Tuesday, May 1, 2012
When I first encountered the stone rows on my property I took peoples explanation blindly that they were all of post- colonial origin. Not once walking the length of the rows to find that none of them enclose land. As many people have pointed out, they almost always terminate at a marsh or stream. I was always curious why one section of the stone row curved before it reached the stream and a series of indentions in the ground continued the straight path of the row. I removed the leave debris and loose stones from the hole next to the stone row and was surprised that the row's stone base just kept going down. I eventually reached water. (A Wall or an Ancient Water System ? This is where I stopped. The base of the row had not been reached. As i began following more rows to where they terminated at the water, I started noticing the water outlet rock formation. Nearby there is a rolling farm field and at the lowest corner of the land there is a beefy L-shaped stone formation with a single stone row that connects to it acting to , what I believe, channel water further down the hill where it eventually connects with the stream. Have a look next time your at a stone row/water source meeting place. Let me know if you can find the outlet.
Posted by matt at 10:35 AM
Posted by matt at 8:35 AM
I'm very glad I got a copy of Gerard Fowke's 1910 "Antiquities of Central and South-Eastern Missouri.
In it are photo's of what he calls "Stone Vaults" which correlate exactly to the structure near my site. The Southern facing doorway exists in these. This would strongly support the idea that this easily pre-dates the arrival of the Europeans. I had someone with a professional metal detector out and he was surprised that we found no nails and barely any other metal objects. This would explain it.
James E. Gage author of Root Cellars in America: Their History, Design and Construction 1609-1920
Posted by matt at 8:20 AM