the
ceiling, and some flint chips among the gravel and earth in front
where they have been exposed by water dripping over the face of the
cliff. There is, however, only 2 to 4 feet of space between the earth
floor and the roof, across the cave from side to side, a distance of
20 feet, and from the front to a point 10 feet back. From this rear
portion the earth slopes downward, parallel with the roof of the cave,
to the wall behind. The amount of descent could not be accurately
ascertained owing to the cramped space, but seems to be 5 or 6 feet.
At about that level on the outside a ledge was found on both sides of
the entrance and appears to continue across. If so, the earth covers
the part immediately in front of the cave. Neither tools nor men could
be found to do any trenching, but it is not probable the shelter was
ever high enough for a man to stand erect in, because most, or all, of
the floor earth must have come from the ceiling.

(2) A mile north of Dr. Palmer's is the McCreary Cave. The entrance is
from 60 to 70 feet across and the cavern reaches back fully a hundred
feet without any diminution of breadth. Two branches then start under
the hill. Each has been explored more than a mile. From each branch
flows a considerable brook. They unite near the entrance, sink into
the floor, and reappear as a strong spring 30 feet lower in the ravine
leading from the cave. The earth is not more than 3 feet deep near the
front. It becomes greater in amount farther back, but is wet
everywhere below the level of the running water, consequently no
excavation was practicable. Flood marks show that the whole floor,
except in places a strip along the side walls, is completely submerged
at times. On one side a rock ledge or shelf above reach of the water
is covered with dry loose earth from 1 to 3 feet deep. This has been
dug up in nearly every part by treasure seekers, but nothing of human
workmanship has ever been found.

(3) The Belcher Cave is 7 miles northwest of Tompkinsville. It is also
called Mill Cave, because a gristmill near the foot of the hill below
it is run by the outflowing stream. The entrance is wide and high; the
front chamber or vault is fully a hundred feet across each way. But
the bedrock is exposed in places and the earth is not more than 2 feet
thick anywhere. Water from the brook percolating through this keeps
the lower portion saturated.

(4) On John Black Tuley's land, on Meshach Creek, 6 miles northeast of
Tompkinsville, two human skeletons were found in a small opening,
which has since been known as the Bone Cave. It is a room not over 10
feet across at any part, in a limestone conglomerate, and may be of
quite recent origin. Being inconvenient of access, it is not in a
position for residence purposes. The skeletons, which were less than 2
feet below the surface, were probably those of Indian hunters. The
material in which the little cave is formed will crumble easily in
cold weather, being rather wet from the soil water soaking through the
hill above it.

There are other caves in this county, but from the descriptions they
do not seem at all suited even for temporary camping needs.


Very little limestone appears in Logan County, the surface rock being
mostly conglomerate. A reconnoissance was made here, however, from
Russellville to Diamond Springs, to investigate "a broad valley" which
was reported to extend in a general north and south direction from the
Ohio, near Brandenburg, toward the Cumberland. It was also claimed
that beds of drift gravel exist at a considerable elevation above the
little creek now flowing through the valley and that rock shelters are
numerous at various levels.

As there is an abandoned drainage system, different from the present,
somewhere in this part of Kentucky, which has never been traced, the
place seemed worth a visit. The result was disappointing.

The valley is due entirely to causes now at work. The gravel beds
result from weathering of lower Coal Measure conglomerates. The rock
shelters are shallow, or with a thin covering of earth on the floor,
or subject to overflow. None was found that offered any incentive for


On the farm of Mr. Robert Glover, 3½ miles southwest of Trenton, is a
cave known generally as "Bell's Cave," from a former owner. This forms
the outlet of a large sink hole, all the rainfall of 6 or 8 acres
draining out through it. The entrance is wide and deep, with an easy
descent to the level floor. It was for a long time a shelter for
Indians, for there is a layer of ashes more than 6 feet in depth, 50
or 60 feet long, and about 15 or 20 feet wide. These represent the
probable original dimensions, but the top has been leveled for a
dancing floor, and the drainage water has cut away a large part of it,
depositing the material farther back in the cave. Six feet of vertical
face is exposed at one place by the water, but the ashes extend still
deeper. It is said that bone needles, animal bones, antlers, mussel
shells ("different from any in the creek now"), burnt rock, and much
broken pottery were found in leveling the top. A very fine polished
flint celt 12 inches or more in length is also reported. One human
skeleton has been found, either at the edge of the ash bed or a few
feet away from the edge. The floor is covered, where the earth is
washed off, with flint nodules and fragments, and the slopes outside
have considerable on the surface. The gullies washed along the slope
are paved with nodules like a macadamized road, and in a few places
the streams have cut into them so as to show a foot or more at the
lower part of the bank so filled and packed with nodules that a knife
blade could not be thrust in more than 2 or 3 inches. But there is no
evidence of aboriginal quarrying. Probably the Indians dug nodules
out of the gullies, for chips are found above and on each side of the
mouth of the cave.

To the west, on top of the hill in which the sink hole occurs, and
beginning at its edge, is an aboriginal cemetery. There are two small
mounds and numerous graves. Scores of the latter have been opened.
They are all alike; flat stones form bottom, ends, sides, and top.
Many have only one skeleton; others more. The greatest number yet
found in one was six. Few are more than a foot deep or much over 5
feet long. About one in ten contains relics of some sort--in two or
three entire pots, beads, arrowheads, and gorgets occurred.

I opened three; two contained one body each. The face of one was down,
but all the other bones of this and all the bones in the second grave
were so decayed that no statement of their position can be made. In
the third grave, which was 2½ feet deep--the deepest yet found--were
three bodies. Two lay with faces north; the other, behind these, with
face south. The grave was 24 inches wide and less than 6 feet long.
Most skeletons (it is reported) were doubled up; often the graves were
not over 3 feet long and 10 to 16 inches wide. In some the bones
denoted skeleton burial. One skull had been perforated by a ball; at
least there was a round hole on each side exactly such as would have
been produced by a bullet.

Another large cemetery is on the farm of Mr. G.S. Wood, next north of
Glover's. Mr. Wood has opened 50 or more graves and found some relics.

Flint arrows, spears, knives, drills, hoes, spades, and celts, not to
mention unfinished pieces, have been found by the thousand on the
surface within a mile radius of these cemeteries.

It would seem useless to make any further examination of the level
limestone region of central or southern Kentucky. Nearly all the minor
drainage is underground, and most of the caves have inlets through
sink holes or in small crevices. The water supply is scanty except
along streams, and in such situations the caves are usually, for
various reasons, of such character as to preclude a continuous
occupation, or one extending to a very ancient date. Search is more
likely to be rewarded in the mountains where an ample water supply is
always at hand.

                    *    *    *



DUNBAR'S CAVE.--Three miles east of Clarksville a large cave has been
fitted up as a summer resort. The earth has been leveled around the
entrance, both inside and outside, floors laid for picnics and other
gatherings, booths, refreshment stands, and places of amusement
erected and the surrounding grounds somewhat improved. On account of
all this, the place has become quite noted. At present there is from
15 to 20 feet of loose stones and earth on the solid rock floor, and a
strong stream makes its way beneath them. It could never have been
occupied in prehistoric times until the débris had practically reached
the stage at which it was found by the whites.

INDIAN MOUND CAVE.--A report was received to the effect that the mouth
of a cave on the Stewart County line, about 18 miles west of
Clarksville, had been closed by a rock wall, and earth piled against
the outside of the wall; also, that tool marks are quite distinct in a
chamber which is plainly of artificial origin.

The rock wall is the stratified rock, in place; the earth in front has
washed down from the hillside; the tool marks are water channelings;
and other remarkable things mentioned in the report are equally
natural. The entrance is a narrow crevice.


LINVILLE CAVE.--This is 4 miles almost directly west of Bluff City.
Apparently it is of great extent, for large sink holes connected with
it are scattered over an area of several hundred acres. There are
three principal openings. The largest is near the top of a knoll or
low hill, and is due to the falling in of the roof. The sunken part
has an area of about 30 by 60 feet. Usually, in such cases, the débris
entirely fills one end of the cavity thus made, obscuring that part of
the cavern, the other end being kept open by surface drainage. In this
case, owing to the dip of the strata--some 8 or 10 degrees--and to a
change in direction of the cavern at this point, both ends may be
entered from the fallen rocks and earth. At one side the descent is
precipitous and winding, over and among large fallen rocks. No level
place is reached in daylight. At the other side the descent follows
the natural dip of the strata and no level space can be found from
which the entrance is visible. This part, also, is filled with rocks,
large and small, from the roof and sides, and was never habitable.

Fifty yards from the main entrance is another much smaller cave, on
the slope of the knoll. It is at the bottom of a crevice 10 feet deep.
The floor is level, but only a few square yards in extent, the sloping
roof reaching it within 10 feet. As there is considerable drainage
into the cavity from the hillside, it is probable that this floor, at
least the upper portion, is of recent origin, and that the earth
extends downward indefinitely toward the subterranean stream.

West of the knoll on which these openings are found is a valley 2 or 3
miles long. Timber shuts off the view toward its head. This is
drained by a constant stream which after winding from side to side of
the little vale flows under the knoll. The hole where it disappears is
small, but as no rock floor is visible it may lead into a large
cavern, and there is no doubt that all the sink holes in the vicinity
as well as the two openings above described eventually have the same
outlet. Excavations would be difficult and useless.

THOMAS CAVE.--In the face of a steep hillside, near the south (left)
bank of the Holston, 3 miles east of Bluff City, is a room with a
nearly level floor 10 by 18 feet in the longest measurements. A narrow
passage, high enough for a man to walk in, branches off to the right
but soon begins to diminish in size and at 100 feet becomes too small
to crawl through. The débris in front of the cave is piled to a height
of 16 feet above the present floor, and the highest floods of the
river reach to about the same level on the outside. The rapid
disappearance of the surface water which finds its way in indicates an
underground passage to the river, so that a solid floor would not
probably be reached above the ordinary water level.

ARKLOW CAVE.--This is a mile and a half southeast of Bluff City. It
was reported to have a level earth floor, not more than 4 feet below
the accumulation outside. While this was formerly the case,
cultivation of the hills around now causes a great amount of surface
water to flow over the little bluff into which the cave opens, and
this has carried nearly all of the loose earth away through some
underground channel. The descent for upward of 30 feet is steep and
rugged; it was not traced farther.

MORRELL CAVE.--On the south side of the Holston River, 2½ miles east
of Bluff City, lies the farm of E.S. Worley. Except for a narrow strip
of river bottom land, the surface is broken and rocky, the highest
point being some 400 feet above the stream. Beginning near the brow of
the river hill the central portion of the farm is in a depression
whose very irregular rim or watershed surrounds an area of more than
100 acres. All the water that falls within this space drains into a
sink hole the bottom of which is but little above flood stage of the
Holston. On the south side of this sink is a vertical bluff 120 feet
high, from whose foot emerges a stream that after a winding course of
50 or 60 yards disappears in a small opening on the east side of the
sink hole, and finally comes to the surface at the foot of the hill,
near the river. Its volume is sufficient, even in time of severest
drought, to turn the undershot wheel of a large mill. The course of
the stream above the point where it is first visible is through a cave
which has been traced to the foot of the Holston Mountains, 3 miles
away, and there are many unexplored branches. Chambers are known with
a cross measure of 100 feet or more, and some of them have a height
nearly as great. Stalactites and stalagmites, some of them possessing
unusual size and beauty, are abundant.

The sink hole is due to the falling in of the roof of the cave, which
could no doubt be followed to the river if it were free from
obstructions in this direction.

North of west from the mouth of the cave is another opening, partly in
the same strata but 40 feet higher, the dip of the rock being 10 or 12
degrees to the southeast. This was so blocked with talus which had
fallen from the cliff and washed down the side of the sink hole that
it was necessary to creep nearly 40 feet from the entrance, down a
moderate slope, before coming to a point where it was possible to
stand upright. From here progress to the junction of the two caves,
about half a mile from the entrance, is easy except where fallen rocks
interfere somewhat.

Early in the Civil War a large amount of saltpeter was manufactured
here. A dam was constructed just within the mouth of the main cave,
and in the pool thus formed boats were used to transport the material
from the interior. The workmen not required for handling the craft
usually preferred to walk through the upper cave to the place where
the earth was procured.

The combination of natural features at this place is unusually
favorable to aboriginal habitation. The main cave is excluded from
consideration by reason of the stream filling it from wall to wall
after very heavy rains. The upper cave, however, showed, beyond the
débris choking the entrance, a level floor, cumbered, it is true, by
fallen rocks, but apparently quite suitable for a dwelling place were
these removed. Although opening toward the north, its position so far
below the summits of the surrounding hills protects it from winter
winds. The creek assures an ample supply of clear cold water.
Mountains, refuge for game, are in sight in various directions, while
the Holston River is less than a quarter of a mile away.

In order to remove the débris a point 3 feet below the lowest spot on
the floor was selected on the slope outside. From here a trench was
carried in on a level, the additional depth being taken to facilitate
clearing away all material that had accumulated inside the cavern in
comparatively recent time, and thus lighten the task of deeper
excavations should these be required. The trench needed to be only
wide enough at the bottom to allow room for running a wheelbarrow, but
owing to the great amount of broken rock, loosely held together by a
small quantity of earth, the sides continually gave way, so that by
the time it was safe to pass through the trench was 25 feet wide at
the top and 24 feet deep at the mouth of the cave. The rocks were of
every size from small pebbles to blocks weighing more than a ton each.

Nothing whatever of artificial character, not even a flint chip or
fragment of charcoal, was unearthed until at a point 4 feet inside the
farthest projecting stratum of the roof. Here was found a prehistoric
stone wall whose outer side and top had been entirely concealed by
débris. On the inner side the upper portion was visible, owing to the
fact that the owner had gathered a quantity of loose stones to
construct a wall farther down the slope. Previous to this the ancient
wall was entirely covered by the detritus, and even after this partial
exposure its true nature was not suspected. It was about 6 feet high,
built up of rocks of various sizes and shapes loosely fitted together,
earth from the outside surface being used to level up in places where
the stones would not bind properly. The largest rock in the top layer
weighed about 800 pounds.

The horizontal distance between the top of the wall as it was when
cleared off and the corresponding portion of the cave roof was 4 feet;
to the roof directly above it, about 2 feet. Apparently it had at one
time entirely closed the entrance; at the western end where it abutted
against the solid rock the upper portion was firmly consolidated by
travertine. Directly above it, nearly 2 feet higher, a slab and some
small irregular fragments were securely attached to the side and roof
by the same agency. A crevice in the bedrock just at the end of the
artificial wall contained several wagonloads of small rocks which had
been thrown into it. These also were united into a solid mass by the
travertine, all of which had been deposited by water flowing through
the crevice. It does not follow that the wall was ever higher toward
the opposite end than at this time. In the centuries that have elapsed
since it was put up, the roof at the front of the cave, being rather
thin-bedded, may have disintegrated. It was not possible to uncover
the wall in shape for illustrating; portions of it continually
crumbled as the looser material piled against it was removed.

From the wall inward the foreign material piled against the west side
of the cave was composed almost entirely of small rocks, with scarcely
any earth, and so compactly bound with travertine and stalagmite as to
resist all attempts to remove it by ordinary means. On the east
side--the left as the cave is entered--there was a great variation in
the size of the stones; they were intermixed with much loose dry
earth, and there was scarcely any "drip-formation" in the mass. The
removal of all this disclosed a projection of solid rock forming a
shelf from 8 to 12 feet wide, whose top was about 2 feet higher than
the bottom of our trench. About 20 feet from the ancient wall the
trench reached the original bottom of the cave as the latter was left
by the stream to which its origin was due. This was the tough red or
yellow clay, filled with water-worn stones such as appear in all
gullies or ravines in this region. It contained a small quantity of
stalagmitic material here and there and gradually rose until at 20
feet farther, or 40 feet from the old wall, it terminated against
solid bedrock, reaching across the cave, the entire width of which at
this point was 26 feet. The shelf on the left belonged to the same

This brought the work to the terminus that had been the aim from the
first, namely, the lowest level of the floor, which was thus shown to
be only a foot above the solid rock instead of at least 10 or 12 feet
as the general appearance of the entrance and its surroundings had
indicated. It was completely cleaned off as far as this was possible,
but within 3 feet of the end of the trench began a mass several feet
in thickness of fragmentary rocks of every size up to 20 tons or more
which had fallen from the roof and were bound together by stalagmite.

Altogether, more than 300 cubic yards of material were removed. The
workmen had been carefully instructed as to what the search was for,
and kept a close lookout, as evidenced by the very small objects they
were continually offering for inspection. It is safe to say that not a
spadeful of earth missed scrutiny; but, aside from the artificial
wall, the only traces of human presence were three valves of mussels,
a turkey bone rudely pointed for use as a perforator, and three or
four bones which seem to have been subjected to fire. Not a chip of
flint or other stone showing work, no ashes or charcoal, not a piece
of pottery, were discovered. If aboriginal burials were made in the
cave--and the wall is almost definite proof of such fact--they are
either on the floor under stalagmite or in crevices now concealed by
fallen rocks.

Numerous small fragments of animal bones were found scattered singly
at all depths in the material removed. Nearly every one showed marks
of the teeth of rodents. According to Prof. F.A. Lucas, of the
National Museum, they all belong to modern species except one tooth,
which is that of the cave tapir, and (possibly) the jaw of an otter.


COLLEGE CAVE.--About three-fourths of a mile west from the old
Sequatchie College is a cave which was described as the largest in the
county, and as the only one in which people might ever have lived. The
opening is about 5 feet wide and 4 feet high; and from it comes a
stream sufficient to run a mill.

No other caves could be located in this county or in the Sequatchie
Valley north of it.


LAKEY'S CAVE.--In the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau, about 5
miles southeast of Dunlap, the county seat, is the largest cave in the
county. A great quantity of earth and rock has accumulated in front of
the entrance, washed from the mountain side over an area of several
acres. Formerly most of the surface drainage carrying this down flowed
into the cave, thus keeping a passageway open through which a man
could crawl. Ditches have recently been cut to turn away the water,
the entrance walled up, a solid door hung, and the cave is now used
for a storeroom. It was never habitable.

A mile north of the above-mentioned cave, toward Dunlap, is a cave
with a very large entrance: a sort of rock-house or half dome. The
floor is covered with huge rocks and a constant stream flows out. It
is said that a party once entered Lakey's Cave and emerged at this
one. There is no dry place in it.

PICKETT'S CAVE.--Seven miles southwest of Dunlap is a cave, described
as having an ample entrance, with much room inside, perfectly dry, and
opening in a cliff 20 or 30 feet above a large, never-failing spring.
The description is correct as to location, but not as to size. The
opening is about 4 feet across each way, with a slight covering of
earth on the floor. The cave winds like a flattened corkscrew. At no
place near enough to the mouth for a glimmer of light to penetrate is
the roof more than 5 feet above the floor or the side walls more than
5 feet apart.

There are two recesses in the cliff on the opposite side of the little
creek formed by the spring. They are 40 to 50 feet above the water,
each with an irregular floor of 20 by 30 feet under shelter of the
rock. No solid rock is visible in front of them, but a projecting
ledge, which seems continuous, appears on either side about 6 feet
below the present average level of the floor; and this is probably the
depth of accumulation at the front. It may be less toward the rear.
The cavities are in a stratum which is somewhat shelly and crumbles

HIXSON'S CAVE.--Six miles northeast of Dunlap is a cave said to be
large, accessible, dry, and well suited for occupancy. It is on the
side of Walden's ridge, 400 feet or more above the base, a mile from
water, and with an opening in the solid rock that can not be entered
except on hands and knees. By the time one can straighten up he is in
absolute darkness.

LAND COMPANY'S CAVE.--This is 7 miles northeast of Dunlap. To enter,
one must crawl between the rock front and the detritus, descending 10
or 12 feet. The floor is fairly level, where it can be found, but is
nearly hidden from sight by rocks of all sizes, over and between which
it is necessary to scramble almost from the starting point.

HENSON'S CAVE.--This cave, 9 or 10 miles northeast from Dunlap, and
perhaps in Bledsoe County, is somewhere on Raccoon Mountains, near the
head of a valley up which a mountain road winds along in the bed of a
stream. It is said to have a dry dirt floor, with an entrance through
which one must crawl. After driving until the horses were tired out
and being assured at several scattered cabins that it was "jest a
leetle mite furder up thar," search for it was abandoned.


HUBLIN'S OR BAT CAVE.--Numerous caves and rock-shelters are reported
in the region about Beersheba Springs. The shelters seem to be shallow
with comparatively little earth on the floor. Of the caves, the
description given of all but the one named was such as to show them
not worth visiting. It is about 10 miles northwest of the springs. Its
course is approximately parallel with the mountain ridge, passing
under two low foothills or spurs separated by a ravine. When the
stream flowing through the latter had cut its channel down to the top
of the cave it poured into the hole it had worn. Frost and the natural
erosion have made an opening more than 60 feet long. Both parts of the
cave remain open, being too large at this point to become choked by
the small amount of material which the brook had left as a roof. In
some places, so far as it was examined, the ceiling is 50 feet or more
above the rocks covering the floor; and one end, that into which the
ravine drains, has a continuous and rather steep descent, along the
natural dip, as far as it could be followed. Where the exploration
ended logs, drift, brush, etc., piled 10 or 12 feet high against huge
rocks that had tumbled down, proved a current strong enough to wash
away any deposits that may ever have existed; consequently the only
earth in this end was that brought by floods.

The other end of the cave is large, with an entrance of such size that
small print could easily be read 100 feet from the front if the broad
fence across it were removed. This fence was made to close the cave
against changes of temperature and also against marauders, it having
been used until lately as a storage room for fruit, potatoes, etc.

During the Civil War it was worked for saltpeter. All the earth, down
to the rock floor, was removed, even in crevices only wide enough for
a man to squeeze through. An incline was built so that horses could be
brought into the cave, and no earth now remains within reach of
daylight. The rock floor is almost as clean as if swept.

Their exhaustive digging extended for about 200 yards from the
entrance. The "face" of the earth is here about 15 feet high; for some
reason, which could not be learned, the miners continued their work
from here by means of a tunnel 4 or 5 feet high and wide, leaving a
floor of earth, and a covering of the same nearly 6 feet thick. This
tunnel was not followed.

Near the entrance a crevice barely wide enough for a man to walk in
and in some places only 4 feet high turns off toward the left and
holds practically the same size for about 100 yards. Here it becomes
larger and higher. Earth has been carried out of this and its narrow
branches wherever there is room to use a shovel. In a large chamber
200 yards from the front, at the end of the crevice, much digging was
done; the "face" left is 13 or 14 feet high.

As far as the diggers went, there is nothing left to explore. Beyond
that it is not probable any remains can be found, as it is totally
dark long before any remaining earth is reached.


Several caves were reported in the vicinity of Sewanee and Monteagle.
They are objects of curiosity to students and summer residents who
frequently visit and make tours through them. They have thus acquired
a fame much beyond what is justified by their real interest. They seem
to be wet, or with contracted entrances and front chambers, or
difficult of access, and, so far as could be judged by the
descriptions given, none of them is worth examining.


ACCOUNT'S CAVES.--There are two of these, both with high and large
openings, on the right bank of the Tennessee, 2 miles above Shellmound
or Nickajack. One is in the face of the bluff, the entrance 50 feet
above the river bottom land. Huge rocks lie in front and over nearly
all the floor. Surface water flows in at the entrance and after
winding its crooked way among the rocks sinks at a point 25 or 30 feet
below the top of the débris in front of the entrance. This indicates
an open way to the river, so the bottom of the cave is probably down
nearly or quite to the water level.

