- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 June 2021 19:29
The Ancient American Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
By Lawrence Gallant
“America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.” — Oscar Wilde
Few people reading this article have any idea of the fabulous cultures that once inhabited our local areas of South Park, Mingo, Finleyville, Elrama, Bunola, Monongahela, etc., or are aware of the wonders beneath our feet yet to be found. In fact, the entirety of western Pennsylvania all the way to Erie, has evidences of people who lived and visited here back to days B.C. After previous articles the author has been ridiculed by people who “know better” so we will tread lightly here until you join our historical society and become educated.
Perhaps foremost of ancient artifacts found in this area is what appears to be a French monolith found on the bank of Peters Creek, below Clairton. The story goes that it was a marker for a hoard of gold coins that was destined for Quebec to aid in the war effort against the British but was buried due to heavy Indian presence. We have located the remains of the monolith but its marker plate is missing. It may still be on that hillside below Clairton, dislodged when the stone fell or was pushed.
I have also found a broken monolith in Piney Fork Creek and the remains of possibly three rock shelters there. Also, a deﬁnite rock shelter west of Route 19, above the road to Lawrence that has never been excavated. Everyone knows the story of Dr. James Adovasio and the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. He visits
Meadowcroft only once a year now and speaks of his latest investigations at sites on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico when the sea level was 300-feet lower than it is now. Perhaps we could take in his next lecture as a class this summer. His book, The First Americans, is the ﬁrst one we will study as a group. Both to get your feet wet in the history of archaeology and the story of Meadowcroft, the oldest site yet
excavated in our area and a good starting point for newcomers. The book is not dry by any means and is entertaining and often amusing. Like the story of the female squad leader at one of his excavation sites who refused to wear a shirt. Dr. Adovasio also tells of the pig-headedness and prejudice of certain “academians” who “know better” and refuse to acknowledge new ﬁndings that we are sure to run
across in our investigations.
One such subject is that of ancient fortresses which abound on the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers, starting at Pittsburgh and continuing the length of the Mon to its source at Fairmont, West Virginia, which contained seven fortresses at one time. But we will save that subject for our class discussions, including three ancient forts that I have located in person on the north shore of the Mon near the city of Monongahela. The foundation of a local farmer’s house was built with stones from the fort along with an entire barn.
A friend in Monongahela has his own museum containing thousands of items from local sites which ﬁlls his entire basement and two-car garage. One of his artifacts is a rare, engraved “shaman” disc from the Mississippian Culture that was recently recovered from Mingo Creek. Another is a large vase which has what may be a Viking ship engraved on each side recovered from a large mound atop Mound Street in Monongahela, now the site of a baseball ﬁeld. Sadly, my friend’s house, and the entire neighborhood, has been condemned due to mine subsidence and the fate of his artifacts is problematic.
George Washington built Fort Necessity at that site because the ground had already been cleared by an ancient race, the remains of their bulwarks supposedly still exist in the surrounding woods. A “medieval” sword has been recovered from the site and was once on display at the Fort Necessity museum, along two large copper plates that once covered the faces of two giants of the Adena race found on Peter’s Creek. We have the copper plates but the sword has been relocated to Ohio and disappeared, but I have the photo.
I could go on and on. Sufﬁce it to say that we are forming an Ancient American History Society and would like to hear from interested parties. We are offering a limited time free membership. Enjoy online classes, future lectures, monthly photos of enigmatic ﬁnds, and more. Learn about the ancient races that once inhabited and visited this country and our area.
Please write to me at: Ancient Americans, PO Box 139, South Park, PA 15129. Please include your e-mail address, questions and whatever information you care to impart. I will reply in early June with further information and an application form. Thank you.