The second cave is 100 yards above the first. A little stream, whose
head is in a valley, nearly a mile away, flows around the foot of the
bluff and into the mouth of the cave. When the Tennessee rises to
flood height the backwater comes into the bed of this stream through
the cave before submerging the low ridge between it and the river.

CALDWELL'S CAVE.--This is on the right bank of the Sequatchie River, a
mile above its junction with the Tennessee. It is said that formerly a
man could walk into it easily for 20 or 30 feet and then crawl 50 or
60 feet farther. This is probably an error of memory. By stooping one
can now go in about 10 feet from the edge of the roof, and with a pole
feel where the floor and roof come together, nowhere more than 10 or
12 feet beyond. It is said, also, that this accumulation results from
throwing in earth to prevent foxes from having a den in the cave. A
small hole might thus be closed, but it is too much to believe that
the people now living around here would carry in many hundred cubic
yards of earth for any such purpose.

Human bones are reported unearthed near the surface; at least bones of
some sort were found which the discoverers supposed were human.

The entrance to the cave is more than 25 feet in width, and about 25
feet above the flood plain of the Sequatchie, or only 15 feet above
extreme high water. It is in the only exposure of rock for nearly half
a mile along the bluff. On either side of the opening the walls are
solid, down to the alluvial earth, but in front of the cavity only
detritus can be seen from top to bottom. For this reason it is
improbable that any solid bottom could be found above the level of the
river. Much of the stone weathers out in small fragments, and the
process of disintegration is going on continually, as shown by the
fresh appearance of the sheltered fragments. How rapid or how regular
it may have been in former time is impossible to guess, so that
excavation, to be of any value, would have to begin at the bottom of
the slope, with the knowledge that the original floor of the cave may
be still lower.

NICKAJACK CAVE.--This is the largest and most widely known cave in
Tennessee. It is half a mile from and within plain sight of the
railway station of Shellmound, 20 miles west of Chattanooga. The
entrance is fully 100 feet wide and 40 feet high; a short distance
within the cave enlarges, a little farther it contracts somewhat.
Daylight penetrates, in spite of curves and immense piles of débris,
for more than 500 feet. It has been a resort from time out of mind;
first, for Indians and pioneers, then for refugees, now for various
social gatherings.

All the earth in sight has been worked for saltpeter, leached, and
thrown aside. A vastly greater quantity than now remains has been
washed out of the cave by Nickajack Creek, which always has some
flowing water and in wet weather rises 5 or 6 feet. Long bridges are
required where the highway and railroad cross it.

It takes its name from the Nickajack Indians, who once dwelt here. The
field in front is strewn with flint chips and other indications of
aboriginal settlement.

There is nothing in the cave to dig for. The saltpeter miners moved
all the earth they could reach, while the immense rocks and the creek
make any further excavations impossible.


There are many caves in the vicinity of Chattanooga, but all that were
visited possess some feature which makes examination appear useless.
Most of them have small, inconvenient entrances; others are subject to
overflow or have running water in them. None could be heard of in
which conditions were better.

                    *    *    *



SMITHSONIA.--There is a noted cave at Smithsonia, near Cheatham's
Ferry, 15 miles west of Florence. It was reported as suitable for a
dwelling, but at the entrance the roof is not more than 4 feet high,
and a stream a foot deep reaches to the wall on either side.

KEY'S CAVE.--On the Buck Key farm, 6 miles west of Florence, is a cave
which may have afforded shelter to the earliest man in the region.
There are two entrances or antechambers, separated by a solid rock
partition a few yards thick. One is partially filled with huge solid
blocks, some of them several hundred cubic feet in size; the other has
in it and in front of it a mass of earth and loose rock whose crest is
fully 20 feet above the highest part of the inside floor a few feet
back from the front margin of the roof. From here an additional
descent of 10 feet leads to the floor behind the first-mentioned
entrance, and there is about the same descent to a nearly level floor
in the cave a short distance beyond. The way is partially blocked by
large rocks which, it is said, have fallen within a few years. For
this reason persons in the neighborhood are afraid to venture in.
There is a rumor that the corpse of a woman, coated with stalagmite,
can be seen in this cave; also several bodies (sex apparently
indeterminate) lying like spokes in a wheel, with heads at the center.
No one could be persuaded to go in and point out the place where they

From its position, high in a bluff but easy to reach, not more than
one-fourth of a mile from the Tennessee River and the same distance
from a clear creek, with a strip of bottom land between it and the
streams, this cave seems worthy of exploration. At least a month of
work by several laborers would be required to clean away the fallen
material so that excavations would be practicable.

COLYER'S CAVE.--This is about 5 miles west of Florence. It faces a
ravine that leads into the creek discharging near Key's Cave. Human
bones were found in it many years ago. The entrance is a round hole,
through which one must creep a few yards, then by means of a pole or
ladder descend 6 feet. From here the cave is nearly level, with
several branches. In some places the floor is solid rock; in other
parts it is covered with a thin layer of earth. The "human bones"
consisted of one skeleton, lying on a rock floor, fully a fourth of a
mile from the mouth of the cave.

COFFEE CAVE.--This cave, 4 miles west of Florence, is said to be "like
the Colyer cave, but smaller in every way." It was not visited.

SHOAL CREEK.--A cave is reported on Shoal Creek "3 or 4 miles above
its mouth." No one could be found who knew its location more
definitely or was able to give a clear description of it.

BLUEWATER CAVE.--Bluewater Creek comes in several miles above Lock No.
6 of the Mussel Shoals Canal. A cave is reported to be near its mouth,
but the only caves anywhere in that vicinity, so far as anyone living
or working there knows, are a small hole a mile below on the canal,
into which a man can crawl, and one some 3 miles up the creek, reached
by climbing down a sink hole in a field. The opening to the latter
results from fallen rock.


NEWSOM SPRINGS.--Numerous caves, most of them small, are reported in
the county. The best known is at Newsom Springs, 8 miles south of
Barton, on the Southern Railway. It is locally known as the
"three-story cave." The lower "story" is a cave from which water
always flows. The second "story" is directly above the first. The two
have no connection, unless far back in the hill. The floor of the
upper cave is mostly rock. It is now fitted up by some people in the
neighborhood as a camping place, where they spend a part of each
summer. The third "story" is an excavation for a cellar under a house
recently erected.

MURRELL'S CAVE.--Tradition has it that this cave was one of the hiding
places of a famous desperado and horse thief whose gang operated over
all this country in early days. The only entry is by means of a ladder
in a narrow crevice 20 feet deep. The place may have been a refuge,
but never a residence. It is one-fourth of a mile from Bear Creek, not
far above the mouth.

Two other holes or crevices within a few hundred yards, difficult to
crawl through, reach small caves. Possibly all these are connected.

BAT CAVE.--One-fourth of a mile from Murrell's Cave is a small cavern,
the roof not more than 4 feet above the floor. It has been inhabited
from time immemorial by myriads of bats. Several tons of guano have
been taken out for fertilizing purposes, but no evidence has been
discovered that it was ever a habitation for humans.

PRIDE'S CAVE.--In the river bluff a mile from Pride Station is a cave
in which a fisherman has made his home for several years. There is a
rather thin deposit of earth on the floor which may have recently

CHEATHAM'S FERRY.--Near the landing some boys, while hunting a few
years ago, discovered a stone wall across the mouth of a small cave.
Tearing it away, they found within some human bones, flints, pipes,
including one "with a lot of stem holes," and fragments of pottery.
All these were on top of the earth or only a few inches below it.
Various excavators or relic hunters have failed to find anything more.
The cavity is quite small and difficult to reach, and is undoubtedly a
burial place for modern Indians.

On both sides of the river here are immense shell heaps. The shell is
mingled with earth near the top, but below 2 or 3 feet the mass is of
clean shell to a depth, as exposed by the river, of at least 10 feet.
The bottom of the deposit is not visible, being concealed by mud piled
against it in high water. The old ferryman says it is 20 feet deep.
Although the shell piles are built up higher than the bottom lands to
the rear or on either side, they are submerged several feet in great
freshets. It is impossible to explain this fact otherwise than by the
assumption that the bed of the river has been elevated in recent
times, although there are no other indications apparent that such is
the case.

SHEFFIELDS.--In the river bluff 2 miles above the Sheffield end of the
railway bridge is a crevice or joint which has been widened to 10 feet
at the outlet by water percolating from the top of the bluff. When
discovered, a rock wall was piled across it near the entrance. Behind
this human bones were found with "pieces of pottery and other things."
They were close to the surface. Subsequent explorations have revealed
nothing below them. It is plainly a burial cave for Indians. The river
now reaches at flood tide to within 10 feet of the floor. The earth
covering the bones may have washed over them, as there is some
evidence farther back in the crevice that surface material is still
carried in from the rear, in very small amounts, during rainy seasons.

ROCK SHELTERS.--Several very large rock houses exist on the southern
slope of the hill or "mountain" lying a mile to 2 miles south of
Pride, 7 miles west of Tuscumbia. Water drips from the roofs, keeping
the floors wet all the year and collecting in pools to which stock
resorts when the little creeks or brooks in the ravines become dry.

It is useless to search in this part of Alabama for caves presenting
indications that they may have been habitable, or the reverse, in ages
past. The native rock is a cherty or flinty limestone, crumbling
easily, and readily susceptible to changes from atmospheric
influences, and especially so to the action of water. New subterranean
channels are continually developing, with consequent changes in the
interior of any cavern near them.


ISBOLL CAVES.--It was reported that habitable caves with spacious
rooms occur on the Isboll farms, near Limrock. They have entrances
and front chambers of ample size to move about in, though not more
than 15 feet wide. There are broader expansions back some distance
beyond daylight. In both caves rocks up to 15 or 20 tons in weight
strew the floor, until only narrow passageways exist between them. In
addition, water flows from them in rainy seasons, being frequently 2
feet or more in depth.

BLOWING CAVE.--This takes its name from an outward current of cold air
which is so strong as to distinctly modify the temperature of the
atmosphere at least 100 yards from the entrance. The opening and the
front chamber are nearly 40 feet across, but the distance from the
roof to the muddy floor strewn with large rocks is not more than 5
feet at any point. A creek flows across the cave 200 or 300 yards from
the mouth, and there is evidence in the way of drift and mud to prove
the statement by the owner that after very heavy rains the overflow
comes out the front of the cave in such amount as to fill it to the
ceiling, and with a velocity that will roll stones larger than a man
can lift.

CULVER'S CAVE.--This is somewhere on the side of a mountain about 4
miles from the station of Limrock. Owing to destruction of forests and
subsequent growth of brush, the guide was unable to locate it. He
described it as a room in which a man could walk about and reached by
going in through an opening like a sink hole, which, however, is only
about 5 feet deep. The locality, a rugged, barren hillside, near the
head of a cove, is not one in which it is probable a cave would be
used for any purpose.

HARRISON'S CAVE.--This is 2½ miles west of Limrock. It has a large,
high opening, an easy approach, and is quite accessible, being at the
foot of a mountain with level bottom land in front. A stream flows
directly across it some 30 feet from the entrance, emerging at the
foot of one wall and disappearing under the other. The earth bank on
each side of the stream is about 5 feet high, indicating at least that
depth of deposit on the rock floor; as the latter is not visible the
amount may be much greater. This earth is soft and wet. In rainy
weather water from the interior flows along the floor into the little
stream. Sometimes this can not dispose of the surplus, and the
overflow rises until it makes its exit through the mouth of the cave.
When this happens all the earth within is covered from 2 to 5 feet

SALTPETER CAVE.--This lies 4 miles south of the railway, between
Limrock and Larkinsville. It is described as being dry, with a large,
high entrance, and "plenty of room inside right at the front." But it
was thoroughly worked during the war by saltpeter miners who took out
all the dirt they could easily reach, going back "200 or 300 yards."
For this reason it was not visited.


FORT PAYNE CAVE.--A mile south of Fort Payne is a cave in Lookout
Mountain, which, a "boom" company some years ago converted into a
summer resort. The detritus in front of the entrance was leveled off,
steps constructed to the top, and a heavy stone wall built across the
mouth, leaving an entrance a little less than 7 feet in width which
was closed by gates. Inside the barrier the floor, now made tolerably
level, extends about 30 feet toward the rear, to the natural rock
wall, and is 50 feet from side to side, with a roof from 6 to 15 feet
high. In the wall at the rear are two small openings through which
explorers can pass to large chambers farther within. To the right of
the front chamber is a branch cave which is high and wide at the
beginning but soon becomes impassable from the accumulated rocks and
earth rising to the roof. The left side of the front chamber is
continued in another branch going directly back into the mountain. The
roof and floor have an equal slope downward to a point some rods from
the beginning, the clear space between them being not more than 4
feet. Beyond here the roof is high and there are some large
expansions. A creek flows from the rear of the cave to a point
estimated as 200 yards from the doorway, where it sinks into the
earth. The noise of its fall is distinct throughout the front part of
the cavern. There is considerable drip, and though dry stalactites and
stalagmites occur in some places, over most of the front chamber their
formation is still in progress. Outside of the doorway the solid rock
walls show on each side, nowhere less than 25 feet apart. At a depth
of 30 feet water flows from the rock and earth between these side
walls, but there is no sign of solid bottom, so the depth of the cave
is probably more than 30 feet below the present floor.

Under existing conditions the cave would form an excellent shelter,
being accessible, roomy, and with an abundant supply of fresh water.
The drip from the ceiling could be avoided. But it does not follow
that such was the case in the remote past. It is apparent that at one
time the creek had its outlet through the mouth and down the gorge in
front, the right branch of the cave being then open. From some cause,
probably the formation of a sink hole above, water from the surface or
near the surface found a way through this branch, carrying mud and
rocks sufficient to fill the front chamber to its present floor,
diverting the flow of the stream, and finally filling the cave through
which it came. While the creek was flowing, occupation would be
impossible, or at least inconvenient. When the mud began to settle in,
the front portion would be shut off. This condition would hold until
the stream found its new outlet and the branch cave had become
entirely filled; and when these processes were completed the floor of
the cave would be practically at its present level. Under the
circumstances exploration would probably, almost certainly, be
fruitless. The company which owns the cave would also wish it restored
to something like its present state.

ELLIS CAVE.--On the estate of Dr. Ellis, 19 miles north of Fort Payne
and 3 miles from Sulphur Springs, are two caves known locally as
Big-mouth and Little-mouth. The smaller is closed by a locked gate.
The larger has a rather imposing appearance from the outside. From a
ledge of rock, in place, in front of it, one looks down a steep slope
in which rocks up to 40 or 50 tons weight are imbedded. At a vertical
depth of 30 feet is a level space not more than 8 or 10 square yards
in area. From this a narrow crevice goes to the right. Within a few
yards it reaches a hole which can be descended only by means of a rope
or ladder. Persons have, however, gone several hundred yards in it.

On the left of the level space and bounded on each side by solid rock
walls is a pit 10 feet deep, caused by inflowing storm waters which
have created this depression in seeking a small outlet, also toward
the left. The height from the bottom of this sink to the roof of the
cave is nearly 50 feet.

Crossing this pit on a foot log, which rests on loose rock and earth
at its farther end, a crevice varying from 6 to 10 feet wide goes
inward for 50 feet. Earth covers the loose rock at the level of the
foot log almost at once, and this earth has a steep ascent toward the
rear. The crevice widens beyond the distance mentioned, though
irregularly, being in some places 25 feet from side to side. So far as
progress is concerned, the cave terminates 150 feet from the doorway
in a blank wall. It may be that if the earth were out of the way
further progress would be possible.

Considerable digging has been done for saltpeter, but except near the
front it has been only superficial.

The top of the earth at the extreme rear of the cave is almost or
quite as high as the roof at the front, which means that, if the
bottom should be level, the thickness of this accumulated deposit is
not less than 35 feet. As the dip is toward the rear and quite sharp,
about 10 or 12 degrees, the earth here may well be much thicker than

Excavation would be tedious and costly, as it would be impossible to
dispose of the dirt except by blasting a deep trench through the rock
in front to make room for wheeling it out.

KILLIAN CAVES.--There are two of these, both on the west slope of
Lookout Mountain. One is near Brandon, 6 miles south of Fort Payne.
The entrance is a large sink hole on the side of the mountain, descent
into which is difficult owing to the steepness and large rocks. At the
bottom the water which flows in over the muddy floor from the slope
above--several acres in extent--rushes into a hole choked with loose
stones and disappears.

The second cave is about 3 miles northeast of Collinsville. Débris
from the mountain has formed a wall across the entrance, which is
naturally wide and high and opening out on a little flat in front.
Some digging has been done for saltpeter at the front part of the
cave, reaching about 30 feet back from the inner foot of the
accumulation. In the pit thus formed water stands after every rain
until it soaks away. Where it ends the "face" is about 5 feet high. On
top, farther in, there is much travertine or stalagmite; in some
places it extends entirely across the floor. In other places the floor
is bare. There is constant drip, and in one room there is a little
gully, where surface water in wet weather, entering from a small
branch cave on one side, has cut an exit through the earth at the foot
of the wall on the other side. The hole in which it disappears extends
beyond the rays of a lamp, and a stone thrown in goes down a slope
several feet in length. Very little working is needed to reduce any of
the earth to soft, slippery mud, hence no excavation was possible.


FEARIN CAVE.--This is in a bluff on the right bank of the Tennessee
River, 10 miles below Guntersville. It has three divisions. Shortly
after passing the spacious entrance a branch turns to the right. In a
few feet a wall is reached which can be scaled only with a ladder.
Climbing this, a large chamber is reached, totally dark, and the home
of innumerable bats whose "guano" covers the floor and fills the air
with a stifling odor. This branch comes to light again more than a
mile away on the side of the mountain.

Returning to the lower chamber and going back about 100 feet from the
main entrance, a wall similar to the first is reached, above which is
another large cave. Bats never inhabit this, and the floor is of loose
dry earth. But no ray of daylight penetrates it, and as a great amount
of saltpeter was made here during the War of 1812 scarcely any of the
earth retains its original position. During the Civil War the floor of
the lower or main cave was also dug up for making saltpeter and much
of the leached earth piled in front of the cave. This acts as a dam
against encroachment of the river except in the highest floods. There
seems, however, to be a passage between the cavern and a spring under
the river bank, for water appears on the floor as soon as it reaches
the same height outside and the two surfaces maintain a constant level
until the freshet subsides. On account of these facts no excavations
were made.

HARDIN'S CAVE.--Nine miles below Guntersville, on the right bank of
the Tennessee, is a ferry known as Honey Landing. It is at the lower
end of a steep bluff which forms the river front of a high hill or
mountain, as such elevations are called here. A few feet above
high-water mark a narrow ledge or shelf projects, which can be reached
only from a point on the side of the hill just above the ferry. About
100 yards from here the ledge reaches a cave, which has a high and
wide entrance, with ample space for several families to live on a
fairly level, well lighted floor. If the cave were dry, it would be an
ideal primitive home. But water continually seeps down the hill above
and falls over the roof at the entrance, while a gully through the
cave and several minor washes, as well as the mud spread over the
floor, show that a large amount of water flows through the cave in wet
seasons and covers all the floor except an area some 15 feet in
diameter. This is dry on top, but would be muddy at a depth of 3 or 4
feet, the level of the bottom of the gully, so no exploration was

WELBURN'S CAVE.--Six miles northeast of Guntersville is a cave in
which many human bones have been found. It is only a burial place and
could never have been used as a dwelling. The entrance, barely large
enough to crawl into, is at one side of the bottom of a large sink
hole due to the falling in of a cave roof. It receives all the
rainfall of more than an acre and is nearly choked with mud and
driftwood. It may have been somewhat larger at one time, as there is a
tradition that a deer was chased through the cave, coming out at
Bailey's Cave, a mile away. Within a few rods the water sinks into the
earth, and the floor of the cave, rising beyond this point, is dry. It
was on this dry earth, not in it, that the skeletons were found. The
floor is uneven, at some places permitting a man to stand, and at
others rising to within 3 feet of the roof. Explorations can not be
made, as there is no method of disposing of the removed earth.

BAILEY'S CAVE.--This cave is 7 miles northeast of Guntersville. The
entrance is high and wide and there is a large, well-lighted area
within; but the cave is flooded every time Town Creek gets out of its
banks. Bailey's Cave is the other end of Welburn's Cave, as persons
have gone through the hill from one to the other.

BARNARD CAVE.--This cave, which is also called Alford's and is still
more commonly known as Saltpeter Cave, is on the left bank of the
Tennessee 10 miles below Guntersville and opposite the Fearin
property. The entrance is at the foot of a bluff overlooking a strip
of bottom land a fourth of a mile wide, but the opening is above any
flood that has occurred since the country was settled. At the foot of
the slope is a bayou filled with Tupelo gums. Between this and the
river the ground can be cultivated.

The cave is so straight and the walls so smooth as to look like an
artificial tunnel. The entrance is in plain view from a point 380
feet back, and the change of direction, even at that distance, is very
slight. The saltpeter miners started at the entrance and removed all
the earth lying from 3 to 6 feet higher than the present floor, which
is nearly level. They carried their work along the surface of a
stratum of gravel, sand, and clay, which is so compact as to be
difficult to remove with a pick, and seems to belong to the stream
which carved out the cavern. The "face" where they quit work is 5 feet
high, and the earth is quite dry, breaking down in angular fragments
and separating from the walls so freely as to leave no residue on
them. Its original depth at any point, however, may be very easily
ascertained by noting the different tints or shading of the wall rock,
the lower part, which was protected by earth, being distinctly lighter
in color than that above, which was exposed to atmospheric weathering
and, for a time, to the smoky torches and candles of the workmen.

The distinct lamination of the saltpeter earth, as shown in the
"face," proves it to have been laid down slowly and intermittently in
still water. It could not be determined whether this was due to the
river in flood periods, or to a gentle stream from the interior whose
volume varied in accordance with weather conditions. There is also a
small channel along the top of the earth, filled with gravel and sand,
as if the overflow of a stream far back in the mountain had been
diverted in this direction after the laminated deposits had become dry
and settled.

The walls are 10 feet apart near the entrance, but are not more than 8
feet elsewhere and in some places the width narrows to less than 3
feet. They also have an inward slope at the bottom, so the cave is
either shallow or else so narrow at no great depth as to be
uninhabitable. This fact, and the character of the material deposited
by the ancient drainage stream, make it hopeless to expect result from

MCDERMENT'S CAVES.--There are two caves 100 yards apart, in Brown's
Valley, 11 miles southwest from Guntersville. The larger has a descent
of 21 feet from the front to the general level of the first floor. All
this part is well lighted. The drainage from several acres of the
mountain side above pours over the roof at the entrance and runs down
the inner slope. It has worn a gully, and the first level it reaches
is quite muddy. Leaves and trash 3 or 4 inches deep are piled on and
against the loose stones toward the side where the water seeks an
outlet. It has worn a crooked channel along this side of the chamber,
and falls into a hole which at a depth of 10 or 11 feet below the
floor makes a turn and passes from sight. So it is certain that soft
wet clay extends more than 30 feet below the level of the entrance.
The drier deposits of this room have been extensively worked for
saltpeter, and a much greater quantity of earth would have been
removed but for the fact that masses of stalagmite, too thick to break
off with a sledge hammer, and scores of columns, some of them 6 or 8
feet in diameter and many tons in weight, cover a considerable part of
it. The first room is succeeded by several others, all of which are
dry and of large size, but in total darkness, and the floors in all
have been more or less disturbed in the search for niter. The general
direction of the bottom is downward. The last floor is probably 50 or
60 feet lower than the entrance, and is reached by a slope on which it
is difficult to retain a footing. In nearly every part the earth is
covered by stalagmite, much of it so heavy that the miners could not
remove it, but were compelled to dig under it as far as they could
reach; and in no place is a rock floor to be seen.

The thickness of stalagmite on the floor, and the great size of the
columns, is proof of their antiquity, while the depth of earth beneath
must have been thousands of years in accumulating before the deposits
began to cover them.

Excavations here, while quite desirable, would be very expensive. Much
stalagmite would have to be blasted; upward of a thousand yards of
earth moved, and all of it taken out of the cave, because there is no
room for it inside. As a man can not push a wheelbarrow up such an
incline, a trench must be cut through to the exterior slope; and as
solid rock lies not more than 5 feet below the surface at any point,
blasting would be necessary the rest of the way. The task is equal to
opening a stone quarry.

The second cave on McDerment's place has a good opening. A trench 4
feet wide and 6 feet deep where the rock is thickest has been blasted
out to make a level approach to the entrance. Masses of stalagmite on
each side, sloping like solid rock from the walls, leave barely room
for a man to walk for the first 30 feet. Here the walls recede
somewhat, and a pit nearly 15 feet deep yawns before the explorer.
After continuing for some distance with this depth, there is another
drop of 10 feet which holds until the end of the cave is reached. This
entire depression is due to the removal of earth for making saltpeter.
It is evident that a vast amount of material has been carried out.

As in the first cave, excavation would be very difficult and
expensive. All rock and earth would have to be carried up a steep
grade, or a deep cut made to wheel it out. As the light is very dim at
the first widening of the walls, it is not probable the space farther
back would be occupied unless as a refuge.

Both caves were eroded by water running _into_ the hill, and the end
of each is abrupt, the roof being higher and the walls farther apart
than at any point nearer the entrance. The original outlets are now
filled with earth, and apparently have been so for ages.

FORT DEPOSIT CAVE.--Six miles below Guntersville the highway to
Huntsville crosses the Tennessee River at Fort Deposit Ferry and
passes out through a narrow valley between two bluffs. Less than 100
yards above the landing, on the north, or right, bank, is a large cave
from which the spot takes its name; there being a tradition that it
was used by General Jackson as a storage room for supplies during the
Creek Indian war. On either side the bluff is vertical to the water's
edge, making the cave now inaccessible except by boat. In front of the
entrance the rock is worn in ledges which can be easily ascended.

The opening or mouth of the cave is oval in form, about 18 feet high
and 15 feet wide. The sides are uneven, there being a projecting shelf
on each side near the floor. At 40 feet from the opening these
disappear, owing to the narrowing of the cavern. There is a gradual
ascent of the floor toward the rear, the rise being about 2 feet in
the first 60 and more rapid from that point onward. A thin deposit of
dried mud on each side, where it escapes the feet of visitors, shows
that the river enters the cave at times, but not to a depth that
carries it back more than 25 feet. The present ferryman says the flood
of 1867 is the only one which has reached so far within that period.

After clearing away the earth, roots, and rocks at the front, a
straight vertical face at a distance of 18 feet from the entrance
measured 9½ feet at top and 5 feet at the bottom between the solid
rock wall on each side, and was 4 feet 4 inches high. The floor was
not of solid rock entirely across, there being a crevice less than 4
feet wide which was not cleaned out, because no one could have lived
in it. About the middle of this bank (vertically) streaks of red
earth, burned elsewhere, extended 3½ feet out from the right wall;
there was very little ashes and no charcoal mixed with it. Above this
red the earth was dark like garden soil and contained a few shells and
fragments of pottery, with a little charcoal and ashes; it had all
been disturbed and apparently resulted from scraping the débris away
from camp fires. Below this, the line of demarcation being very
distinct, the earth was yellow and sandy, like river bottom land, and
contained no foreign matter except roots of trees growing outside.
Figure 23 shows a section on this line; the crevice is omitted from
this and the subsequent illustrations.

At 20 feet in, a foot below the top of the dark earth, was some
charred corn. The yellow earth became irregular, thinner, and higher
against the side walls than at the center. (See fig. 24.)

At 22 feet the yellow earth had nearly run out, there being only a
small amount against either wall, while the darker earth reached down
into the crevice that opened in the narrow strip of rock floor. In
the lower portion were mingled a few shells, pebbles, and specks of
charcoal, as if it had been thrown there. Across the upper portion of
the deposit extended fire beds, burned earth, ashes, shells, broken
pottery, and occasionally a fragment of bone. (See fig. 25.)

  [Illustration: FIG. 23.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 18

At 24 feet it was found that what had been taken for a solid floor in
the last section represented was only a large flat rock which had
fallen into the crevice and wedged tightly. When this was passed the
yellow earth reappeared, at a slightly lower level.

  [Illustration: FIG. 24.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 20

  [Illustration: FIG. 25.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 22

At 26 feet the yellow earth became mixed with red. It was excavated to
a depth of 5 feet in the endeavor to discover the reason for this. As
there was not the slightest trace of ashes or charcoal, the red
admixture must be a natural result of staining by iron in some form
and not due to heat. Above the yellow was the usual stratum of dark
earth, containing culinary débris. In the central portion of this was
a mass, sufficient to fill a wheelbarrow, of angular, unburnt
fragments of limestone from 3 to 15 pounds in weight. On the surface
of the dark earth were some ten or twelve fire beds, reaching from
wall to wall, the edges overlapping and interlacing in so confusing a
manner that the exact number could not be made out. (See fig. 26.) At
this stage it appeared that the crevice, or at least its upper part,
had been filled by river floods and a slight ridge of sand thrown
across the mouth of the cave. The Indians, it seems, occupied both
this ridge and the lower area behind it, throwing débris to the rear
to fill up the depression instead of carrying it all to the outside.
It is equally possible, however, that this waste was brought from
points farther back and thrown here to fill and level the floor. These
heavy fire beds came to an end at about 28 feet on the right and 29
feet on the left. A section at 28 feet is given in figure 27. At their
inner margin, among the ordinary refuse characteristic of such
deposits, were many fragments of human bones, including ulnas of two
individuals, one much larger than the other. They plainly indicated
cannibalism, as they were broken when thrown here. Besides the ulnas,
there are pieces of ribs, scapula, tibia, and feet.

  [Illustration: FIG. 26.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 26

At 29 feet the underlying yellow earth became comparatively level
across its upper surface, again closely resembling a river deposit.
The darker earth above it contained a greater amount than heretofore
of ashes, bones in small pieces, potsherds, mussel, snail, and
periwinkle shells, and the like. More charred corn was found along

  [Illustration: FIG. 27.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 28

At 30 feet the yellow earth began to rise, and at 32 feet it was very
little more than 3 feet lower than the top of the highest ashes. A
section at this point is shown in figure 28. At 35 feet the strata
became quite regular and uniform from wall to wall. The dark earth,
next above the yellow, measured 3 feet in thickness at the center, and
while showing by its admixture of ashes, etc., that it had been thrown
here, had evidently formed the floor for a considerable time. The
upper foot was burned red or dark from long-continued fires, the ashes
above it being from 6 to 8 inches thick, and forming the present floor
of the cave at this place. The dark earth contained much less of
refuse than nearer the entrance; such shells and ashes as appeared
were promiscuously distributed and not in little piles or masses as
before. A section at 35½ feet appears in figure 29. It may be remarked
here that this is the only sketch in which the upper line coincides
with the surface of the deposits. In the others a thin covering, less
than 6 inches at any point, of disintegrated material from walls and
roof covers the ashes left by aboriginal fires. This is omitted from
the drawings.

  [Illustration: FIG. 28.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 30

At 38 feet the yellow earth had risen until it was within 3 feet of
the top of the entire overlying deposit. The latter contained little
of the dark earth, being mostly composed of ashes and burned earth,
some of which resulted from fires made on the spot, but the greater
part being thrown from other points. The rise of the yellow earth,
consequently, is more rapid than the rise of the material covering it.

  [Illustration: FIG. 29.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 35½

At 40 feet there was a dip in the yellow earth, extending for 4 or 5
feet and descending 2 feet at the deepest point. This may be due to
drainage at a lower level.

At 47½ feet a pocket of the dark earth extended a few inches into the
underlying yellow earth. A hole seems to have been dug into the
latter. There was no more of foreign material in this hole than
elsewhere in the dark earth above and around it. It is shown in figure

  [Illustration: FIG. 30.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 47½

The amount of shells, pottery, etc., had been decreasing for several
feet before this point was reached; indeed, from 40 feet onward there
was very little of it--enough, however, to show that all the dark
earth had been disturbed and thoroughly mixed. The fire beds, too,
while holding their depth of about a foot, contained more earth
between the successive layers of ashes, showing as great age,
probably, as those nearer the entrance, but less continuous
occupation. This condition prevailed to about 60 feet from the
entrance, at which point the yellow earth, now mixed with sand and
gravel, was only 3 feet below the surface of the floor. The appearance
of this line is sketched in figure 31.

  [Illustration: FIG. 31.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 60

At 62 feet there was a dip in the yellow earth, extending to 67 feet
and 2 feet deep at its lowest point; it then rose to the usual level.

At 70 feet ashes appeared in greater quantities; at 73 feet the dark
earth was only a foot thick, the ashes and burned earth being 2 feet
thick and apparently all dumped, as there was no definite arrangement
of the various parts. (See fig. 32.) A small perforated disk and a
double-pointed bone needle were found here.

The fire beds now began to thin out rapidly, the dark earth also
diminishing in quantity, until at 80 feet, from which point the
entrance was no longer visible owing to curvature of the walls, there
was only 5 or 6 inches of them in all, resting directly on the yellow
earth, which contained much more clay than farther toward the front.
The walls began to diverge here, forming a room whose greatest width
was 11 feet 6 inches at 95 feet. At 100 feet a reverse curve brought
the cavern on a course parallel to that which it had held up to 60

  [Illustration: FIG. 32.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 70

At 90 feet there was evidence of fire at one side, the ashes and
burned earth being 5 inches thick at the wall, and thinning out to a
feather edge within 4 feet. This was the last fireplace discovered
which may not with certainty be attributed to white men. The yellow
earth, presenting no evidence of having been disturbed since
originally deposited, reached from the superficial layer of loose dry
earth to the bottom of the trench, a depth of 4 feet 8 inches. Below
this point the walls were less than 4 feet apart, and the space filled
with gravel, as shown in figure 33. This gravel had exactly the
appearance of that in gullies on the hills outside, and plainly dates
back to the period at which the cave was formed. The stream which
aided in the erosion, or which flowed through from some sink hole or
other outside opening, carried this gravel into the crevice.
Consequently, even if the space between the walls had been ample for
dwelling purposes, an attempt to live here when the gravel was being
carried in would result in the intending settler having his effects
washed out into the river.

  [Illustration: FIG. 33.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 90

At 93 feet the side walls confining the yellow clay narrowed to a
little less than 5 feet apart. The upper portion of the one to the
left has been eroded into a recess or cavity, forming the chamber
above mentioned. The earth on the rock floor in this recess is
nowhere more than a foot deep. A section is presented in figure 34.

At 100 feet the room came to an end. The space between the walls was
7½ feet at the floor level and 4 feet at a depth of 4 feet. At 105
feet the nearly vertical walls were only 5 feet apart on the floor; at
112 feet the space increased to 7 feet. A section showed about a foot
of loose earth mixed with ashes; 3 feet of yellow clayey earth, rather
compact; then gravel and sand. The latter was dug into for a foot, at
which level the walls were converging and it was useless to go any
deeper. Enough was done, however, to verify the supposition that this
stratum was due to the action of running water seeking its outlet at
the mouth of the cave.

At 103 feet, at the bottom of the yellow clay and on top of the
gravel, was a chalcedony pebble about 2½ inches in diameter. The
material is foreign to this locality. It had plainly been used as a
hammer stone, and is the only object of human origin found anywhere
below the dark earth. There was not the slightest evidence of any
disturbance of the clay in which it rested.

  [Illustration: FIG. 34.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 93

At 120 feet the side walls were only 5 feet apart. At 125 feet they
again diverged slightly, and a recess on the left forms a chamber 12
feet across. At 150 feet they had drawn in to 8 feet at the widest
interval. A section showed loose dry earth, some of it cemented by
drip from the roof until about as hard as lump chalk; then compact
clayey earth, also with travertine in small lumps; below this the
gravel and sand. The latter, at this point, seems to have been
deposited in the last stages of the formation of the cave.
Occasionally, along here, a small patch appeared that seemed to be
ashes; but none of it was more than 6 inches below the top of the
ground, and the substance may not have been ashes at all, but the fine
white limestone dust that wears off from the stone. There was nothing
in the trench, at any depth, after the chalcedony pebble, that could
possibly be due to human intervention, except these small patches of
ashes, if ashes they are.

At 165 feet from the entrance the cave made its fourth turn and
expanded into a chamber about 15 feet wide. Along the sides of this
and in the various crevices opening from it were great quantities of
clean ashes, plainly enough thrown there from fires made in the
central part. The gravel came to within 3 to 5 feet of the top, being
quite irregular. On the gravel was dry clay, seamed and fissured in
all directions so that it fell out under the pick in clods like
angular pebbles from an inch to 3 or 4 inches across. This was clearly
the result of muddy water settling in a hole and thoroughly
evaporating. There was also some travertine in small lumps here and
there through the clay, and above it was a mass fully 2 feet thick at
one side of the trench but running out before it reached the other
side. It was porous, almost spongy, and seemed to be the lime dust
from the roof and sides cemented by dripping water. Above all this, so
far as the trench extended toward the sides of the cave, was an inch
to 4 inches of loose, dry, dark earth, which on the left dipped down
to the clay, thus replacing the travertine.

  [Illustration: FIG. 35.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 175

  [Illustration: FIG. 36.--Cross section of Fort Deposit Cave at 180

At 175 feet the gravel had leveled down and was more or less mixed
with clay and sand. Above this was another "mudhole deposit" of clay
which had thoroughly dried out and become checked and cracked in all
directions. On the right this was covered with travertine slightly
mixed with earth and clay; on the left, above it and also at one place
within it, was a coarse gritty earth fallen from the roof but not
converted into a compact travertine. The section appears in figure 35.
At 180 feet the trench was carried to a depth of 6 feet. This exposed
a fine clay and sand, or silt, like that deposited in the eddies of
streams. Above this was another deposit of "mudhole" material which
had thoroughly dried out, checked and cracked in all directions so
that it formed angular masses of various sizes, and had then become
wet again so that it was now soft and sticky. To the left of this, on
the silt also, was a small amount of the gravel. It had the appearance
common to a bank of such material on the side of a little stream which
has undermined and carried away part of it. Clearly, these three
formations were of an age that witnessed the erosion of the cave. Next
above them was a stratum of loose dark earth similar to that noticed
in the front part of the cavern; but here were found no traces
whatever of man's presence. Into the right side of this stratum
projected the wedge-like edge of a mass of travertine, which was not
traced to a termination. Over all lay a deposit 3 or 4 inches thick of
dark, nearly black earth, mixed with ashes. This is quite modern. The
section appears in figure 36.

During the Civil War the cave was continuously resorted to by
deserters, refugees, moonshiners, fugitives, and "food for powder,
dodging the conscript." All these sought shelter in this chamber and
behind it, in order that their fires might not be visible from the
river. The piles of ashes in the crevices and corners were thrown
there by these hiders-out, to get them out of the way. Similar but
smaller piles of ashes are to be seen all along as far as the spring,
200 yards from the entrance.

The presence of pottery of a type common to this region in fields and
shell heaps, and of maize, denotes that all the fire beds, etc., are
the results of habitation by the modern Indian. Where these ceased
nothing else was found. In or below the yellow earth, clay, or gravel,
nothing can be found; for until these were laid down and the stream of
the cave had sought another outlet, there was no dry place in which to

It may be worth recording that a dead mulberry tree stood about 20
feet in front of the entrance to the cave. Under it was a narrow
crevice filled with earth, but all around it was bare rock. A root,
larger than the tree, grew into the cave and followed along one side
wall as if fastened there for a distance of some 60 feet. Here the
earth floor of the cave came high enough to cover it. This root was
exposed for 160 feet in the trench, or 180 feet from the tree; at this
point it was 3 inches in diameter and turned aside into a crevice. As
the root could not have grown in the open air, it furnished proof that
much deposited material has been carried out of the front portion of
the cavern and away from the ledge since this tree was a sprout.



About 4 miles southeast of White Cloud, Kansas, is the "Taylor Mound,"
from which Mark E. Zimmerman and William Park took 56 skeletons, or
portions of skeletons, in a space not more than 6 by 20 feet. This was
clearly an intrusive communal burial of skeletons carried from some
other point and interred in the mound which owed its origin to persons
who had piled it up at some previous time. The bones, which were not
arranged in any order, were 30 inches beneath the present surface of
the mound, but this does not mean they were no deeper originally, as
the mound has been plowed for many years and is in a situation where
it will easily wear down when cultivated.

A few feet away, at a depth of 7 feet, other bones, or fragments of
bones, were found in a mass of burned clay. A cremation had taken
place at some point away from the mound, and the resultant burned
earth, with so much of the bone matter as was not destroyed by the
fire, was carried here and buried. The depth in this instance is not
significant; the earth is loose and very easily dug; besides, the
grave pit was near the margin of the mound and earth had washed down
over it from above.

Some stones, carried from neighboring ravines, have been exposed by
the wear due to erosion from natural causes and from cultivation. The
main portion of the structure is still intact, and it is probable that
no deposits belonging to it at the time of its construction have been
unearthed. A systematic exploration, showing the original construction
as well as the alterations resulting from later burials, is much to be

While this is the largest mound in the vicinity, and is claimed to be
the largest mound in Kansas, it is not different except in size from
many others within a few miles. All of them are made of the same earth
as that which lies around them--a light, sandy loess which is easily
removed with a shovel, requiring no picking or other loosening. In
fact, it is almost as easy to dig as loose sand would be. Sometimes
there are flat limestones in or around the graves; similar slabs are
found not far away in the ravines.

Not far from this mound is a large lodge site, one of the so-called
"buffalo wallows" as they are commonly known. These are the ruins of
aboriginal houses. The general construction is the same, the only
practical difference being that some are square in outline, others
round. This difference is not always apparent prior to the excavation.
In the making, a pit was dug, square or round as desired, and the
earth thrown out on every side. Posts were then set around the margin
of the excavation, and the house built in the same manner as those
with which we are familiar from accounts of early travelers. Many of
them have been examined by Zimmerman and Park, who found masses of
hard-burned earth in which are cavities and depressions due to the
burning of straw, grass, twigs, and poles, used in the construction of
the houses. This results from the destruction of the houses by fire.
Sometimes the floor has a layer of this burned material which is
evidently due to the falling in of the roof. Most of these are on the
hilltops, but some of them are on narrow ridges leading from the high
land to the creek or river bottoms. In the latter event there is
always a village site on the low ground bordering the stream. The
relics gathered up on these village sites are in no wise different
from those found when the lodge sites are excavated; and also are of
the same character as those picked up on what are no doubt modern
village sites in the vicinity. This fact militates against the idea
that the lodge sites are extremely ancient.


On a low hill, cut off on every side by steep ravines, is a small
mound containing a cist grave. The bottom of this, which was dug
slightly below the natural surface, was covered with a pavement of
limestone slabs. The grave was roughly oval or triangular in outline,
measuring about 7 by 9 feet. Around it was a wall of similar stones,
set in contact and sloping outward at an angle of about 40 degrees
from the vertical. There was nothing whatever in this grave.

At the edge of the mound was a box grave 5½ by 2½ by 2½ feet, the
longer axis on a radial line. It was made of small flat stones built
up like a wall, the only grave of which I could learn that had any
resemblance to the vault graves farther down the Missouri. In the
grave were two skulls and some other bones, all bunched in the
northern end.


Lewis and Clark, in their journal, mention that when camped near the
mouth of the Nemaha, one or both of them went to an Indian village
about 2 miles up the stream. He, or they, climbed a low ridge near the
river and stood on a mound which commanded a fine view of the
surrounding country. There is a dispute as to the site of this mound;
but the journal plainly says it was on the lower (east) side of a
little creek which comes in here. Two miles farther up is a larger
mound on higher ground which is generally supposed to be the one meant
by the explorer; but this is on the other side of the creek and at
some distance from the Pawnee village which was located near the mouth
of the creek, on the lower side. The ground where this village stood
is covered over a space of several acres with the ordinary débris of
an Indian settlement; and it is significant that all the relics found
are so similar to those which are called "ancient" when found in the
lodge sites, that no one could determine from inspection which kind
came from which place. Unless it may exist in the markings in the
pottery, no distinction can be made between these specimens and
similar ones from other localities.

The Pawnees lived here until 1837, when the Iowas and Otoes made a
sortie upon the unsuspecting inhabitants and killed all of them they
could overcome. Two women of the Iowa tribe who were living on the
reservation in 1914 remember seeing dead bodies lying around wherever
the invaders could find and kill a resident.

A short distance below the explorers carved their names on a rock
which projected into the stream. Accounts as to this spot differ; it
is generally stated that in making a road around here, the rock
containing the names was blasted away; but a man in the neighborhood
who claims to know the exact spot says the blasting did not extend
quite so far and that the names are covered by a mass of earth and
rock which slid from the bluff many years ago. If this be true, a
thrill awaits the man who finds the names some centuries from now,
when the river has washed away all this accumulated material.

                    *    *    *


Near the mouth of Wolf River is a village site on which Dr. R.S.
Dinsmore, of Troy, has counted 125 tipi sites. Relics are very
abundant here, especially the small chert "thumb-scrapers," which
outnumber all other specimens.


Four miles east of Troy, on a ridge so steep that its top is
inaccessible from either side, and so narrow that a wagon would make a
track on each slope, is a little mound worn down until its true nature
would not be suspected. Dr. Dinsmore was on this ridge one day and
noticed a flat limestone rock. Knowing that it had no place in the
loess, he began digging to ascertain the reason for it being there. At
a depth of a few inches he found bones, and soon unearthed a number of
skulls, with only his hands or a stick. Coming back later with tools,
he found, in all, 56 skulls. Afterwards he found others, and persons
in the neighborhood have exhumed many more. The deposit represents a
communal burial, from a village which probably stood on the level
creek bottom not far away. A few skeletons showed an attempt at
orderly arrangement. These were probably of individuals who had not
been dead long at the time of the general burial. Most of the bones,
however, skulls and others, were piled in the smallest possible area,
as if gathered up in sacks or baskets from previous burials and
carried here for reinterment. The soil is so loose as to be easily dug
with the hands, like sand; but at the same time so fine and close
packed as to shed water almost like a roof. Owing to the steep slope
at every point, except toward the summit of the ridge, there must be
some erosion, and consequently the age of the burials can not be
great. Yet, the same conditions prevail in other places where a great
antiquity is claimed for the remains. Frost necessarily disintegrates
the soil to some extent; the wind or rain carries away the loosened
portions; and this process is continuous. The shape of the mound shows
that when the burials were made the ridge was essentially identical in
form with its present aspect. The bones also are comparatively fresh
in appearance, and it may be considered certain that they can not date
back many generations.

On the top of a hill rising from the opposite side of Mosquito Creek
Dr. Dinsmore found a low mound, which, like that just described, would
not have been suspected as such but for a stone projecting from the
surface. Under this stone, with 8 inches of earth intervening, was a
skull so completely mineralized that it appears to be carved from a
block of limestone. No other portions of the body to which it belonged
remained, though traces in the surrounding earth showed that at least
the larger bones and perhaps the entire skeleton had been deposited.
Bones in other parts of the mound were in their natural condition;
that is, they were not altered from their ordinary appearance,
although only in fragments. It is remarkable that this entire cranium
should thus change while all the other bones, even the jaw, had
disappeared. The description of this find is from Dr. Dinsmore, who
has the skull in his office. Possibly he may be in error in stating
that traces were found of other bones belonging with it. These may
have belonged to another individual. The soil is ordinary sandy loess,
containing lime but not in such quantity as to account for this
alteration. Perhaps the skull may be from an older burial somewhere,
the petrifaction having taken place before it was buried here.

                    *    *    *


Particular attention was paid to conditions a mile north of Rulo,
where it is reported that human skeletons were found in the Kansan
drift. It was not the intention of the discoverer to have it
understood that these remains were in undisturbed drift, but such is
the impression that has gained credence.

At the settlement of the country by whites the road constructed across
a ravine here, on the section line nearest the river about
three-eighths of a mile away, followed the natural contour and the
crossing was made without difficulty. Since then a deep washout has
worked its way to some distance above this point, making a long bridge
necessary. From the head of the washout to the Missouri River the
banks are vertical, or nearly so, on each side of the little stream.
It was in the bank on the south side that the bones were found. It is
stated they were 7 feet under the surface; if so there must have been
a mound above them, for the lowest excavation does not reach over 5
feet below the present level of the ground, and at that extends
slightly below the bottom of the grave.

Within 40 years the Missouri River, which is now more than a mile away
toward the Missouri shore, flowed at the foot of a slight bluff
terminating the slope from the high land toward the west; there was
formerly a steamboat landing on the upper side of the ravine. On the
lower side is a triangular area of about an acre, bounded by the
bluff, the river bank, and the ravine. This was an excellent location
for an Indian village or camp. A narrow level strip extends from the
mouth of the ravine to a point near the bridge, some distance above
where the remains were found. It is quite clear that the skeletons
were the remains of individuals who had died at the camp on the
river's bank and had been carried here for burial. This may have
occurred within the last hundred years or in fact at any time while
the Indians were still living in this vicinity.

The flood level of the Missouri is not more than 15 feet lower than
the level space along the sides of the ravine. The little intermittent
stream has cut down this depth through a deposit which is composed of
river sediment, wash from the hills on each side, and material carried
from higher levels by the brook itself in rainy seasons. At only one
point is there a real glacial deposit, and this does not extend for
more than 50 feet horizontally, and does not reach to the top of the
bank. It is at some distance from the graves, and may be due to a lobe
of the ice or to an iceberg. However formed or deposited here it has
no relation whatever to the skeletons. In a sense, the material in
which they were buried is "Kansan drift"; but it is drift which has
been redistributed and has come into its present position within a few
centuries at the most.

                    *    *    *


Mr. Sam P. Hughes, who lives near Howe, has done considerable
excavating in that vicinity. He is an intelligent man and an ardent
student, but his ideas in regard to the age of his discoveries need
much revision downward. His chief work has been done north of Howe at
a place 9 miles from the nearest point on the Missouri River. Here is
a small level area at the end of a ridge sloping away in every
direction except at the narrow isthmus connecting it with the fields
beyond, which are at a level only slightly higher. Thus there is no
chance for any accumulation from the adjacent surface. On this ridge
are a few lodge sites which Hughes has excavated. In every respect
they are similar to lodge sites reported from other localities in this
region. The walls, the depression, the floor, the fireplace, are all
the same. The depressions are filled with earth to a depth of 18 to 22
inches above the level of the old floor; and Hughes reports that
wherever he has dug on this ridge he has found flint chips, charcoal,
fragments of pottery, and scraps of bone to about the same depth. Next
below the soil is the Kansan glacial drift; but the assertion that
objects found at this depth are of the same age as the drift is not
necessarily or even presumably correct.

                    *    *    *


On various hills in the vicinity of Peru are lodge sites, some of them
circular, some rectangular, some with straight sides and rounded
corners. Most of them have been dug in at random; in every case after
a certain depth of accumulated earth and trash is passed through,
there is a layer of clay which formed the roof, and beneath this the
hard earth floor with fireplace usually in the center but sometimes a
little toward one side.

                    *    *    *


At the time of my visit, Dr. Frederick H. Sterns, of the Peabody
Museum, was working near here. He described himself as "the man who is
extremely anxious to find a glacial or other very ancient man, but so
far has not succeeded in getting track of him." Dr. Sterns did not
claim a period antedating the Indian for anything he had then
unearthed--meaning the known Indian tribes.

                    *    *    *


To the southward of Omaha are many lodge sites of varying depths and
diameters. The deepest one reported had a depth of 9 feet below the
surrounding surface, and at the bottom of this was a pit (or "cache,"
as they are locally known) with an additional depth of 4 feet, or 13
feet of excavation in all. This was near the so-called "cannibal
house," where 14 human frontal bones were found under conditions which
indicate they had belonged to individuals who were eaten by other
inmates of the lodge.

A short distance from these sites, across a ravine, is a bare, narrow
ridge, very steep on each side, so that erosion would readily act. On
the sloping summit of this are three small mounds which cover communal
burials. From one of these, the one farthest from the summit of the
hill, more than 80 skulls were taken and boys in the neighborhood have
since taken many more. They are all of the ordinary Indian type, and
can not have been buried more than a few generations ago; but this
fact has not prevented an age of "twenty thousand years" being
assigned to them. There is absolutely no reason for fixing this or any
other date. There is nothing whatever to indicate the age, but 200
years would probably not be far from the mark, because erosion has
been slight since the mounds were piled up.


This ridge has attained some notoriety as the site of Gilder's
discovery of the "Nebraska Man." The claim is made that human bones
were found at a depth of 14 feet in absolutely undisturbed loess. The
hill is a narrow ridge, facing the river on one side and a deep ravine
on the other. It is somewhat winding in its course and is connected
with the more level land in the rear at about half a mile from its
end. A wagon road up the point, from the river bottom to the hilltop,
shows undisturbed loess the entire distance. There is no possibility
of accumulation by wash or in any other manner except decaying
vegetation on any part of this ridge.

Along the crest are several small mounds. Some of these, as shown by
excavation, cover graves, and the presumption is that all of them mark
burial places.

It is needless to make any résumé of Gilder's report, as it is so well
known, further than to say that he found burials and fragmentary human
bones at various levels from 2½ to 14 feet. At 4½ feet were burned
bones lying upon burned earth and mingled with it. This layer, burned
hard as a brick, served to prevent water from penetrating the earth
immediately below; and it is in this earth that the deepest remains
were found.

There are three ways, and only three, in which they could get there:

1. They were washed in when the loess was deposited, as claimed by the
discoverers and by some of the Nebraska geologists.

In support of this view is the assertion that the bones were
water-worn. On this point I can not venture any opinion, as I have not
seen them. But I have found bones in mounds and in other situations
where such wear was impossible and yet having the smoothed and rounded
appearance characteristic of such action by water or the elements.

In support of this theory, too, is the positive statement of Nebraska
geologists who have had ample opportunity to become familiar with
loess in all its phases; and they claim the deposit is the original
and has not been disturbed.

It is necessary for these advocates, however, to tell where such
fragments of bones could have come from and how they could have been
washed to the place where found, when all these bluffs were covered
with water, as they had to be at that time.

2. The bones could have been carried by rodents into their burrows or
runways, as Hrdlicka suggests. In this case the material in contact
with the bones would have to be somewhat different in appearance and
consistency from that which lay a few inches, or perhaps only an inch,
away. The Nebraska men say this was not the case.

3. There may have been an excavation or pit similar to that in which
the Hurons buried their dead. But as no such burial pits have been
discovered in this part of the country, this supposition must be

A corollary to the last is that a deep but small pit similar to the
so-called "caches" in the lodge sites may have been dug here and the
bones thrown in. There is no indication whatever of a lodge site or
any other form of habitation at this point, but I have found such pits
in the vicinity of Indian houses, though not just on their site. The
deepest one I have ever found was 10½ feet and less than 6 feet in
diameter. There would be no difficulty in digging into this loose
material as far as an excavator cared to go, until he had reached a
depth at which he could no longer get the loosened earth to the
surface of the ground. As mentioned above, a pit south of Omaha had a
depth of 13 feet, or only 1 foot less than is claimed for this--or
rather for the greatest depth at which it is claimed fragments of bone
were found.

The objection made to this theory is that the earth thrown out of the
hole was unmixed, presenting throughout the appearance and consistency
of loess as it occurs where exposed in ravines or on slopes in the
vicinity. It is contended that if any previous excavation had been
made here and filled up afterwards the mixed earth would be easily
distinguished from that which was not removed, and that the line of
demarcation would be easily discernible.

As a rule, this is true; but when dry loose earth of homogeneous
consistency is thrown out of a pit and then thrown in again without
becoming mixed with any other it is sometimes impossible to
distinguish it at a later excavation. This is especially true of earth
free from vegetable matter, as ordinary sand; or composed largely of
vegetable mold, as the soil in overflow lands which have built up
mainly from floods carrying uniform soil sediment. The line of
demarcation between the dug and the undug earth in such conditions may
become indistinguishable except when a vertical face is made which
shall show a clear section of both in contact.

It is now too late to learn anything about the matter from the site
itself. So many persons have been digging that it would be impossible to
know when the limit is reached between the original excavation--assuming
it to have been made--when the bodies were interred, and that resulting
from the modern researches. The question of age hinges upon the
appearance of the earth in which the bones were found; and the only way
in which we can now learn anything about it is to trench across the hill
at some of the other burial places, in the hope of finding bones at a
similar level, and determining from the conditions in which these are
found how they came there.

It is beyond question that any soil, humus, or other discolored matter
thrown into an excavation with ordinary soil or subsoil will be
apparent for an indefinite time afterwards. But on some of these high
points and ridges there is even now not a trace of soil. Frost and
wind have worn bare spots where nothing grows or has grown for a long
time. As this region was a prairie devoid of even brush when the
whites settled here, it is evident that such slight protection as
grass or weeds afford would not be sufficient to hold the earth in
place in winter, and when the ground is once swept bare such humble
forms of growth may not get a foothold in future. Anyone who has
studied surface geology knows these facts.

So at present the whole question of the age of these bones resolves
itself into a statement of one party that they were found in
undisturbed loess, as reported; and of the inability of another party
to show that there may have been an error of observation or a mistaken

There need be no such doubt in regard to the age of the mounds or the
lodge sites. It would not take many centuries for mounds upon these
sharp, exposed ridges to be entirely washed away, in spite of the fact
that the fine loess is almost impermeable. Rain may not reduce them to
an appreciable extent, but frost and wind will gradually wear them
down. As to the lodge sites, their similarity to modern Indian houses
is so pronounced that we are fully justified in attributing them to
the same degree of culture as that of the Indians of a century ago.
The only point of difference is that the latter dwellings have not
such deep excavations, but the incursion of war-like tribes, or the
restlessness that impels a primitive community to be frequently on the
move, seems a simpler explanation of the difference than to suppose
that identical types are separated by a great period of time.

Three points must be taken into consideration in fixing a definite age
for these remains:

1. The relics found in and around the lodge sites, except for the
markings on some of the pottery, are in no wise different from those
picked up on the sites of villages which were occupied when Lewis and
Clark came through here.

2. Fairly solid bones of animals, and occasionally of humans, are
found in the bottoms of the lodge sites, even where these are damp
most of the year. In the pits, where such remains are preserved by
ashes, this would not mean much; but where they are found in clayey
earth it is evident that "thousands of years" is a meaningless term to
apply to them.

3. Persons who claim these "thousands of years" for pretty much
everything they find in the ground must explain why it is that while
the bones and implements of these assumed "ancients" are found in such
quantities and in such good preservation, those of later Indians
should have entirely disappeared.

The only tenable theory of age is the amount of accumulation in the
depressions of the lodge sites. Above the clay which formed the roof,
and is next to the floor now, is a depth of material sometimes (it is
said) as much as 20 or even 22 inches of mingled silt, decayed
vegetation, and soil from the surrounding wall. It is used as an
argument of age that as these sites are on hilltops where there can be
no inwash, this depth must indicate a very remote period for their
construction. But a large amount of the earth thrown out into the
surrounding ring or wall will find its way back into the depression.
The water will stand in them a good part of the year, and the soil
remain damp even in prolonged drought; vegetation is thus more
luxuriant than on the outside, and its decay will fill up rather
rapidly. In addition, much sand blows from the prairies as well as
from the bottom lands, and whatever finds its way into the pit will
stay there; it will not blow away again as it would in open ground.
The weeds, also, will catch and retain much of this dust which would
pass over a dry surface. Consequently the allowance of an inch in a
century, which is the most that advocates of great age will allow for
accumulation, is much too small.

The topography of the region was essentially the same when these
remains were constructed as it is now. The hills and valleys were as
they now exist; the erosion has been very slight as compared with what
has taken place since the loess was brought above the water, to which
it owes its origin. This statement is fully proven by the position of
the mounds and lodge sites. Any estimate of age must be only a guess
at the best, but it is a safe guess that no earthwork, mound, lodge
site, or human bone along this part of the Missouri River has been
here as long as 10 centuries.


The small, low, flattened mounds of the lower Mississippi Valley are a
problem to archeologists. They have been studied principally near the
Mississippi River, in Arkansas and Missouri, and for many years it was
thought that in the latter State they are confined entirely to the
southeastern portion. Recently they have been found much farther to
the north and the west than they were supposed to exist.

A group, rather limited as to number and to the area covered, is at
the head of a narrow valley trending northward from Granite Mountain
in Iron County.

"Near Iron Mountain, in St. François County, more than 500 of these
small mounds, arranged in parallel rows following the direction of the
watercourses, were counted within a radius of 3 miles."[1]

The next group known north of this is on the right bank of Plattin
Creek in Jefferson County, about 12 miles from the Mississippi.

"A group of some 50 similar mounds is situated on the right bank of
the Meramec, about 6 miles above its mouth, in Jefferson County."[2]

The most northern group so far observed is near Ferguson in St. Louis
County, Missouri, where 46 are located on a narrow ridge which has the
same general elevation as the table-land. The ridge extends around the
head of a ravine, and the mounds are placed along its crest or on the
gentle slopes near the top. There are 10 or 12 at the southern edge of
Ferguson, on an overflow bottom bordering a small creek.

Toward the west from the swamp region a small group is in a broad
valley near Alton in Oregon County, which borders on Arkansas. They
are scattered along a gentle slope which has a little stream at the

In Dent County four groups are known. One is on the infirmary farm
south of the town of Salem. Most of these are but slightly changed
from their natural condition. Another group is 6 miles east of Salem.
These also are largely intact. A third is on the road from Salem to
Short Bend. The fourth is at the edge of Salem, on the Rolla road.

"On the high plateau of Dallas County, north of the Niangua ... within
an area smaller than 10 square miles, 860 were counted."[3]

Three groups are well marked in Phelps County. A mile east of Rolla
they begin at the line of the Frisco Railway and extend southward in a
shallow valley or "draw." Some are on the overflow flat bordering the
little stream, but most of them are on the slopes to either side.

South of Dillon they extend for a mile in a slight depression.

Beginning at the Soldier's Home in St. James, the largest number yet
found out of the swamp region lie for 2½ miles on both sides of a
small creek running eastward north of the Frisco Railway. These reach
from low land subject to overflow to an elevation of fully 50 feet up
the hillsides.

Several groups occur in Pulaski County. Four miles southwest of Big
Piney post office, near the site of what is known as "The Ranch
House," is a little wet-weather stream along both banks of which are
probably a hundred of these structures. Farther up this stream are two
other groups, the three including a distance of about 4 miles in
length between their outer limits. West of these and south of
Bloodland is a fourth group belonging with these.

In the level bottom between Big Piney River and the branch flowing
from the Miller Spring 2 miles from Big Piney post office a number of
these mounds formerly existed; and on the opposite side of the Big
Piney, in an extensive bottom, were many of them. All these have now
disappeared under cultivation.

On the outer bend of the Devil's Elbow, on Big Piney 3 miles above its
mouth, some of these mounds stood. They are described as being from 2
to 3 feet high; the number was not stated, but there is not room for
many in the narrow strip where they were located.

In the extreme western part of Morgan County, at Stover, is a group
scattered over an area at least half a mile across in any direction.
The distance between the mounds varies from 25 to 150 feet. They are
mostly on gentle slopes, though some are on the crest of the ridges.
Many of these are well preserved, some of them having never been under

In Osage County there are more than a hundred at the eastern edge of
Rich Fountain. They are in low flat ground which is muddy or even
boggy in wet weather.

It will be noticed that all those from Alton westward and
north-westward are in line with the route from southeastern Missouri
to the plains of Kansas and Nebraska.

Practically, however, the northern limit of this type, in great
numbers, is in St. François County, near Farmington. From here they
extend almost continuously into Louisiana and Texas.

In nearly every part of southern Missouri east of the Iron Mountain
Railway they occur in closely connected groups, reaching sometimes for
miles except where the continuity is broken by a slough or other
unfavorable condition. They are found everywhere--on high,
well-drained levels; on sloping ground, sometimes so steep that it may
well be called a hillside; in low "crawfish land"; in swamps where, in
the driest weather, even after a prolonged drought, they can be
reached only by wading through water or muck. The last, however, may
have been more easily accessible when built, their present condition
being due to the general subsidence of this region during the
earthquake period of 1811. The existing sloughs and sluggish bayous
are the widenings and extensions of streams which at the time these
mounds were constructed were no doubt bordered by banks above ordinary
overflow and readily reached by canoes. Manifestly the country was
well populated, and therefore presumably practically timberless;
consequently the flood water would rapidly pass away and the streams
not be choked by drift and other débris as is the case at present.

Various theories, most of them advanced by persons who are but
slightly, if at all, familiar with the country, have been propounded
to account for mounds of this character. Their vast number has led
some writers to believe that they can not be artificial but must be
due to natural phenomena; as, for instance, that these, as indeed all
mounds, were piled up by floods, Noachic, glacial, or local; or that
they result from the industry and energy of burrowing animals, such as
foxes, badgers, ground hogs, rabbits, prairie dogs, gophers,
chipmunks, or even ants; the character of the assumed flood or the
species of the supposed burrower depending to some extent upon
locality, but principally upon the theorizer's insufficient knowledge
of animal industry or of the action of torrential waters. Others are
convinced they are formed by the piling up of earth around a bush,
clump of grass, stone, or other object acting as a nucleus about which
wind-borne material may accumulate--overlooking the fact that clay,
gravel, or gumbo soil can not be carried by wind, and that lighter
soil or sand will form elongated instead of circular masses. Another
supposition is that they are due to stream erosion; flood waters
washing away the soil between them and thus leaving the earth
composing the mound in its original position. The same objection
applies to this as to the wind-blown theory, namely, that we can not
imagine water acting with such mathematical regularity and intelligent
discrimination, especially upon slopes which lie at all sorts of
angles with the trend of the current.

Persons who recognize their human origin have suggested that they were
erected as stands for hunters, from which they could detect game at a
greater distance, or could take better aim as the animal passed; or
perhaps as camping places while waiting; but in many places more than
half the area of the ground over several acres is occupied by such
piles of earth, promiscuously distributed. This implies more hunters
than animals.

For a long time it was supposed that they were burial mounds, like so
many such structures found over the country; but this idea has been
dispelled by the failure to discover in them any evidences of such
purpose; no human bones nor any of the artificial objects commonly
placed with the dead have ever been found in them unless under such
conditions as to show their presence was accidental.

Two very plausible theories have found general acceptance: That they
were the sites of dwellings, placed on them to be out of the mud in
wet weather; and that they were in the nature of garden beds, thus
elevated for growing any food products which needed a comparatively
dry soil, or might be injured by temporary accumulation of water from
excessive rainfall.

But they were not "residence mounds" or "house sites" in the sense
that they furnished a base or foundation for structures which were
used as dwellings; for there has never been found on their surface or
in the earth immediately around them any of the débris invariably
accompanying Indian huts or houses, such as fireplaces, ash beds,
burned rocks, broken implements, or fragments of bones and pottery.
These considerations also interfere with a full acceptance of the
hypothesis that they are remains of houses built of wood and covered
with earth. It is true that such evidence is very frequently found in
other localities; but to establish the fact that they were residence
sites, refuse of this kind should be found wherever the mounds occur.

J.B. Thoburn arrived at this conclusion from the resemblance of some
of them in their outlines to the grass-covered houses of the Pawnees;
and it is believed that this tribe in its migration from the south
followed approximately the route along which these small elevations
are found. When the Pawnees--assuming they were the builders--passed
on westward they could not procure timbers of sufficient strength to
hold up the earth, so they used light frames and covered them with

Bushnell arrived earlier at the same conclusion. He says, concerning a
few mounds of this character in Forest Park, St. Louis: "In the case
of the seven mounds on the elevated grounds, the finding of potsherds,
pieces of chipped chert, and the indication of fire, all on what
appeared to have been the original surface, would point strongly to
their having been the remains or ruins of earth-covered lodges." He
gives citations from early explorers in support of this theory, and
adds, "But in other mounds these indications did not occur."[4]

Such an explanation finds support in the vast number of these
structures. In building, the aborigines naturally chose the sort of
timber which was soft and light, consequently easy to cut and to
handle, such as willow or cottonwood. This soon decays. But no matter
what variety of wood was utilized, not many years would be required,
under the conditions supposed, to weaken its fiber until it could no
longer uphold the weight of earth on the roof, and a new house must be
erected. Several such renewals would be needed in the course of a
century; so that the ruins of an ordinary village might create the
impression that a large settlement had existed on its site.

The explanation of "agricultural use" is probably correct in some
instances, for frequently the mounds are made of earth gathered up
around their base, and so not only would be of value in a wet season,
but would afford a much greater depth of fertile soil for sustenance
of plants. In some localities modern farmers find that on such mounds
crops are much better than on the low spaces between them. On the
other hand, a majority of the small mounds in the lower counties of
southeastern Missouri are composed either of the hard, reddish, sandy
clay which forms the subsoil of the land above overflow; or of the
tough, waxy, black "gumbo" of the swampy or flat lowlands. In either
case they are almost invariably sterile, so that in a cultivated field
the position of a mound is easily determined even from a considerable
distance by the feebler growth on its surface. Moreover, in many
places, hundreds of them occurring within an area of a few square
miles are built on clay lowlands where crawfish abound, within a few
rods of sandy, well-drained ridges whose soil is never muddy more than
a few hours after the hardest rain, and produces as fine corn and
wheat as can be raised in any part of the State.

In short, no matter what suggestion has been offered as to their
purpose or uses, objections to it can be brought and sustained. It is
not improbable that, in the end, it will be found the difficulty lies
in trying to place in a hard and fast category a variety of structures
which are similar in appearance but which were intended for various
uses. With more comprehensive study, it may be that a classification
is possible which will interpret what is now obscure. Instead of
uniformity, there was probably great diversity of motives, ideas, and
beliefs which led to the building of these as well as of other mounds;
and when the key is once obtained the explanation which will account
for one may be very different from that which as clearly accounts for

A few of these mounds have been explored by the writer, but no
discoveries were made upon which can be based a definite statement as
to their probable purpose.

                    *    *    *


On the farm of A.B. Hunter, 7 miles north of New Madrid, more than 60
of these mounds, irregularly placed, extend for half a mile along the
west bank of St. John's Bayou, the extreme width of the group being
about 200 yards. The largest mound, standing on the edge of the
terrace, was 6 feet high and 75 feet across. On the original surface,
over a small area at the central part, were decayed fragments of human
bones; so this was probably erected as a tumulus. The others were much
smaller; from a foot to 3 feet high, and 30 to 50 feet in diameter.
Six of these, varying in size from the largest to the smallest, were
thoroughly excavated within the original margin and down to the
undisturbed earth beneath them. No artificial object was found in any
of them except here and there a fragment of pottery or a small amount
of ashes or a piece of charcoal, not intentionally deposited but
gathered up and carried in with the earth in the course of
construction. There were no distinct fire-beds or ash piles at the
bottom, or in any part of the mound; nor were there any holes in which
posts may have stood.

                    *    *    *


Nearly 2 miles south of Farmington, on Quesnel's land, are about 30
very small, low mounds, none more than 18 inches high or 25 feet
across. They are on the general level, some of them on a gentle slope,
of the first upland above the St. François River and a mile from that
stream at its nearest point.

Half a mile to the south of these is a group of similar mounds on the
farm of Isaac Hopkins, on a gently sloping hillside, and from 30 to 40
feet above the level of the overflow bottom land. One of these has
been gradually worn away by the encroachment of a gully until more
than half of it has disappeared. While the curvature of its surface is
very apparent, and the remnant of its margin sufficiently distinct to
show its regularity of outline, careful inspection of the face formed
by the erosion fails to reveal any trace of stratification, or line of
demarcation between the bottom of the mound and the original surface.
There is precisely the same uniformity of change from the grass roots
to the underlying gravelly soil that exists in the exposed bank at any
point to either side of the mound. Mr. Hopkins, desirous of knowing
what might be in the mound, or why it was built, has noted the
appearance of the earth from the time the gully reached its margin. At
no time has its appearance differed in the least from what it presents

On the river bottom portion of Mr. Hopkins's farm, and on the
adjoining Goings and Townshend farms to the southward, are many mounds
lying along both sides of the Belmont division of the Iron Mountain
Railway. Fully 100 were observed within a distance of a mile; and they
are said to continue both up and down the river. They are all above
flood stage, except in time of extreme high water. They range from a
foot to 3 feet high, and from 20 to 40 feet across; but some of them
have been lowered and broadened by cultivation. They are of the same
earth as the ground around them. Mr. Hopkins says crops are much
better on the mounds than on the area between them. This is no doubt
due to the greater amount of productive soil in the one case, and to
the excess of moisture in the other; the railway embankment impeding
drainage in the lower part. Oak trees 4 feet in diameter grew on the
mounds before they were cleared off.

Two of these mounds were completely removed, down into the subsoil.
The first was 18 inches high and 35 by 40 feet across; the variation
in breadth resulting from continual cultivation in one direction. It
contained nothing whatever of artificial character, not even a scrap
of pottery. There were no post holes, no indications of a fire bed, no
trace of a distinction between the mound and the soil below it. In
fact, except for the greater thickness of the superficial dark earth
there was no difference between the appearance of the face of the
excavation and that of a hole dug at random in the field.

The second mound was somewhat larger than the first, being 2 feet high
and 40 feet across, and at a little higher level toward the edge of
the field. It was the largest which could be excavated of this group.
As in the first mound opened, there was no worked object, if a small
flint flake be excepted; no ashes; no fire bed; no trace of
demarcation between the mound and the original surface of the ground,
though in each mound the excavation over the entire area was carried
down into the gravelly, hard-packed subsoil. Its artificial origin is
clearly proven, however, by four holes dug into the earth beneath it
before its construction. Nine feet a little north of the center, which
was assumed to be the highest point of the mound, was a hole (A) 12 by
14 inches and 14 inches deep, with a flat bottom, the sides as regular
as could be expected in hard soil dug out in primitive manner. Nine
feet west of the center was a hole (B) a foot across, 10 inches deep,
with a solid though somewhat irregular bottom. Near the center was a
conical hole (C) a foot deep and the same across the top. Four feet
from it, west of north, was another (D) of about the same size and
shape. The measures given are of course only approximate, as the sides
of all the holes were somewhat uneven, but they are practically
correct. The depth was measured from the top of the gravelly subsoil.
Fourteen feet east of south from the center was an irregular hole (E)
about 2 feet deep to the bottom of the loose dirt in it. This had not
been dug, but was due to the decay of a tree which grew here before
the mound was made. At the top of the dirt filling this hole was a
piece of decayed bark, apparently oak, which had grown in the air; and
farther down fragments of root bark. Eight feet east of the center was
a hole (F), similar to the last, 10 inches deep and averaging 2 feet
across. This, also, resulted from the decay of a stump.

A plan of the holes is given in figure 37. The dotted lines are merely
to show direction and distance.

  [Illustration: FIG. 37.--Plan of House Mound in St. François
  County, Mo.]

This mound offers confirmation of the belief that such structures, or
some of them at least, mark the sites of dwellings. With the two
trees, E and F, the posts, A and B, would form the corners of an
irregular quadrangle; the two posts, C and D, would support the inner
ends of roof timbers. While no trace of posts or roof timbers
remained, it is difficult to imagine for what other purpose these
holes would be dug; and in this heavy, wet earth all traces of wood
must in time disappear. Conversely, the total absence of a fireplace,
potsherds or other remains, and of any sign of a floor, would serve to
dispel the assumption that this spot was ever inhabited even for a
short time. The evidence is as strong one way as it is the other.

In short, the limited observations above recorded leave the question
of origin and purpose just where it was.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some years ago one of the mounds at Ferguson, St. Louis County, was
opened. No remains of any sort were discovered, according to the
report of the excavators; but on the original surface, at the center
of the mound, was a fire bed in and about which were ashes, charcoal,
and fragments of rude pottery.

No excavations have ever been made in the mounds near Granite
Mountain; but a tortuous little stream has undercut several of them,
thus making vertical sections as in the case of the mound at Hunter's,
near Farmington. In some mounds only a small portion near the margin
has been removed; in others the erosion has progressed to such an
extent that observations were possible at varying distances, to and
beyond the center. In every instance a monotonous uniformity of
appearance prevails from the top of the mound into the underlying
gravel. At no level is there a sign of a floor, fire bed, or other
evidence of human work; and no difference can be detected between the
earth upon which the mound rests and that on either side. Yet the
mounds are indubitably artificial.

Exactly the same remarks apply to several mounds on the County Farm,
near Salem. A little creek and a drainage ditch have cut away varying
portions of them, and they merge insensibly into the soil and gravel
on either side.

       *       *       *       *       *

In further support of the theory that these mounds are the remains of
earth-covered houses, a few extracts relating to the area under
discussion will be given from Dr. Cyrus Thomas in the Twelfth Annual
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology:

Near "Beckwith's Fort," in Mississippi County, Missouri, are (p.

   Low, flattish, circular mounds * * * [which] appear to belong to
   two classes, those used for dwelling sites and those used for
   burial purposes, the former being the higher and the color of the
   surface layer darker than that of the other class. This darker
   color of the surface layer is probably due to the fact that
   immediately below it are found fire-beds with burnt earth,
   charcoal, ashes, and the bones of animals, (mostly split). There
   are seldom any human skeletons or entire vessels of pottery in
   the mounds of this class though the earth is filled with
   fragments of broken vessels.

In describing mound excavations in Crittenden County, Arkansas, the
explorer states (p. 227):

   As an almost universal rule, after removing a foot or two of top
   soil, a layer of burnt clay in a broken or fragmentary condition
   would be found, sometimes with impressions of grass or twigs,
   which easily crumbled but was often hard and stamped apparently
   with an implement made of split reeds of comparatively large
   size. This layer was in places a foot thick and frequently burned
   to a brick red or even to clinkers.

   Below this, at a depth of 3 to 5 feet from the surface, were more
   or less ashes, and often 6 inches of charred grass, immediately
   covering skeletons. The latter were found lying in all
   directions, some with the face up, others with it down, and
   others on the side. With these were vessels of clay, in some
   cases one, sometimes more.

The positions of the skeletons in this mound would indicate that while
the inmates of the house were asleep the roof fell and killed them. It
was customary among some southern Indians to bury the dead under the
floors of the houses; but the text clearly shows that these skeletons
were lying on the floor. It would be supposed from most reports, not
only in the volume quoted, but from various other sources as well,
that only the walls of these houses were plastered with mud, the roof
being of thatch alone. It seems to be overlooked that the tops of the
houses would have even more need of such protection than the sides.
The marks indicating that the clay was "stamped apparently with an
implement made of split reeds" are only the impressions of the reeds
or saplings by which the clay was supported; the "brick like" or
"clinker like" condition of the clay being due, of course, to the
destruction of the house by fire.

Adair, in his History of the Southern Indians, says they daub their
houses with tough mortar mixed with dry grass; that they build winter
or hot houses after the manner of Dutch ovens, covered with clay.

   They are lathed with cane and plastered with mud from bottom to
   top, within and without, with a good covering of straw.

This seems to mean that the entire building was plastered with mud,
and then covered with grass to shed the rainfall.

In a mound in Arkansas County, Arkansas (Twelfth Ann. Rept. Bur.
Ethn., p. 231)--

   About 2 feet under the surface was a thick layer of burnt clay,
   which probably formed the roof. In tracing out the circumference
   a hard clay floor was found beneath, and between the two several
   inches of ashes, but no skeletons. There were a great many pieces
   of broken dishes so situated as to lead one to believe they were
   on top of the house at the time it was burned.

The fact that no skeletons or utensils were discovered on the floor
finds its most reasonable explanation in the supposition that the
inmates, finding their abode to be unsafe, moved out and took their
possessions with them. This would account, also, for the absence of
such remains in similar mounds farther north. The abundance of pottery
fragments found in this case, and in many others, may mean only that
these were worked in as a part of the clay roofing. They would be of
some service in holding the clay in place in wet weather.

It is quite probable that the continuous, though fragmentary, layer of
burned clay on the floor so often noted is due in part at least to the
material forming the roof. The walls would be more apt to fall outward
than inward, and would be more liable to crumble than to fall as an
intact mass. In fact, this is clearly shown by the statement (p. 229)
that in certain house sites in St. Francis County, Arkansas,

   The edges are all higher and have a thicker layer of this
   [burned] material than the inner areas.

Further, in describing explorations of certain "hut rings" at
"Beckwith's Fort" in Mississippi County, Missouri (p. 187), the report
states that they are

   from 30 to 50 feet in diameter, measuring to the tops of their
   rims, which are raised slightly above the natural level. The
   depth of the depression at the center is from 2 to 3 feet. Near
   the center, somewhat covered with earth, are usually found the
   baked earth, charcoal, and ashes of ancient fires, and around
   these and beneath the rims [that is, the surrounding ring or
   embankment] split bones and fresh-water shells. Often mingled
   with this refuse material are rude stone implements and fragments
   of pottery.

Note is made of

   the similarity in the size, form, and general appearance of these
   depressions and earthen rings to those of the earth lodges of the
   abandoned Mandan towns along the Missouri River.

It appears, too, that certain sites were occupied for long periods,
new houses being constructed when necessary. In describing mounds in
Poinsett County, Arkansas, the same writer says (p. 205) that

   The positions and relations of these beds * * * make it evident
   that upon the site of one burned dwelling another was usually
   constructed, not infrequently a third, and sometimes even a
   fourth, the remains of each being underlaid and usually overlaid
   in part by very dark, adhesive clay or muck. * * *

   The peculiar black color of these beds is chiefly in consequence
   of the large proportion of charcoal with which they are mixed,
   some of it doubtless the fine particles of burned grass and reed
   matting with which the cabins appear to have been thatched.

These layers of "very dark" material undoubtedly are remains of mud
from the adjacent swamps, which was mixed with or plastered over the
grass roofs. It is difficult to understand how they could have become
mixed after the burning.

As showing the extent to which this prolonged occupancy was carried,
we are informed (p. 254) that in Coahoma County, Mississippi, a mound

   oval and rounded on top, 210 feet long, 150 broad at the base,
   and 16 feet high. This mound and several smaller ones near it are
   so nearly masses of fire beds, burnt clay, fragments of stone and
   pottery, together with more or less charcoal and ashes, as to
   indicate clearly that they are the sites of ancient dwellings
   thus elevated by accumulation of material during long continued

In still other portions of the country besides those already mentioned
are evidences of similar houses whose sites are now marked by mounds.
In southern Ohio, especially, records of excavations contain numerous
references to post holes under mounds both large and small. In the
case of the former, so far as we may judge from the reports, the
houses were destroyed before the mounds were built, and it does not
appear that they were ever covered with earth. In the small, low, flat
mounds, under which such holes existed, no thought was taken that
these may mark the position of posts used to support a roof; all
mounds were explored with the idea that they were for burial purposes,
consequently no attention was paid to these features.

The Mandan houses, as described by Lewis and Clark, Catlin, and
others, when fallen into ruins would leave exactly such mounds or hut
rings as those found in Missouri and Arkansas.

It is now generally conceded that the wall or embankment at Aztalan,
Wisconsin, concerning which so many wild theories have been
promulgated, was simply a series of such house sites connected by a
low ridge. The evidences of mysterious sacrificial altars seem to be
due only to the destruction of such houses by fire.

In Wisconsin, also, and in Minnesota, are many small mounds apparently
of this character which are due to an extinct tribe known to the Sioux
and Chippewas as "The Ground House Indians."

In 1887 I became acquainted, at Munising, Michigan, with Mr. William
Cameron. He was of the Scotch clan of Camerons, a nephew of a former
Governor of Canada. Educated for a profession, he made a visit to
relatives in Canada in early manhood, and the attractions of the
wilderness proved so great that he never returned to his home. At the
time I met him he was 84 years of age, in full possession of his
mental faculties. For more than 60 years he had traversed the Lake
region, his fur trading and trapping expeditions having carried him
over all the country from Montreal to the mouth of the Mackenzie
River. Much of his life had been spent among the Indians, especially
the Sioux and Chippewas. He learned from them all they could tell him
of their tribal history and former methods of living. The Chippewas
told him that when they first came into the country they found the
Sioux in possession, but finally, obtaining arms from the French, they
drove the Sioux westward.

The "old men" of the Sioux corroborated this tradition and told
Cameron that as they went westward they came to a race of people who
lived in mounds which they piled up. These people were large and
strong, but cowardly. "If they had been as brave as they were big,"
said the Sioux, "between them and the Chippewas we would have been
destroyed; but they were great cowards and we easily drove them away."

Mr. B.G. Armstrong, of Ashland, Wisconsin, told me that he had taken
great pains to investigate this tradition. From all that he could
gather by much inquiry among the Indians and from his own
observations, he was satisfied of its correctness. These people, whom
the Sioux called Ground House Indians, built houses of logs and posts,
over and around which they piled earth until it formed a conical mass
several feet thick above the roof. Their territory extended from Lake
Eau Claire, about 30 miles south of Lake Superior, to the Wisconsin
River near Wausau or Stevens Point; down the Wisconsin a short
distance; thence west into Minnesota, but how far he could not say;
then around north of Yellow Lake back to the Eau Claire region. The
Sioux exterminated the tribe, the last survivors being an old man and
a woman who had married a Sioux. They were taken to the present site
of Superior, near Duluth, and "died about 200 years ago"--that is, in
the last quarter of the seventeenth century.

Gordon, an intelligent Indian living at the town of the same name, a
short distance south of Superior, was familiar with this tradition, as
were other Indians with whom I talked, and who accepted it as a
well-known fact. Gordon related that he had heard "the old men" say
these Indians erected their houses of wood and piled several feet of
dirt over them; and they buried their dead in little mounds out in
front of their houses and a few hundred feet away. He told of a mound
that was opened near Yellow Lake in which the position and condition
of the skeletons, two or three of children being among them, showed
"as plainly as anything could" that they had been sitting or lounging
around the fire, when the roof fell in and crushed them.

There is a "Ground House River" in eastern Minnesota, which probably
derives its name from this people.


  [Footnote 1: Bushnell, D.I., jr., Archeology of the Ozark region
  of Missouri. Amer. Anthrop., n.s. vol. 6, no. 2, p. 298.]

  [Footnote 2: Bushnell, D.I., jr., Archeology of the Ozark region
  of Missouri. Amer. Anthrop., n.s. vol. 6, no. 2, p. 298.]

  [Footnote 3: Ibid., p. 297.]

  [Footnote 4: Papers Peabody Museum, vol. III, no. 1, p. 16.]



The ethnologist or archeologist desiring to conduct explorations on
the Hawaiian Islands will find it necessary to begin his labors at the
Bishop Museum in Honolulu. This museum contains an extensive
collection of articles, classified, arranged, and labeled,
illustrating every phase of native life as it has existed since the
islands have been known to white men, as well as many of the
implements and objects pertaining to agriculture, fisheries, and
domestic occupations of earlier times. Models or casts of houses, and
of individuals engaged in various lines of industry, give the visitor
a clear idea as to the routine of ordinary daily life. A careful study
of all these things enlightens him in regard to what he may expect to
find and to the meaning of such discoveries as he may make.

The extensive library which belongs to the museum contains every
publication relating not alone to the islands but to all the
archipelagoes of the southern Pacific that it is possible to procure;
and among the most valuable of the volumes are the reports and memoirs
of the museum itself, in which are set forth the observations and
deductions of numerous investigators who, either in behalf of the
museum or under its auspices, have endeavored to find a solution for
the many problems involved.

Equally valuable to the student are the information, interpretations,
and instruction freely placed at his disposal by those connected with
the museum, especially by Dr. Brigham, the former director, whose long
and busy life has been devoted almost entirely to a study of the
Polynesian groups; by Professor Gregory, the present director, who
with tireless energy is the impelling force behind various lines of
scientific research; by Mr. Stokes, curator of the ethnological
department, who for more than a score of years has been surveying,
photographing, and collecting in every part of the islands; by Mr.
Thomas G. Thrum, of Honolulu, who has completed, in manuscript, a
volume containing a list and description of more than 500 heiaus on
the islands; and by various other men who, in private life, have
devoted much time and close attention to whatever may pertain to
native life and customs.

                    *    *    *


Following the advice of those whose knowledge gave them authority to
speak decisively, the initial base of research was the island of
Molokai, which presents the best conditions for study. It lies off the
usual lines of travel, offers no inducement to tourists who wish to
have the benefit of good roads and comfortable hotels, and
consequently is seldom visited except by those who are called on
business or who go as the guests of the few residents there.

Mr. George Cooke, one of the owners of a large cattle and sheep ranch
on the island, and greatly interested in its aboriginal history, gave
most generous aid in a reconnoissance of such parts as he had time to
visit. He placed his beautiful summer residence at the disposal of
Prof. Gregory and the writer, and conducted the explorers to nearly
all the places of interest which could be approached by automobile.
Mr. James Munro, manager of the ranch, also rendered valuable
assistance. Owing to his long residence here he has become thoroughly
familiar with every noteworthy feature, and pointed out many remains
which, without his guidance, would have been missed altogether. Fully
acquainted with the life of the Hawaiian people, he made clear the
origin and purpose of many things that, lacking his intelligent
explanation, would have been without significance.

Although there are now comparatively few Hawaiians on Molokai, it is
evident that the island at one time supported a dense population.
Along the southern, or leeward, coast are numerous fish ponds formed
by building a stone wall across an inlet or, more frequently, by
constructing it with the ends on shore and carrying it around a
section of the open sea. The walls are strong enough to resist the
waves, well above the level of high tide, and surround spaces of
various areas up to 70 acres. These ponds were stocked with numerous
kinds of fish which, thus protected from their natural enemies,
increased rapidly and formed an unfailing food supply. The antiquity
of these ponds is denoted by the amount of silt partially filling
them, brought down from the mountains by erosion of the soil. They are
still used to some extent by Hawaiians as well as by other residents.

Inland, low walls of stone or earth, or both, surround hundreds of old
taro patches, one variety of these plants requiring an abundant supply
of water during its growth. The poi made from taro was the principal
vegetable food of the inhabitants. Sweet potatoes were also a leading
article of diet. The fields in which they were grown may still be
identified here and there by the little ridges heaped up. All these,
with the addition of migratory birds and fowls which at certain
seasons swarmed on the different islands, supplemented by various nuts
and fruits growing spontaneously, provided a varied and ample food
supply. Mammals, except the pig, dog, and rat (really a large mouse),
which came in with the early natives, were unknown prior to the advent
of the whites. There were no land reptiles and few indigenous noxious
insects; although mosquitoes, not to mention certain domestic pests,
abound in a few places, and there are some scorpions and centipedes;
but these, like measles, smallpox, tuberculosis, and worse diseases,
are adjuncts of an enforced civilization. The mongoose, brought in to
destroy rats, and the myna bird, to devour insects, are themselves now
beginning to be detrimental.

Along the coasts, on the headlands and lower hills, and to a less
extent farther inland, are village sites, foundations of temples and
houses, garden patches inclosed by stone walls, and long rows of
stones, some of which are borders of roads or trails, others being for
purposes which are undetermined. Among these, taro beds and sweet
potato patches may still be traced.

The most remarkable among the remains are the great temple site on
Senator Cooke's ranch, toward the east end of the island, and the
"paved trail" 10 miles down the coast from Kaunakakai, the principal
village and harbor. The former is rectangular in outline, built on
irregular ground, of stones large and small, to form a level platform
on which a thousand persons could assemble without being hampered for
lack of room. The outer faces of the walls vary from 3 to 20 feet in
height; and except at the lowest parts there are terraces or steps all
around, about 5 feet in height and of differing width. Surrounding
this platform, extending for half a mile up the little valley of which
it marks the entrance, on the slopes to either side, and on the nearly
level area reaching down to the sea in front, are all the indications
of a populous settlement.

It is said that the ruins were formerly much more numerous and
extensive, the larger part of them being swept out of existence by a
great rush of water from the mountains "a long time ago."

The "paved trail" is a causeway of large stones. Some parts of it are
obliterated by slides and encroaching ravines; other parts preserve
the original condition and appearance. The width is not quite uniform,
as the stones are of different sizes, but it departs very little
either way from 6 feet. So far as can be judged in its present
overgrown state, it extends in a straight line for about 2 miles, from
the beach to a point on the hill at an altitude of fully 1,000 feet.
To what it led, or why it was built, are questions awaiting an answer.

All of these places are now abandoned except a few villages along the
coast. The people are not here to occupy them, and even if they were
the conditions have become so changed that residence about them is no
longer feasible. At the temple site, for example, the extent of the
old taro beds predicates an abundance of water; at present, the one
family living near by must carry it in a dry season from the well or
spring of a neighbor. There is no steady water supply within miles of
the "paved trail."

Clearly, extensive changes have taken place in recent times in climate
and perhaps in topography. Fifty years ago forests of large trees grew
over hundreds of square miles on the southern slopes of Molokai where
at the present time there is only grass, or where algaroba trees,
similar to the mesquite of the southwestern United States, are now
spreading. This deforestation is still going on; dead or dying trees
fringe the timber still standing. The cause of this progressive
barrenness has not, so far, been, fully ascertained; there is
undoubtedly a connection between it and the diminished water supply,
though which is cause and which is effect, or whether both are due in
common to some atmospheric phenomenon, is unknown. One result,
however, is apparent. The roots of the forest trees do not extend deep
into the earth, but spread out over the surface like those of pine
trees. Thus much of the rainfall was prevented from escaping rapidly
and such as was not absorbed by the roots made its way into the ground
beneath the upper soil, whence it percolated downward to feed the
springs. Now the greater part of the water runs off and is lost. For
this reason large areas once well populated are no longer habitable.

Molokai, like other islands of the group, contains no stone except of
volcanic or coral formation. There is no chert or similar material
from which chipped implements can be made; nor, as would naturally be
expected, is there any obsidian suitable for such manufacture. It may
occasionally be seen on the sites of villages, but always in small
angular fragments seldom more than half an inch in any dimension,
always coarse-grained, even porous, and never of a quality which can
be flaked into definite forms. No doubt its only use was as an
abrasive, after being pounded fine. Rarely, quartz or chalcedony is
found; it resembles the deposit around hot springs or in fissures,
and, like the obsidian, is in fragments too small to be utilized
except as a grinding or polishing material for smoothing wrought

Manufactured stone specimens are confined principally to three general
classes: Adzes, for working in wood; pestles, for pounding the taro
root; and discoids, for games. The last are exactly similar to the
chunkey stones so abundant in the States, except that none of them
have concave or hollowed faces, and they are used in the same way.
There were three forms of the game: To hurl or roll a disk farther
than an opponent; to strike a pole or other mark set up; and to test
the inherent magical powers of the stones by rolling them in such a
way that they would collide, the object in this case being to see
which one might prove victorious by breaking the other or forcing it
out of its course. A suitable arena for the contest was prepared by
carefully leveling and smoothing a straight, narrow strip of ground to
any length desired, a slight wall being thrown up along each margin.

Pottery was unknown, there being no clay suitable for making it.
Calabashes or gourds and wooden trays served as receptacles, though
stone dishes or bowls are sometimes found. Along the coast occur
sinkers, either plummet-shaped or half-ovoid like an egg divided
lengthwise. This form has a groove around the longer diameter,
crossing the flat face, and was tied to a white shell as a sinker in
catching squids or cuttlefish, a hook being attached to the line.
Coral was much used as files or rasps. There are a few objects whose
purpose is problematical; and some highly polished black disks which,
laid flat and covered with a film of water, make excellent mirrors;
but aside from what is here mentioned, not much worked stone is found.
Wood, bone, and shell served as the raw material for nearly all other

Graves, or what are supposed to be graves, marked by cairns 3 or 4
feet high, or perhaps by only one or two layers of stones, are found,
though rare. Many so-called caves--which are merely "tunnels,"
"bubbles," or "blow-holes" in the lava--were utilized as burial
vaults. The natives vigorously protested against an attempt to
excavate any of these, claiming that their ancestors or members of
their families are buried in them and must not be disturbed. In the
dunes human skeletons are frequently exposed by the shifting of the
sands by the high wind. The natives seem to have little regard for
these. Perhaps they are of the "common people," while cairns cover the
chiefs or priests. There is a tradition that in "the old times" most
of the dead were cast into the ocean as an offering to the Shark God.

There are no mounds or other structures of earth; everything was built
of stone. All structures began at the surface of the ground. No
evidence has been found of an occupation earlier than that of the
present Hawaiian people. At no point examined in ravines or cliffs was
there the slightest hint of human life at a period antedating that
beginning with the race discovered by Captain Cook. Consequently no
extended excavations were attempted. The results of some examinations
made in three different places will be presented.

About 10 miles in an air line from Kaunakakai and the same distance
from Mr. Cooke's home, on a mountain known as Mauna Loa, is a narrow,
sharp ridge extending nearly south and terminating abruptly at the
junction of two deep ravines. On the end of this are two house sites,
or heiaus, which had never been disturbed. They are as nearly
rectangular as the irregular stones of which they are built will
permit. The larger (A) has its south wall at the edge of the low
cliff, with its sides nearly on the cardinal lines. Omitting inches
from the measurements, its outer dimensions are: North wall 38 feet,
south wall 32 feet, east wall 33 feet, west wall 32 feet. The
corresponding inside measurements are 21 feet, 19 feet, 21 feet, and
22 feet. Thirteen feet north from the north wall is a stone pile 13
feet north and south by 10 feet east and west, 18 inches high. Ten
feet west of this is a single layer of stones covering an area 7 feet
east and west by 4 feet north and south. At 9 feet out from the middle
of the west wall is a platform 7 by 7 feet, its west edge on large
stones in place. At the west end of the north wall are three large
flat stones, one of them forming the corner, the two others west of
this, the three being up-edged and in a continuous line.

Within the inclosure, at the southern end, is a closely laid pavement
formed of a single stratum of loose stones, laid on the earth, and
covering a space 20 feet east and west by 10 feet north and south.
Along the inside of the wall, at the northeast corner, is a similar
pavement 12 feet north and south by 4 feet 6 inches east and west, and
a foot high. Both of these pavements were probably intended for seats
and beds. On the larger pavement, 5 feet from the south wall, 9 feet
from the east corner, was a boulder, its diameters 11, 12, and 15
inches, whose largest surface lay uppermost and was hollowed out to
form, a deep saucer-shaped depression like a mortar; but as there was
nothing to grind, it was probably to crack or pound nuts in. At the
middle of the southeast quarter of the inclosure was a pile of stones
3½ feet across and 1 foot high; there was nothing under them. Seven
feet from the north wall, 10 feet from the east wall, was a fireplace
formed of two slabs on the east and west sides and a flattened boulder
on the south side, all upedged, the north side being left open. Its
bottom was undisturbed earth, a foot lower than the level of the
platforms. It would seem, though this is uncertain, that the platforms
or pavements were on the original surface level, the unpaved space
being cleared out to the level of the bottom of the fireplace, and
that this space had been filled with earth blown in by the winds after
the spot was abandoned. From outside to outside the upedged stones
measured 26 by 28 inches; the space inside 18 by 20 inches. On the
west edge was a large grinding stone, the amount of wear on its
surface indicating much use. A pavement 4 feet wide reached from the
open side of the fireplace to the north wall.

In the cavity was about half a bushel of small stones, most of them
burned. When meat was to be baked, a fire was made in the pit and as
many of the stones as required were heated; they were placed in the
body cavity, in the mouth, and in slits cut in the skin of the animal,
which was then deposited in the pit, closely covered, and left until
thoroughly cooked. Similar ovens or barbecue holes, and the same
method of cooking, are still in use among the natives in their

Views of this house site and of the fireplace, taken from various
directions, are shown in plates 38-40.

Nearly north of the house site (A), at a distance of 91 feet, is the
similar structure (B). The ground on which this is built is 6 feet
lower than at (A). Its measurements are 23 by 24 feet outside, 13 by
18 feet inside, longest north and south. The entire interior is paved.
For a space of 8 feet from the north end the pavement is a foot higher
than in the south end. Beginning at the foot of the south wall, on the
outer side, and extending for 29 feet toward (A), there is a closely
laid stone pavement 10 feet wide at the wall and gradually diminishing
to a width of 5 feet; its termination is nearly square, the slight
curve being apparently not intentional. The west edge of this pavement
is in a straight line, the east edge being curved.

Partial views are given in plate 41.

Neither (A) nor (B) has any opening for a doorway, nor is there any
apparent method of easy entrance, though a slight platform on the
north side of (A) may have supported steps of wood.

These walls, as in all other heavy structures observed, were made by
carefully laying up two rows of large stones at a little distance
apart and filling the space between them with stones of any convenient
size, thrown in at random. Timbers set in them formed the skeleton
structure of a house which was completed of poles and smaller growth,
the sides and roof being thatched. The weight of the stones held the
main timbers against the force of the wind even in severe storms.

The surface over hundreds of acres around these ruins is covered with
house sites, long straight rows of stones, and garden lots surrounded
by stone walls. Shop refuse, mostly chips and spalls from adz making,
sea shells broken to extract the mollusks, coral for abrading, adzes
in all stages of finish, and many "olimaikis" (chunkey stones) are
found. A mile away is a chunkey yard or bowling alley about 600 feet
long on the crest of a ridge which overlooks the ocean on both sides
of the island.


A mile from the Cooke residence is a peculiar structure, said to be
the only one of its kind in the entire Hawaiian group. Native
tradition has it that "a long time ago" a rain wizard who was angered
by the people of this district sent such rains that everything was on
the point of being washed out to sea. Another wizard told the people
to make a heiau (temple, or sacred building) with many small
compartments which were to be left uncovered in order that the
raindrops, each of which was as large as a man's head, could be caught
and held in them, and burned. The rain would cease when the first
wizard learned that he was being circumvented.

  [Illustration: PLATE 38
  a, Heiaus A and B, on Molokai Island, looking west
  b, Heiau A, on Molokai Island, looking north
  c, Heiaus A and B, on Molokai Island, looking south]

  [Illustration: PLATE 39
  a, Heiau A, on Molokai Island, looking south
  b, Platform in Heiau A, looking southeast
  c, Paved way in Heiau A, looking southwest]

  [Illustration: PLATE 40
  a, Paved way in Heiau A, looking north
  b, Fireplace in Heiau A]

  [Illustration: PLATE 41
  a, Heiau B, on Molokai Island, looking northwest
  b, Heiau B, showing stone-paved interior, looking northeast]

  [Illustration: PLATE 42
  a, The "Rain Heiau," Molokai Island, looking west
  b, The "Rain Heiau," looking south]

  [Illustration: PLATE 43
  a, The "Rain Heiau," looking north
  b, The "Rain Heiau," looking southwest]

  [Illustration: PLATE 44
  a, The "Sacrifice Stones" on Molokai Island; looking southwest
  b, The "Sacrifice Stones," looking west]

  [Illustration: PLATE 45
  a, The "Sacrifice Stones," looking northwest
  b, The "Sacrifice Stones," looking south]

As it now remains, this heiau consists of flat stones placed on edge
to make an inclosure 30½ by 20½ feet across the center, the length of
the walls being 27½ feet on the north, 31½ feet on the south, 19 feet
on the east, and 23½ feet on the west. At the middle is a minor
inclosure, similarly formed, 5 feet 8 inches by 3 feet 8 inches,
longest north and south. This is a kind of "altar" or "praying place."
From it a narrow passage, 12 to 18 inches wide, extends to the middle
of each side. In each of the four divisions thus formed other stones
were placed to form box-like spaces of diverse shapes and dimensions
from 9 by 15 to 20 by 28 and 15 by 45 inches. All the stones were set
on the surface, braced against one another; no excavation was made to
hold them. They have been somewhat displaced so that the exact number
of the boxes can not now be ascertained, but there are somewhere
between 110 and 120 of them.

Partial views are shown in plates 42 and 43.


On the south side of a ravine with steep slopes and bowlder-strewn
bottom, half a mile from the "Rain Heiau," is a pile of stones, most
of them the natural outcrop, but some of them intentionally placed.
The entire mass measures about 27 feet across each way. The highest
stone is a weather-worn slab, with the upper surface somewhat convex,
6 feet 9 inches long, 2 feet 3 inches wide on the bottom, 1 foot 3
inches wide on top, 1 foot 4 inches thick. It lies nearly east and
west, the upper end on the ground, the lower end on a large bowlder,
beyond which it projects for 28 inches. Beneath this, with a space of
8 inches between them, is another stone, 5 feet long, 2 feet 4 inches
wide, and 10 inches thick. Its upper surface is concave, the entire
margin being higher than the central portion. It lies north and south,
the southern end being supported by three small superposed slabs.

These two are supposed to be sacrificial stones, on which victims were
extended at full length, face downward. In this position they were
easily slain by being decapitated or the neck or head being broken
with a club or a stone. That they were utilized for some definite
purpose is evident from the fact that the projecting ends of both have
been broken off square, the spalls splitting back along the

Views are given in plates 44 and 45.

On the opposite slope of the ravine from the sacrifice stones are two
old dancing platforms, made by digging the earth down on the hillside
to form a level area, the lower margin of which is supported by a high
wall of heavy stones. Near the platforms, on the steep slope, is a
space of a fourth of an acre surrounded by a stone wall; and a row of
stones marks and preserves a trail or path from them to the bottom of
the ravine, terminating at what seems to be a small reservoir
surrounded by stones and earth, with a dam above and to one side of it
to shut out storm water.

One hundred and fifty yards up the ravine from the dance platforms are
two large artificial depressions in weathered bowlders. They have the
appearance of mortars or nut-crushing holes, but are supposed to be
for catching water during rains, as it is known that the natives made
these miniature reservoirs or catch basins, the water being dipped out
into vessels as it accumulated.

                    *    *    *


There are reports of former heiaus, house sites, etc., in and around
Hilo, and there are numerous so-called "caves," many of which were
used by the earlier natives as receptacles for their dead. The term
"cave" is not to be taken in its usual meaning of a cavity due to
erosion by water, or the small recesses due to wind scouring. In the
Hawaiian Islands it means a tube or tunnel; a hollow space due to gas
expansion; or a hole formed by gas or steam expansion or explosion in
the lava while it is still soft or flowing; and which is now
accessible where the top has fallen in or where it has reached the
face of a cliff. These still exist practically as they were at the
time of their formation.

Of remains upon the surface, the clearing-up processes necessary for
cultivation, and the improvements in and around the towns and
villages, have either entirely destroyed them or so defaced them that
they are now only shapeless ruins. Most or all of the near-by caves
are in lava flows of comparatively recent origin and no reports of
interments in them could be definitely verified. Human bones were
found in three caves near Olaa, 10 miles from Hilo, but no objects of
any sort were with them. The condition of the bones showed they had
not been long deposited; in fact, with one skeleton were hobnailed
leather shoes, with the bones of the feet still in them.

Three skeletons were discovered in a small cave near the dock in
making an excavation for a railway cut. An old man living in the
vicinity protested vigorously against any disturbance of them, saying
they had been his friends and he had helped bury them. In deference to
his sentiment the line of the track was deflected so as not to disturb
the spot.

Nearly all of the bones mentioned above were soft and decayed, owing
to the water which had percolated through the roof and dripped on


It seemed probable that burials, or places where religious rites had
been performed, might be found in the vicinity of the volcano. A
number of caves were visited, but no evidence could be found to
indicate that bodies were ever deposited in them, and persons living
in that region had never heard of anything of the sort being found. A
few of the caves were dry, but most of them were wet or have become
obstructed by falling in of the sides or roof. Ledges and terraces
within the ancient crater may contain graves, but lava flows and ash
deposits have obliterated all traces of such if they ever existed.


From 2 to 4 miles west of Waimea, on both sides of the road to
Kawaihae, are numerous stone walls, house sites, garden inclosures,
taro terraces, and other forms, of uncertain use and purpose. The
remains extend over many hundreds of acres. It is said that up to
about 1840 this was an important town, containing at one period about
17,000 inhabitants.


Waimea is the point from which to start for the quarries where the
ancients obtained the hard black stone for making adzes. A great
amount of work was done there, and refuse is abundant. It is 48 miles
from Waimea to the quarries, part of the way by cattle trail through
rough country, and they are at an elevation of more than 10,000 feet,
considerably above the winter snow line. An examination was not
attempted, as a visit to them involved securing a camping outfit and
hiring guides and helpers at exorbitant wages.


The "Great Temple" built by King Kamehameha I is on a bluff 100 feet
high, separated from the beach by a low level space 100 yards wide.
This flat contains many stone structures, but their number, design,
and character can not be ascertained on account of the almost
impenetrable growth of algaroba. One of them is a rectangle about 50
by 150 feet, the walls high and thick; probably it is an older temple.
There is some modern work here, because in one place a wall is
cemented, perhaps by ranchmen.

The "Great Temple" measures 80 by 200 feet on the outside, 50 by 150
feet inside, longest north and south. The two ends and the side toward
the land are nearly intact and from 10 to 20 feet high according to
the surface of the ground. At the north end, inside, is a platform 80
feet north and south by 45 feet east and west, the four walls
carefully and regularly laid up, the space within them filled with
large stones, and the surface leveled with beach pebbles. It ends 4
feet within the wall next the sea, the top of this wall being on a
level with the bottom of the platform. At the south end is another
platform 40 feet east and west by 20 feet north and south, abutting
against the east and south walls. A step or terrace 6 feet wide
extends the full length of its north side. It has a less finished
appearance than the platform at the north end. The central space,
between the two, is paved with large stones which apparently pass
under both platforms and extend from the foot of the east wall nearly
to the west wall, a slight ditch separating it from the latter. The
west wall stands below the top of the slope, and its outer face is
from 10 to 20 feet high, in three platforms each 8 feet wide. On the
slope below are several structures a few feet square formed by two
parallel rows of stones with a cross wall at the lower ends, the
cellar-like space thus inclosed being filled with pebbles to a level
with the top of the walls.

From the northeast and northwest corners long walls extend northwest
and southwest toward the beach. Their outer ends are lost in the


From Kapoho southward to Kalapana and beyond many remains are
reported, but residents say they are of rather modern date, some of
them having been occupied since white people came into the country to
live. Lava flows of recent date have covered a few.


The large heiau at which Captain Cook made his landing, and where he
allowed himself to be worshipped as a god, is about in its original
condition, having been repaired in recent years. When Captain Cook
attempted to seize the King as a prisoner, the natives naturally
rallied to the King's defense. A stone or other missile struck Cook on
the head.

Early in the last century an old Hawaiian who as a small boy witnessed
the affray told Rev. Mr. Paris (as related by his daughter) that if
Cook had been the god he pretended to be, the blow would not have hurt
him; but when he fell with a loud groan the people knew he was only a
man like themselves and, enraged at the deception practiced on them,
quickly made an end of him.


The wall of the City of Refuge is nearly intact, as is that of the
large heiau. Another heiau was destroyed by a tidal wave. The place is
now a public park. Stokes, of the Bishop Museum, has done much work
here and at Napoopoo. The result of his labors will be published.


The "Slide," made here in the time of King Kamehameha I, consists of
two stone walls from 50 to 75 feet apart, the space between them being
filled with stones to provide a level surface from side to side and to
equalize the slope from top to bottom. It begins a mile from the foot
of the hill, and its terminus was on a level area near the coast. The
lower end is now so displaced and overgrown for a fourth of a mile
that it can no longer be traced; the remainder of it is practically
intact. The slope is not uniform, being somewhat determined by the
natural surface, so that it is steeper in some parts than in others.
Near the upper end some short stretches are quite steep, presenting
from below the appearance of terraces. In places, flat stones are laid
pavement fashion from side to side, or rows of stones which seem to be
the tops of walls extend across. These were probably to prevent
crawling of the smaller material used as a leveler. The slide,
according to an old Hawaiian, was covered with one variety of grass,
on which was laid another variety; but he could not say whether the
two layers had their stems parallel or crosswise. Kukui-nut oil was
used plentifully to act as a binder and to give a slick surface. The
"sliders," as well as he could remember the description of them, were
like sleds with runners; not flat boards like a toboggan. Small
depressions here and there, either basin-shaped or well-shaped, have
led to excavations in the hope of finding something; but they are due
only to falling-in of tubes, tunnels, or bubbles in the lava.

A somewhat similar but very much smaller slide is said to be on the
coast 40 miles south of this one. At present it can be reached only
from the shore, making a canoe voyage necessary.

Two ruined and overgrown heiaus are near the water line a mile from
the slide. Both are built on bare lava, and at very high tides waves
dash over them. Possibly the shore has sunk since they were built.
Near by, on the flat lava, covered by every tide, are rock carvings
rudely resembling the outlines of human figures. They must be of
rather recent origin, as the stone is constantly subject to wear by
the shingle. Stokes has copied them.


At the extreme northwest corner of the island of Hawaii is a heiau in
excellent preservation, there being but few fallen stones. The ground
around is entirely free of growth except for grass and a few weeds,
which may explain its appearance of newness; it has a very modern
aspect, though it seems to antedate the discovery. It measures 120 by
275 feet, longest east and west. The east wall is 11 feet high with a
narrow terrace from end to end about midway the height. The north wall
is 18 feet high. The south wall, which is in a somewhat irregular
line, is 5 to 6 feet high. On the outside of the south wall, which
forms one side of each, are two inclosures. One, near the east corner,
measures 65 feet east and west and 15 feet wide, with its west wall at
the edge of an opening which gives access to the interior of the
heiau. The wall of this inclosure is 4 feet high. The other inclosure
measures 21 feet east and west by 28 feet north and south, the west
end flush with the west end of the temple. Its wall is 3 feet high.

The main west wall is 12 feet high. A platform 2 to 4 feet wide,
probably a seat or bench, extends along the inside of the south wall.
An interior wall 4 feet high, not straight but approximately parallel
with the north wall, with a space 10 to 15 feet wide separating them,
has one end against the east wall, the other end coming near enough to
the west wall to leave only a narrow passageway.

The entire space inside is paved with large stones; on these, as a
floor, are several walls whose purpose is not clear; they run in
various directions. Near the west end are some small inclosures, also
a raised platform in which are 13 "wells," said to be intended to
"hold the blood of those offered up as a sacrifice." Possibly the
bodies or bones of victims were placed in them, though it is more
probable that they held posts or idols.

On the outside, 20 feet from the west wall, is a "sacrifice stone," 6
by 8 feet, averaging 15 inches thick. It is somewhat dished, with a
natural depression 12 inches deep.

The heiau is about 200 yards from the ocean. Walls, like fallen
fences, extend diagonally from the corners at the west end; the
northern one terminates 200 yards away on an outcrop of lava; the
southern one has about the same length and ends 50 feet from a similar
wall that reaches in a rude semicircle, convex uphill, for 300 yards
to the top of a cliff over the ocean. On the opposite side of a small
cove within the farther end of this wall is a stone which is known to
the natives as the "Shark" or the "Shark God." It is 8½ feet long, 32
inches across at the widest part, averages 14 inches thick, and has
somewhat the shape of a coffin with narrowed ends. Lying just on the
break of the slope, it inclines slightly down the bank. The end toward
the water is carved in a fairly good representation of a turtle's
head; on the opposite end are nine artificial cup-like depressions
from 1½ to 3 inches in diameter with a depth rather less than half the
width; three are on top, three on the end, three on the lower side.
Like any long stone supported at the center with the ends free, it
gives a metallic note when struck with a knife or other small piece
of metal. It is already defaced by curious experimenters, and will
probably be broken up some day in search of the "treasure" inside, or
to "see where the music comes from."

For nearly a mile south of the heiau, covering the space between the
ocean cliff and a line approximately parallel to it a fourth of a mile
up the hill, are many inclosures and long walls. Low walls surround
spaces 10 to 15 feet across, filled level with earth, which are either
house sites or burial places. Some inclosures, still smaller, with no
break in the wall, are supposed to be graves; and graves may also be
marked by the many small piles of stones. Other stone heaps, some
straight, some crescent-shaped, from 10 to 20 feet long, all the
curved ones convex to the windward, were wind shelters. Some of them
are known to be made by modern hunters as blinds in plover shooting.

In at least two places are long parallel rows of large stones placed
singly, 1 foot to 3 feet apart, the rows separated by a space of from
4 to 6 feet. One set has a dozen or more rows.

Inside of one of the inclosures, directly up the hill from the old
landing, is a large stone with an artificial depression of 2 gallons
capacity. It was intended as a mortar for pounding nuts.


An old lava flow has pushed out into the ocean in a shape somewhat
resembling "a leaf floating on the water," which is the meaning of the
word. It forms a nearly level area of 12 or 13 acres, only a few feet
above tide. Toward the outer end are numerous walls and inclosures,
mostly in ruins and overgrown with trees and bushes. Some of them are
clearly modern; others are ancient. Near the lighthouse are the
remnants of a heiau; only a part of its walls can be traced.

A wall 3 feet high, beginning at a large stone at one corner, incloses
a space 26 by 27 feet, outside measurement; the interior is filled
with earth and small stones to a level with the top of the walls. At
the end toward the ocean, is a platform 20 feet wide, terminating 50
feet from the sea. On this platform is a space 7 by 12 feet, outlined
by large rocks. Halfway between the platform and the water is a wall
which may be recent.

Near this inclosure is one hexagonal in outline, the walls 2 feet
high, and the space inside, 11 by 17 feet, filled with earth to a foot
above the top of the wall.

On top of the bluff, 350 feet above tide level, is a heiau the west
wall of which was removed in making a deep cut for the railway. The
inside dimensions are 70 feet east and west, 115 feet north and south.
The interior area, originally irregular, was somewhat leveled, and
covered with a pavement of cobblestones which were carried up from the
beach, as were many of the large stones in the wall. The pavement has
been torn up in cultivating the ground. The wall is from 4 to 6 feet
high inside. This is a little more than the original height, as it was
repaired and raised for use as a corral. Along the outside of the
north wall, at the west end, is a heavy wall which, with the main
wall, forms a "well," nearly filled with rocks. There are no
supporting platforms outside, but along the north and east walls are
revetments reaching halfway up the face. The southeast corner is
rounded and braced or buttressed. These forms of support have been
noticed in only one other place. There is a house site within, at the
northeast corner. On the wall, placed there in adding to its height,
were a broken taro pestle and a very dense siliceous rock, of high
specific gravity, and filled with olivines. It weighs about 75 pounds.
The ends have been chipped off to give it an ellipsoidal form,
otherwise the wave-worn surface is unworked, except that one of its
larger faces is rubbed smooth, almost polished, by use as a grinding
stone, for which purpose it is excellently adapted by reason of its
unusual abrasive quality.

                    *    *    *


There are not many aboriginal structures on Maui, but among those
which can be found are some of extreme interest on account of their
size and complicated arrangement.


A mile and a half from the coast at Kaupo, or Mokulau landing, at the
eastern end of the island, are two large heiaus. As it would have
required a week's time and a considerable outlay of money to reach
them, by reason of the distance and lack of roads, they were not


At the mouth of the Iao Valley, a mile north of Wailuku, is a sand
dune having a nearly level area of about an acre at each end,
connected by a curved ridge whose sharp crest is lowered about 20 feet
by erosion. On each extremity is a stone inclosure, with several walls
on the slopes below them except on the eastern side, toward the ocean.
Here a stream has encroached upon the bottom of the dune to such an
extent that only a portion of the inclosure nearer town is still
remaining, one side and part of each end having fallen into the
ravine. The wall along the opposite, or western, side is buried in the
sand, only the highest stones still projecting. From the north wall a
facing of large stones extending down the surface of the dune for a
vertical distance of 15 feet has prevented erosion by the winds. No
protection was necessary below this point as the action of rain water
on the lime from disintegrated coral rock contained in the deposit has
caused the sand to "set" or harden.

The other heiau, at the north end of the dune, is apparently
unfinished. None of it has disappeared, but the plan is difficult to
make out. At its northern end is a protecting layer of stones reaching
25 to 30 feet down the slope, in three separate terraces. Similar
terraces are on the slope below the southern end of the east wall.
Here and there within the structure are well-like spaces filled with
stones. The purpose of these is unknown. Stones of varying sizes,
mostly small, within the walls indicate a pavement or floor, but the
dense growth of lantana brush and the accumulated sand preclude any
careful examination or accurate description of these remains.


Southward from the mouth of the Waihee Valley, 5 miles north of
Wailuku, is a range of sand dunes from 200 to 300 feet high, extending
for half a mile or more in a wide curve, with the concave side facing
the ocean. The level space thus bounded is about a fourth of a mile in
its greatest width and contains 50 or 60 acres. Approximately parallel
with the windings of the shore line, at an average distance of 200
feet from it, is a strong stone wall, built at an unknown date but
prior to the advent of the whites. The plain purpose of this wall was
to protect from high tides the low land lying behind it and reaching
nearly to the foot of the dunes. This area is now cultivated in a
variety of crops, mainly rice. Formerly it was a great taro patch of a
Hawaiian settlement. A modern flume, which follows closely the line of
an ancient ditch, brings down the necessary water from Waihee Creek.

In front of the wall a space of 5 or 6 acres is covered with a stone
pavement on which are the walls of old houses and inclosures. They are
protected on the seaward side by thousands of cubic yards of
water-worn stones, piled up like a revetment or riprap, which
terminate abruptly at the southern end but extend to the mouth of the
creek at the north. The dunes show many angular rocks of the same
general material, in their lower portion, so they all probably belong
to a spur or projection from the mountain, washed clean at the front
by waves, and covered at the rear by the dunes. Some of the stones
along the water front were rolled by tides and wave-currents from the
débris carried down by the creek from the mountains. At high tides
waves surmount this natural breakwater, but spread out over the level
pavement and sink between the stones, so that dwellers upon the site
were not disturbed by their action.

At its northern extremity the high wall connects with a rear corner of
an extensive heiau, which was either never completed or has been
partially demolished. The unfinished appearance of this, as of all
similar remains, is explained by the natives as being due to the
interrupted efforts at their construction by "the little people"
(fairies), thousands of whom took part in the work. They must complete
their task in one night; at the first gleam of dawn they must
instantly disappear, leaving their work as it was at the moment, and
could never gather at that spot again.

The highest part of the heiau wall still upright is about 10 feet; but
some of the stones within, promiscuously heaped, are 2 to 3 feet
higher. The structure is about 100 by 250 feet, longest on the line
from water to hill. A cross wall, possibly somewhat modified in recent
times, divides it into two unequal parts, the seaward portion being
nearly square and 5 feet higher than the part at the rear. On the
latter are small inclosures of stone, the space within them paved with
gravel. If of the same age as the remainder of the structure they may
have been for priestly seclusion or preparation, though they may be
houses of later natives who took advantage of the foundation made by
their ancestors.

Measurements or clear descriptions of these remains are not possible,
owing to overgrowth. A satisfactory study, to distinguish between
ancient and modern parts, or between undisturbed stones and those not
in their original position, would require careful survey with transit
and level after the brush is cleared away; and this must be followed
up with considerable excavation as well as removal of loose rock; all
of which would demand the labor of a dozen men for three months. Even
at that, there is no certainty that definite knowledge would be
gained; but it is not to be had in any other way.


Near the top of a remnant of a crater rising from the shore line of
the ocean, 11 miles from Wailuku on the road to Kahakuloa, is a stone
wall built on the leeward slope, the only place on which it could be
constructed, as much the larger part of the crater has been blown out
into the sea. Between the wall and the summit are at least a dozen
stone-covered graves; possibly there are others not seen, as much of
the brush is impenetrable. Some of them are sunken; others appear
quite recent.

Many such graves are found on the dunes. They are all modern, some of
them still surrounded by the original wooden fences.


The deepest valley on Maui is that of the Iao River. The sides, nearly
vertical in places, have an elevation of about 3,000 feet. About 2
miles above the town of Wailuku, well within the mountain, are walls
made of stones of varying sizes up to half a ton or more. They extend
over several acres of land and their structure is quite complicated.
Mostly, they are borders of taro patches, though some of them mark
house sites or garden inclosures. One wall, supporting a terrace, is 8
to 10 feet high and contains very heavy stones.

Near the head of the Iao Valley there are fully 40 acres of taro beds.
A trail formerly led from this spot to the south shore of the island,
near Lahaina. It can not now be traced, being obliterated by slides.

Residents of Wailuku say these places were in use only 50 or 60 years

Many evidences of former occupation have been destroyed in operating
the extensive sugar plantations.

                    *    *    *


There seems to be less evidence of Hawaiian occupancy on Kauai than on
any other of the five principal islands. Comparatively few heiaus are
reported. Some of those which were in existence when the whites came
have been destroyed or defaced to such a degree in establishing sugar
plantations that their original form is uncertain; while others are so
covered with vegetation, either natural or due to cultivation, that
nothing definite can be ascertained as to their size or structure.

The site which might be considered as possessing the greatest interest
is an aboriginal quarry and workshop where material for stone
implements was obtained and shaped into desired forms. There can be no
doubt as to the existence of such a place; but no one now knows its
location, unless it be some of the older Hawaiians, who, however,
profess entire ignorance in regard to it. Mr. William H. Rice, of
Lihue, once induced some natives to conduct him to the spot. He
believes that if he alone had gone his guides would have fulfilled
their promise; but unfortunately several other men joined him, and the
natives, either suspicious of their intentions, or not wishing the
premises to become publicly known, pursued a devious and wearisome
journey through the jungle, crossing gulches and clambering up and
down cliffs until the white men were thoroughly bewildered and
exhausted; then announced that they "couldn't find it," and led the
party home.


At Niumahu, 2 miles from Lihue, on the road leading south and west
from the harbor of Nawiliwili, is a fish pond known as Alakoka. It is
a short distance above the mouth of the river, where the little valley
widens in a half-moon shape, the stream flowing close to the bluff on
the right. The bottom land on the other side is so low as to be
swampy. Along the river bank on this side is a heavy wall of stone and
earth, reaching the higher land at each end, thus forming a pond of 15
or 20 acres in which the ancient Hawaiians kept their surplus catch of
fish. The wall has been raised and strengthened by its present owner,
a Chinese, who raises ducks instead of fish.


Near the mouth of the Wailua River, 6 miles from Lihue, is the former
abode of the royal family. The place is so overgrown, except in the
few cultivated spots, that no examination of it can be made. No traces
of the residences are apparent, although the stone boundary walls of
the grounds are still standing. The site of the royal cemetery is set
aside as public property. There is nothing now to indicate that any
interments were ever made in it. The "Birthstone," on or by which all
prospective heirs to the throne must be born in order to insure their
right to the succession, still lies in the brush near the foot of a
little cliff. In case of a dispute among the claimants to the throne
this stone had the power, by some means of which the knowledge has now
been lost, to determine which, if any, of the contestants was entitled
to possession.

The "Sacrifice Stone," also, is in its original place, being so large
that it can not be easily removed. Formerly this had a grass roof over
it, supported by high poles. When the victim's life was extinct his
body was suspended to a rafter or crossbeam at the top of the
structure and left there until the flesh had decayed. The bones were
then interred on top of the bluff in the rear. It is said that the
corpses of chiefs and others of high rank were wrapped in banana
leaves and steamed until the flesh fell away. The skeletons were then

A mile from the mouth of the Wailua River, on a narrow plateau between
it and a small tributary, the summit level being about 200 feet above
the water, is a heiau in fairly good condition. It is one of the large
structures of its kind, but is so overgrown that measurements or close
description are not possible. It is supposed to be the one which was
sacred to the devotions of the highest priesthood. The common people
were not allowed to venture near it, and even the king could not visit
it without special permission involving the most complicated
ceremonies. It has passed into possession of the county and will be
restored as nearly as can be to its pristine state and thus preserved.

On a mass of loose rocks, resulting from disintegration of an old lava
flow, projecting into the ocean half a mile east from the mouth of the
Wailua River, and near the race track, is a heiau of irregular
construction. The extreme measurements are 80 feet north and south by
200 feet east and west. The wall on the side toward the sea is higher
and wider along the central half than it is nearer the ends. Small
inclosures, bounded by single rows of stones, probably mark the sites
of houses for priests and attendants. Along the inner side of the wall
next to the water are four depressions, remains of partially filled
well-like or cistern-like excavations; similar hollows, obscured by
brush, are also next to the inner foot of the opposite wall. A large
rock in the form of a triangular prism, standing upright, with one end
firmly imbedded in the ground, was no doubt a "god" of some kind; it
has a slight hollow or "cup" pecked in the flat top. There are several
irregular rows of stones outside of the inclosure. Dense growth
prevents the examination necessary for a closer description.


Four miles east of Lihue a spur of the plantation railway was run into
the dunes to procure sand for making fills. In the course of this work
human bones were found, the remains of one individual in one spot and
of at least two others not far away. None of these bones seemed to
have been long underground. Search in the vicinity, over bare spots
among the ridges whose upper portions have been carried away by the
winds, revealed indications of burials in at least six other places.
Such bones as were found were decayed or in fragments. Among them was
part of the skull of a very young infant. A quantity of cooking
stones, some coral rasps or files, and a much weathered fragment of a
wooden bowl, denoted that camps had been made on the dunes. As the
beach is smooth, firm, and extensive, providing an excellent place for
landing canoes or dragging seines, these remains probably pertain to
parties or families who maintained fishing camps here.

At the mouth of the Wailua River, on the east side, was a "City of
Refuge." It is now partially destroyed, many of the stones having been
taken away to make a fill in the road. It was rectangular in form, 360
feet east and west, 60 feet north and south, made of large stones,
some of them weighing a ton or even more. The eastern portion of the
interior is artificially made a foot higher than the western. The
structure is 300 feet from the water. Midway down the gentle slope in
front, opposite the western end, is a slightly crooked row, 100 feet
long, of very large stones. A similar row is near the water on the
side between the inclosure and the river.


There were formerly several heiaus within a few miles of Waimea. Some
of them have been destroyed by cultivation, while others are difficult
to find and impossible to examine in the cane fields or dense brush.

At the east foot of a rocky peak 13 miles by road from Waimea, at an
elevation of more than 3,600 feet, is a small heiau almost on the
brink of the canyon. Within the walls it is 30 feet across each way.
On the south line are three large stones in line, one at each corner,
the third about midway between them. No doubt their position
determined the location of the structure. It stands on a slight slope.
The west wall is 2 feet high inside, the earth having washed down
level with its top outside. The north wall is a foot higher than the
floor at the west end, and is completely buried at the east, as are
the south and west walls along their entire length except for a
protruding stone here and there. In fact, the whole interior seems to
have received a heavy deposit of earth, carried in from the outside by
wind and rain. All these features give an appearance of antiquity to
the ruin.

Directly below it, well toward the bottom of the canyon, which is said
to be 3,000 feet deep, is a long, narrow, curved ridge with rounded
top and almost vertical sides. The upper part, apparently an old lava
flow, is darker in color than the surrounding precipices, its surface
checkered and seamed by weathering and erosion, so that it has an
almost startling resemblance to a huge serpent crawling out of the
side of the mountain and, with head laid flat on the extreme point of
the cliff, watching something in the stream bed a thousand feet below.
If the old Hawaiians had been familiar with ophidians, as were the
American Indians, this "Snake God" would no doubt have held high rank
among their divinities.


As intimated above, much additional information regarding antiquities
in the Hawaiian Islands can be found in publications of the Bishop
Museum in Honolulu. Descriptions, with illustrations, of a number of
heiaus are given by Mr. Thrum in the "Hawaiian Annual" for 1906 to
1910, inclusive; and his forthcoming volume will completely cover this
branch of archeology. The Bishop Museum has undertaken to make a
complete survey and report of all the ancient remains, while Dr.
Brigham has almost finished for publication an exhaustive treatise
which will include all his observations and deductions along the same
lines. With these tasks ended, there will be nothing for anyone else
to do, except to take measures for the restoration and care of the
principal structures.

All the aboriginal remains on the islands are the work of the present
Hawaiian race. When the earliest of these people came here they found
the islands without inhabitants. There are no evidences of any
prehistoric population nor any indications whatever of underground
remains. Consequently, so far as can be ascertained, excavations would
not result in the discovery of any prehistoric objects or of anything
essentially different from what can be seen on the surface or found
slightly covered by very recent natural accumulation. At the same
time, all the remains are well worthy of study and preservation. These
conclusions meet the full approval and indorsement of both Mr. Thrum
and Dr. Brigham.



ACCOUNT'S CAVES                                          131

ADAIR, quoted on construction of houses                  170

  chert, from Miller's Cave                               79
  stone, in Molokai                                      177

AKERS POST OFFICE, cave in vicinity of                    18

ALABAMA, explorations in                             133-150

  from Wyandotte Cave                                108-109
  _See_ Stalagmite; Travertine.

ALFORD'S CAVE                                            140

ALLEN, VALENTINE, acknowledgment to                       29

ALTARS, SUPPOSED SACRIFICIAL, origin of                  172

ALTON, house mounds near                                 161

  bones of, found in cave                                 33
  of Molokai                                             176

ANTLER, OBJECTS OF, from Sell Cave                        48

ARKANSAS COUNTY, ARK., excavation of mound in            170

ARKLOW CAVE                                              125

  cairns in vicinity of                                   40
  caves in vicinity of                                34, 35

ARMSTRONG, B.G., tradition investigated by               172

ARNHOLDT CAVE                                             90

ARROWHEADS discovered in caves                        31, 39

ASH CAVE                                                  89

  beds of, in caves                           31, 32, 33, 38
  curious cavities in                                  67-68
  deposit of, in Miller's Cave                         65-66

ASHLEY CREEK, cave on                                     19

  bone, in Miller's Cave                                  74
  from Goat Bluff Cave                                    37

  from Miller's Cave                                      78
  grooved, found in cave                              39, 40

AZTALAN, WIS., theory concerning wall at                 172

BAGNELL HILL, cave on                                     94

BAILEY'S CAVE                                            140

BAKER'S LAKE, cave on                                     89

"BALLROOM" of Bates Cave                                  23

BARNARD CAVE                                         140-141

BARREN COUNTY, KY., explorations in                      119

  in Colbert County                                      134
  in Shannon County                                       18
  near Crocker                                            55
  on the Osage River                                      95

BATES CAVE                                             22-23

BATTLE GROUND near Miller's Cave                          59

  columella, from cairn                                   87
  shell, found in cairn                                   28
  stone, in cave                                          31

BEAR CREEK, rock house on                                118

BECKER, PHILIP, examination of cave refuse by             84

"BECKWITH'S FORT," mounds near                           169

BEDFORD, caves in vicinity of                       103, 104

BEER CAVE, popular name for Steuffer Cave                 99

BELCHER CAVE                                             121

BELL, ROBERT A., cave on farm of                          51

BELL'S CAVE                                              122

BEN SMITH'S CAVE                                         119

BERRY, GEORGE, cave on land of                            43

BIG CREEK CAVE                                            18

BIG-MOUTH CAVE                                           138

  caves in vicinity of                                57, 81
  house mounds on                                        162

BIG PINEY POST OFFICE, cave in vicinity of                56

BIRTHSTONE of Kauai Island                               192

BISHOP MUSEUM, value of, to students                     174

  caverns described by                                   102
  quoted                                   103-104, 107, 110

BLEDSOE COUNTY, TENN., cave in                           128

BLOODLAND, house mounds near                              57

BLOWING CAVE                                             136

BLUE RIVER, caves on                                     111

BLUE SPRING CAVE                                          18

BLUEWATER CAVE                                           134

BLUFF CITY, caves in vicinity of                    124, 125

BODE CAVE                                                 94

BOILING SPRING OF THE GASCONADE, cave near                34

BOND, JOHN R., cave on farm of                            92

BONE CAVE                                                120

BONES, ANIMAL, in caves                       33, 37, 72, 73

  in Bell's Cave                                          51
  in cairn at Devil's Elbow                            86-87
  in cairns on Helm's farm                                88
  in Caldwell's Cave                                     132
  in cave on Meshach Creek                               121
  in Colyer's Cave                                       133
  in Cub Run Cave                                        113
  in dune burials                                        193
  in Goat Bluff Cave                          36, 37, 38, 39
  in Gourd Creek Cave                                     34
  in Haunted Cave                                        116
  in Hawaiian caves                                      182
  in Miller's Cave                         67, 69-72, 73, 76
  in mound                                               151
  in Ramsey's Cave                                        82
  in Sell Cave                                         47-49
  _See_ Skeletons; Skulls.

BOWLING GREEN, caves near                                118

BRADLEY CAVE                                             112

BRANDON, cave near                                       138

BRIDAL CAVE, beauty of                                    90

BRIGGS, CAPT. J.B., cave owned by                        117

BRIGGS, IKE, cave on land of                             116

BRIGGS'S CAVE                                            116

BRIGHAM, DR., work of                               174, 194

BROOKS CAVE                                               56

BRUMLEY, cave in vicinity of                              91

BRYANT'S BLUFF, rock shelters in                          40

BUCHER CAVE                                               51

BUCKNER CAVE. _See_ Harry Buckner Cave; Joel Buckner Cave.

BUFFALO WALLOWS, so-called                               152

BUNCH CAVE                                                90

BURIAL CAVE near Sheffields                              135

BURIAL CUSTOMS in Hawaii                                 192

BURIAL PLACES on Maui Island                             190

  communal                                     151, 153, 157
  dune                                               193-194
  in Goat Bluff Cave                                      36
  in Gourd Creek Cave                                     30
  inclosed in flat stones                                 88
  on Lost Hill                                            27
  _See_ Cairns; Graves.

BURKSVILLE, cave near                                    111

  conclusion of, regarding house mounds                  164
  quoted on house mounds                                 161

  at Miller's Cave                                        59
  at Sugar Tree camp                                      40
  containing double burial                                19
  in vicinity of Eugene, Mo.                              96
  near Pillman's Cave                                     83
  near Woodland Cave                                      84
  of common occurrence                                    17
  on Helm's farm                                       87-89
  on Lost Hill                                     24-28, 84
  on the Gasconade                                    40, 99
  _See_ Burials; Graves.

CALDWELL'S CAVE                                      131-132

  explorations in                                      89-91
  geological formations in                                91

CAMERON, WILLIAM, tradition obtained by                  172

CAMP-GROUND CAVE                                          51

CANNIBAL HOUSE, so-called, near Omaha                    156

CANNIBALISM, discoveries indicating                       77

CAVE, meaning of term, in Hawaii                         182

CAVE EARTH, composition of                                16

CAVE EXPLORATION, conditions considered in               101

CAVE MAN, no trace of, in Ozark Hills                     15


  air of                                               14-15
  as habitations                                          14
  development of                                       13-14
  floors of                                               14
  method of measuring                                     17
  proper examination of                                   16

CAVITIES IN ASH-BED                                67-68, 73

CEDAR GROVE, cave in vicinity of                          18

CHATTANOOGA, caves in vicinity of                        132

CHAUMONT STATION, cave near                              117

CHEATHAM'S FERRY, cave near                              134

CHIPPEWAS, Sioux driven westward by                      172

CHUNKEY STONES in Molokai                           177, 180

  at mouth of Wailua River                               193
  wall of                                                184

CIVIL WAR, caves as shelters during                       23

CLARKSVILLE, cave in vicinity of                         123

CLEMMENS CREEK CAVE                                       89

COAHOMA COUNTY, MISS., large mound in                    171

COAL PIT HOLLOW, mention of                               24

COFFEE CAVE                                              134

COKELY CAVE                                               90

COLBERT COUNTY, ALA., caves of                      134, 135

COLE COUNTY, MO., explorations in                        100

COLLEGE CAVE                                             128

COLLINSVILLE, cave in vicinity of                        139

COLOSSAL CAVE                                            115

COLYER'S CAVE                                            133

COMMUNAL BURIAL. _See_ Burials, communal.

COOK, CAPTAIN, death of                                  184

COOKE, GEORGE, acknowledgment to                         175

COOKING, method of, in Molokai                           179

COOKVILLE, caves in vicinity of                           42

CRAWFORD COUNTY, IND., explorations in                   107

CRITTENDEN COUNTY, ARK., mound excavations in            169

CRUMP'S CAVE                                             118

CUB RUN CAVE                                         113-115

CULVER'S CAVE                                            136

CURRENT RIVER, caves of                                   18

DAERHOFF, BEN, cave on farm of                            95

DALLAS COUNTY, MO., house mounds in                      161

DANCING PLATFORMS in Molokai                         181-182

DAVIS, J.W., caves on farm of                             42

DAYLIGHT IN CAVES, use of term                            16

DEKALB COUNTY, ALA., caves of                        137-139

DENT COUNTY, MO., caves of                             20-22

  burials at                                              88
  house mounds at                                        162
  walled graves at                                        84

DILLON, house mounds near                            42, 162

DINSMORE, DR. R.S., excavations made by              153-154

DISCOIDS, STONE, in Molokai                              177

DIXON, cave in vicinity of                                89

DIXON'S CAVE                                             116

DONNEHUE'S CAVE                                          103

DONNELSON'S CAVE                                     103-106

DOUBLE CAVE                                            54-55

  deposits of, in Berry Cave                              43
  meaning of the term                                     16
  _See_ Stalactite; Stalagmite.

DRY CAVE                                                  90

DRY CREEK, cave on                                        56

DRY FORK POST OFFICE, caves near                         119

DUNBAR'S CAVE                                        123-124

DUNES, BURIALS IN                                        193

DUNLAP, caves in vicinity of                         128-129

EDENVILLE ROAD, cave on                                   57

EDGAR SPRINGS, cave in vicinity of                        23

EDMONSON COUNTY, KY., caves of                       115-118

EIDSON, WILL ROBERT, cairns on farm of                    90

EIGENMANN, PROFESSOR, conclusions of                     105

ELDON, cave in vicinity of                                96

ELLIS CAVE                                               138

EMINENCE, supposed cave near                              20

ESMITH CAVES                                         119-120

EUGENE, graves in vicinity of                             96

FARMINGTON, mounds near                             162, 166

FEARIN CAVE                                              139

  excavation of mound near                               168
  house mounds near                                      161

FISH, eyeless                                             18

FISHING CAVE                                              18

  at Niumahu                                             192
  of Molokai                                             175

FLINTWORKING SITE                                         59

FOOD SUPPLY of Molokai                                   175

FOOTE, A.L., cave on land of                              44

FORD'S CAVE                                              119

  cross sections of                                  144-149
  description of                                     143-150

FORT PAYNE CAVE                                      137-138

FORTIFICATION, INDIAN, near Miller's Cave                 59

FOSSIL CAVE--                                             91
  plan of                                                 92
  section of                                              92

FRANKLIN COUNTY, TENN., caves of                         131

FREEBURG, caves in vicinity of                        97, 99

FREEMAN'S CAVE                                         81-83

FRENCH LICK SPRINGS, cavern near                         107

GAME played in Molokai                                   177

GARVIN CAVE                                              112

GASCONADE RIVER, caves on                     96, 97, 98, 99

GASCONDY, cave in vicinity of                             98

GILDER'S DISCOVERY                                       157

  observations of                                         48
  theory of                                               17

GLAIZE CREEK, cave near                                   91

GLASS FRAGMENT, from Goat Bluff Cave                      37

GLOVER, ROBERT, cave on farm of                          122

GOAT BLUFF CAVE, description of                        35-39

GODS, STONE                                         186, 193

GOLD IN CAVES, beliefs concerning                     21, 30

GORDON, tradition related by                             173

GOUGE, from Miller's Cave                                 79

  cairns at mouth of                                   24-25
  village site on                                         34

  description of                                          29
  exploration of                                       28-34

GRAHAM CAVE                                               83

GRANITE MOUNTAIN, mounds near                            168

GRAVEL in caves                                           16

  cist, at Iowa Point                                    152
  near Bell's Cave                                       123
  near McKennan's                                         52
  of Molokai                                             178
  on Laughlin's ranch                                     44
  on Saline Creek                                         95
  walled, at Devil's Elbow                             84-87
  _See_ Cairns; Burials.

"GREAT TEMPLE" of Hawaii                             183-184

GREEN RIVER, rock shelters on                            118

  mention of                                             175
  work of                                                174

"GROUND HOUSE INDIANS," mounds made by                   172

GROUND HOUSE RIVER, probable origin of name              173

GRUNDY COUNTY, TENN., caves of                           130

GULFS, formation of                                      108

GULFS OF LOST RIVER                                      107

GUMBO for making vessels                                  69

GUNTERSVILLE, caves in vicinity of                  139, 140

  cave on farm of                                         20
  mounds on farm of                                       22

HA-HA-TON-KA, caves in vicinity of                        89

HAMILTON COUNTY, TENN., caves of                         132

HAMMERS found in cave                                     39

HARDIN COUNTY, KY., caves of                             112

HARDIN'S CAVE                                        139-140

HARLOW CAVE                                              112

HARRISON COUNTY, IND., explorations in                   111

HARRISON'S CAVE                                          136

HARRY BUCKNER CAVE                                       113

HART COUNTY, KY., explorations in                        112

HAUNTED CAVE                                             116

HAWAII, archeological work in                        174-195

  at Kaupo                                               188
  at Napoopoo                                            184
  described by Mr. Thrum                                 194
  of Hawaii Island                                   185-187
  of Wailua                                          192-193
  of Waimea                                              194
  on Maui Island                                         190
  on Mauna Loa                                       178-180
  sacred to priesthood                                   192

HELM, DANIEL, cairns on farm of                           87

HENSON'S CAVE                                            129

HILO, archeological work in vicinity of                  182

HIXSON'S CAVE                                            129

HOLMES, W.H., suggestion made by                          15

HOLSTON RIVER, cave on                                   125

HONAUNAU, work of Stokes at                          184-185

HONEY LANDING, cave at                                   139

HOPKINS, ISAAC, mounds on farm of                    166-167

  defined                                                 17
  in Dent County                                          22
  in Miller County                                        96
  in St. François County, Mo., plan of                   168
  near Dillon                                             42
  near Ranch House                                     56-57
  near Rolla                                              41
  near St. James                                          42
  near Stover                                            100
  of the lower Mississippi Valley                        161
  on Brush Creek                                          99
  theories concerning origin of                      163-165
  _See_ Village sites.

HOUSE SITES. _See_ Heiaus.

HOWE, NEBR., excavations near                            155

HRDLI[VC]KA, DR. ALE[VS], reference to                         158

HUBLIN'S CAVE                                            130

HUGHES, SAM P., work of                              155-156

HUNTER, A.B., mounds on farm of                          166

HURRICANE BLUFF CAVE                                      97

  at Beckwith's Fort                                     170
  similar to ruins of Mandan houses                      171

HUTCHINS CAVE                                            112

HUTCHINSON, HARRISON, cave on farm of                     97

IAO VALLEY, remains in                                   191

ILLINOIS, explorations in                                111

  found in cave                                          113
  found in Molokai                                       177
  found near cemeteries                                  123
  from Sell Cave                                          46

INDIAN FORD CAVE                                       96-97

INDIAN FORT, on the Osage River                           99

INDIAN MOUND CAVE                                        124

  cave region of                                         102
  explorations in                                    102-111

IOWA POINT, grave at                                     152

IRON MOUNTAIN, house mounds near                         161

IRON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY, mounds along                      167

IRVIN, GEORGE, cave on farm of                            96

ISBOLL CAVES                                             135

JACKSON, GENERAL, cave used by, as storage room          143

JACKSON COUNTY, ALA., caves of                           135

JEROME, rock shelters in vicinity of                      40

JOEL BUCKNER CAVE                                        113

JONES FARM, cave on                                       24

JURGGENMEYER, CONRAD, cave on farm of                     94

  "slide" made in time of                                185
  temple built by                                        183

KANSAN DRIFT, skeletons reported found in                155

KAUAI ISLAND, investigations in                      191-194

KENTUCKY, explorations in                            112-123

KERR'S MILL, cave near                                    44

KEY, BUCK, cave on farm of                               133

KEY ROCKS                                                 24

KEY'S CAVE                                               133

KILAUEA, investigations near                             183

KILLIAN CAVES                                        138-139

  discovered in cave                                      31
  flint, found in cave                                    39
  found in cairn                                          27

LACKAYE'S BLUFF CAVE                                      97

LAIRD'S CAVE                                             112

LAKEY'S CAVE                                         128-129

LAND COMPANY'S CAVE                                      129

LANE, GEORGE, mound on farm of                            24

LANE'S CAVE                                               56

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALA., caves of                    133-134

LAUGHLIN RANCH, cairns on                                 44

LAUPAHOEHOE, ruins at                                    187

LAWRENCE COUNTY, IND., explorations in               102-106

LEAVENWORTH, caves in vicinity of                        111

  mound mentioned by                                     152
  names of, carved on rock                               153

LIBRARY OF BISHOP MUSEUM, contents of                    174

LIHUE, fishpond near                                     192

LIMROCK, caves near                                 135, 136

LINN CREEK, cave formerly near                            91

LINNVILLE CAVE                                           124

LITTLE-MOUTH CAVE                                        138

  cave near                                               40
  cave on                                             23, 34
  mound on                                                24
  village site on                                         34

LITTLE WYANDOTTE CAVE                                    111

LOCK'S CAVE                                              112

LODGE SITES on Long's Hill                           159-160

LOGAN COUNTY, KY., reconnoissance in                     122

LONG'S HILL, the site of Gilder's discovery              157

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Caves on west slope of                 138

  cairn on                                                84
  described                                               25

LOVE'S CAVE                                              120

LUCAS, F.A., expert on animal bones                      128

LUCKENHOFF, JOHN, cave on farm of                         94

MCCREARY CAVE                                            121

MCDERMENT'S CAVES                                    141-142

MCWILLIAMS FARM, cave on                                  42

MAMMAL CAVE                                              116

MAMMOTH CAVE, KY.                                        115
  caves near                                         115-117

MAMMOTH CAVE, MO., rumors of, not verified                20

MAMMOTH CAVE OF ILLINOIS                                 111

MARENGO CAVE                                             107

MARIES COUNTY, MO., explorations in                    96-98

MARION COUNTY, TENN., caves of                       131-132

MARSH, HENRY, cave on farm of                             23

MARSHALL COUNTY, ALA., explorations in               139-150

MARTIN COUNTY, IND., caves of                            106

MARTIN, LEWIS, cave on place of                          113

MAUI ISLAND, aboriginal structures on                188-191

MAUNA KEA, quarry on                                     183

MAXEY'S CAVE, described                                   43

MERAMEC RIVER, house mounds on                           161

MERAMEC VALLEY, relics seldom found in                    22

MESHACH CREEK, caves on                                  121

MILL CAVE                                      106, 118, 121

MILLER, DANIEL S., cave on farm of                        57

MILLER, WALTER, cave on farm of                           54

MILLER COUNTY, MO., explorations in                    91-96

  description of                                       57-81
  measurements of                                  61-62, 63
  plan of                                                 62
  shells in                                            66-67

MILLTOWN, cave near                                      107

MILLTOWN CAVE, change in                                 108

MISSOURI RIVER, explorations along                   151-160

MITCHELL, cave in vicinity of                            104

MIX CAVE                                               53-54

MOAB, village site near                                   83

  deforestation of                                       177
  former population of                                   175
  investigations in                                  175-182
  kind of stone found in                                 177

MONEY CAVE                                                21

MONROE COUNTY, ILL., explorations in                     111

MONROE COUNTY, KY., explorations in                  120-121

MONTAUK, cave in vicinity of                              19

MONTEAGLE, caves in vicinity of                          131

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TENN., explorations in            123-124

MORGAN CAVE                                               90

MORGAN COUNTY, explorations in                           100

MORRELL CAVE                                         125-128

  found in caves                              39, 74, 77, 78
  large stone used as                                    187

MOSQUITO CREEK, communal burial on                       153

  mentioned by Lewis and Clark                           152
  not found in Molokai                                   178
  _See_ House mounds; Lodge sites; Village sites.

MUNFORDVILLE, KY., caves in vicinity of              112-113

MUNRO, JAMES, acknowledgment To                          175

MURRELL'S CAVE                                           134

NAPOOPOO, investigations at                              184

NATIONAL MUSEUM, objects shipped to                       81

NATURAL BRIDGE CAVE                                      100

"NEBRASKA MAN," theories regarding                   157-158

NEMAHA RIVER, mound on, mentioned by Lewis and Clark     152

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO., mounds of                        166

NEWBURG, cave in vicinity of                              41

NEWSOM SPRINGS, caves near                               134

NIANGUA RIVER, caverns on                                 89

NICKAJACK, caves near                                    131

NICKAJACK CAVE                                           132

NILES, cave near                                          19

NORTHTOWN, cave in vicinity of                           112

OLAA, bones in caves near                                182

OMAHA, investigations in vicinity of                     156

ONYX CAVES                                     22, 34-35, 90

ORANGE COUNTY, IND., explorations in                 106-107

ORANGEVILLE, caves in vicinity of                        107

OSAGE COUNTY, MO., explorations in                        98

OZARK REGION, explorations in                         13-100

PAGE, ROBERT, cave on land of                             55

PALMER, DR. E.E., rock house on land of                  120

PAOLI, caves in vicinity of                              106

PAPILLION, NEBR., work near                              156

PARIS, REV. MR., story of Captain Cook related to        184

  buffalo wallows examined by                            152
  skeletons exhumed by                                   151

"PAVED TRAIL" in Molokai                                 176

PAWNEE VILLAGE SITE                                      153

PAYNE CAVE                                               119

PERFORATOR AND KNIFE from Wright Cave                     93

PERFORATORS, BONE, in cave                                31

PERU, NEBR., lodge sites near                            156

PESTLE AND GRINDING STONE found at Laupahoehoe           188

  found in caves                              39, 74, 77, 78
  in Molokai                                             177

PETERS CREEK, caves on                               119-120

  near Miller's Cave                                   60-61
  on Gasconade River                                      89
  _See_ Pictographs.

PHELPS, JAMES, cave on farm of                            24

  caves of                                             22-42
  house mounds in                                        162

PHILLIPS CAVE                                             51

PICKETT'S CAVE                                           129

  reported near Paydown                                   97
  _See_ Petroglyphs.

PILLMAN, JOHN, cave on land of                            83

  fragment of, in cave                                    31
  from cairn                                              27
  from Miller's Cave                                  69, 80

PIQUET ORCHARDS, cave near                                89

PLATTIN CREEK, house mounds on                           161

POINSETT COUNTY, ARK., mounds in                         171

POLISHING STONES. _See_ Rubbing stones.

POOL HOLLOW, cave in                                      41

POT from Goat Bluff Cave                               38-39

  from Miller's Cave                                      77
  from Sell Cave                                       46-47
  of Gourd Creek Cave                                     31
  place where made                                        59
  unknown in Molokai                                     178

POYNER'S CAVE                                        116-117

PRIDE'S CAVE                                             134

PROCTOR'S CAVE                                           116

  caves of                                             42-89
  house mounds in                                        162

  in Hawaii                                              183
  on Kauai Island                                        191

RAILROAD CAVE                                             55

RAIN HEIAU of Molokai                                180-181

RAMSEY'S CAVE                                          81-83

RANCH HOUSE, house mounds near                            56

REFUSE, meaning of the term                               16

RENAUD CAVE                                               23

RICE, WILLIAM H., investigations of                      191

RICH FOUNTAIN, house mounds in vicinity of           99, 162

RICHLAND CAVE                                             52

RIDDLE CAVE                                               56

RIDEN, J.W., cave on farm of                              22

RIDEN'S CAVE                                              57

RIVER CAVE                                            90, 98

ROARING SPRING, description of                            58

ROBBERS' CAVE                                             90

ROCK LEDGES QUARRY, discovery at                         102

ROCK SHELTERS                                             24
  defined                                              16-17
  in Bryant's Bluff                                       40
  of Colbert County, Ala.                                134
  on Big Piney                                            89

ROLLA, house mounds near                                  41

ROLLA ROAD, house mounds on                               22

ROLLINS, SAM T., cave on farm of                       52-53

ROOF DUST, use of the term                                16

ROSS, JOSEPH, cairns on farm of                       85, 88

ROUBIDOUX CAVE                                            52

ROUBIDOUX CREEK, caves on             42, 43, 44, 45, 51, 52

ROWLETT CAVE                                             113

ROWLETT'S STATION, caves in vicinity of             112, 113

ROYAL FAMILY OF HAWAII, former abode of                  192

RUBBING STONE from Sell Cave                              48

RULO, NEBR., investigations near                         154

SACRIFICIAL ALTARS. _See_ Altars; Sacrificial stones.

SACRIFICIAL STONES in Hawaiian Islands         181, 186, 192

ST. ELIZABETH, caves near                              94-95

ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, ARK., house mounds in                170

ST. FRANÇOIS COUNTY, MO., mounds of                      166

ST. JAMES, house mounds near                         42, 162

ST. JOHN'S BAYOU, mounds along                           166

  caves in vicinity of                                    20
  house mounds near                                  22, 161

SALINE CREEK, grave on                                    95

SALT CAVE                                            115-116

  Hublin's Cave worked for                               130
  made in Fearin Cave                                    139
  manufactured in Morrell Cave                           126
  mining for, in Barnard Cave                        140-141

  in Barren County, Ky.                                  119
  in Crawford County, Ind.                           110-111
  in Dent County, Mo.                                     21
  in Hardin County, Ky.                                  112
  in Jackson County, Ala.                                136
  in Marshall County, Ala.                               140
  in Phelps County, Mo.                                   41
  in Pulaski County, Mo.                                  57
  in Texas County, Mo.                                 19-20

SCHORD, JOHN W., cave on farm of                          56

SELL, DR. W.J., cave on farm of                           45

SELL CAVE, described                                   45-51

SEQUATCHIE COLLEGE, cave near                            128

SEQUATCHIE COUNTY, TENN., caves of                       128

SEQUATCHIE RIVER, cave on                                131

SERPENT, ridge in form of                                194

SEWANEE, cave in vicinity of                             131

SHANNON COUNTY, MO., caves of                          18-19

  stone known as                                         186
  tradition concerning                                   178

SHEFFIELDS, cave at                                      135

SHELL, objects of, from Miller's Cave                     79

SHELL HEAPS in Colbert County, Ala.                      135

SHELLMOUND, caves in vicinity of                         131

SHELLS, accumulation of, in Miller's Cave                 66

SHELTER CAVE, defined                                  16-17

SHILOAH CAVE                                             102

SHOAL CREEK, cave on                                     134

SHOALS, caves in vicinity of                             106

SHORT BEND CAVE                                        20-21

SHORT BEND POST OFFICE, caves near                    20, 21

SHORT BEND ROAD, house mounds on                          22

SHORT CAVE                                           117-118

SINK HOLES near Onyx Cave                                 35

SINKERS, found in Molokai                                178

SINKIN CREEK, caves near mouth of                         18

SIOUX, driven westward by Chippewas                      172

  communal burial of                                     151
  found near Rulo                                        154
  in mound in Crittenden County                          169
  _See_ Bones, human; Skulls.

SKIVERS, from Miller's Cave                               79

  found at Lost Hill                              26, 27, 28
  petrified                                              154
  _See_ Bones, human; Skulls.

SLABS, stone, used in vault                            26-27

SLICK ROCK CAVE                                          120

"SLIDES" of Hawaii                                       185

SMITH, JAMES I., caves on land of                         19

SMITH CAVES                                               19

SMITH'S CAVE. _See_ Ben Smith's Cave.

SMITH'S GROVE, cave near                                 118

SMITHSONIA, cave at                                      133

SPEARHEADS discovered in cave                             31

SPECIMENS FROM CAVES, where found                         17

SPEERS CAVE                                              100

SPRING CREEK CAVE                                         83

SPRING CHEEK VALLEY, house mounds in                      22

  abundant in Morrell Cave                               125
  beauty of, in Bridal Cave                               90
  _See_ Stalagmite.

  abundance of, in Morrell Cave                          126
  in Killian Cave                                        139
  in Luckenhoff Cave                                      94
  in Onyx Cave                                            35
  masses of, in McDerment's Cave                         142
  _See_ Alabaster; Drip rock; Onyx; Travertine.

STANDING ROCK, near Linn Creek                            91

STAR CAVE                                                107

STARK'S CAVE                                              96

STEFFY'S CAVE                                            113

STERNS, DR. FREDERICK H., work of                        156

STEUFFER CAVE                                             99

STOKES, MR., work of                                     174

STOVER, house mounds near                           100, 162

STRATMAN, HENRY L., cave on farm of                       98

"STRAWHORN'S" HOLLOW, cave in                             41

STUDENTS, journey through cave by                    105-106

SUGAR TREE CAMP, cairns at                                40

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TENN., explorations in              124-128

TAVERN CREEK, cave on                                     95

TAYLOR MOUND                                             151

TEETH, deductions from wear of                        48, 49

TEMPLE. _See_ Great Temple.

TEMPLE HILL, cave near                                   119

TEMPLE SITE on Senator Cooke's ranch                     176

TENNESSEE, explorations in                           123-133

TENNESSEE RIVER, caves on                                139

TERRELL LAND, cave on                                     18

TEXAS COUNTY, MO., caves of                            19-20

THOBURN, J.B., conclusion of, regarding house mounds     164

THOMAS, DAVID, village site on farm of                    83

THOMAS CAVE                                         118, 125

THRUM, THOMAS G., work of                           174, 194

THUMB-SCRAPERS, abundant on village site                 153

TICK CREEK CAVE                                           41

TILLMAN, CHARLES, Grave on Land of                        95

TILLMAN, JOHN, graves on land of                          96

TODD COUNTY, KY., explorations in                    122-123

TOMPKINSVILLE, caves in vicinity of                      121

"TONKY," caves in vicinity of                             89

TORONTO, caves in vicinity of                             90

  concerning the Shark God                               178
  of the "Ground House Indians"                          172

  from Wyandotte Cave                                    108
   _See_ Alabaster; Onyx; Stalagmite.

TROY, KANSAS, explorations in vicinity of            153-154

TULEY, JOHN BLACK, cave on land of                       121

TUNNEL CAVE                                               56

TURKEY-PEN SLOUGH, village site at mouth of               40

TUSCUMBIA, MO., village site in vicinity of            95-96

TWIN CAVES                                                22

VIENNA, cave in vicinity of                               96

  in vicinity of Arlington, Mo.                           40
  on Big Piney                                            83
  on Gourd Creek                                          34
  on Saline Creek                                         96
  on Wolf River                                          153
  Pawnee                                                 153
  _See_ House mounds; Hut rings; Lodge sites; Mounds.

WAIHEE, remains at                                   189-190

WAILUA, investigations at                            192-193

WAILUKU, heiaus at                                   188-189

WAIMEA, remains near                                183, 194

WARREN COUNTY, KY., explorations in                      118

WATSON CAVE                                               22

  cairns in vicinity of                                   44
  caves in vicinity of                        43, 51, 52, 56

WELBURN'S CAVE                                           140

WELCH'S CAVE                                              18

WHITE CLOUD, KANS., explorations in vicinity of      151-153

WHITE'S CAVE                                             115

WIDENER, CHARLES E., cave on farm of                      23

WILD-HOG CAVE                                             23

WILSON, JACK, remarkable will of                       92-93

WILSON CAVE                                            92-94

WOLF RIVER, village site on                              153

WOOD, G.S., Indian cemetery on farm of                   123

WOODLAND HOLLOW, cave in                                  84

WORLEY, E.S., cave on farm of                            125

WRIGHT CAVE                                            91-92
  perforator from                                         93

WYANDOTTE CAVE                                       108-110
  size of                                                102

WYNNE'S CAVE                                             113

YANCY MILLS, caves in vicinity of                     23, 24

YELLOW LAKE, mound opened near                           172

YOARK, MARTHA, home of                                    44

YOARK CAVE, described                                  43-44

  buffalo wallows examined by                            152
  skeletons exhumed by                                   151

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