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See America First by Orville O. Hiestand

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Etext prepared by Lynn Hill, hill_lynn@hotmail.com




To Mr. and Mrs. Chas. J. Herr whose kind beneficence and
interest in the Great Out-of-Doors made this book possible;
these Wayside Sketches are affectionately dedicated

"I see the spectacle of morning from the hill tops over against
my house, from daybreak to sunrise, with emotions which an angel
might share. The long, slender bars of cloud float like golden
fishes in the crimson light. From the earth, as from a shore, I
look out into the silent sea. I seem to partake its rapid
transformations; the active enchantment reaches my dust, and I
dilate and conspire with the morning wind. Give me health and a
day and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.

"To the body and mind which have been cramped by anxious work or
company, Nature is medicinal and restores their tone. The
tradesman, the attorney, comes out of the din and craft of the
street and sees the sky and the woods, and is a man again. In
the eternal calm he finds himself. The health of the eye seems
to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see
far enough."



Scenery, as well as "the prophet," is "not without honor" save
in its own country. Therefore thousands of travellers are in
Europe today, gazing in open mouthed wonder at the Swiss Alps or
floating down the Rhine pretending to be enraptured, who never
gave a passing thought to the Adirondacks, or the incomparable
beauty of the Hudson, which perhaps lie at their very doors.

It is not our purpose to make the reader appreciate European
scenery less but American scenery more. "America first" should
be our slogan, whether in regard to political relations or to
travel. Many Americans do not know how to appreciate their own
natural scenery. Much has been written about the marvelous
scenery of western North America, but few have spoken a word of
praise in regard to the beauty of our eastern highlands.

The pleasure we take in travel as well as in literature is
enhanced by a knowledge of Nature. Thoreau, Burroughs, Bryant
and Muir--how much you would miss from their glowing pages
without some knowledge of the plants and birds. Truly did the
Indian say, "White man heap much book, little know."

To one who is at least partially familiar with the plant and
bird world, travel holds so much more of interest and enthusiasm
than it does to one who cannot tell mint from skunk cabbage, or
a sparrow from a thrush. Having made acquaintance with the
flowers and the birds, every journey will take on an added
interest because always there are unnumbered scenes to attract
our attention; which although observed many times, grow more
lovely at each new meeting.

We remember, in crossing the ocean, how few there were who found
little or no delight in the ever changing sea with its rich
dawns and sunsets or abundance of strange animal life. It is
well to have one or more hobbies if you know when to leave off
riding them, and you may thus turn to account many spare
moments. In the lovely meadows of the Meuse; along the historic
banks of the scenic Rhine; where the warm waters of the
Mediterranean lave the mountainous coast of sunny Italy; in the
fertile lowlands of Belgium; or out where the Alps rear their
snowy summits, we felt ourselves less alien when we could detect
kinship between European and American plants.

But to visit foreign lands is not our real need, for if we fail
to see the common beauty everywhere about us how much can we
hope to find in a strange land?

Most people take their cares along with them to the woods and
hills, but there is little use of going to the woods, lakes, or
mountains without going there in spirit. We must, like real
travelers, get rid of our excess baggage, as did the boys who
went over the top, if we would really get anywhere.

So many people consider it a waste of time to learn of some of
the wonders God has placed about them, yet, God loved beauty or
never would He have been so prodigal of it. If we really try, we
too can see wherein it is good. "Consider the lilies of the
field," for their consideration will in no way hinder your true

Thoreau said: "If the day and night are such as you, greet them
with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet
scented herbs; is more elastic, more starry, more immortal--that
is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have
cause momentarily to bless yourself."

If the reader finds anything of merit in this rambling book of
travel it will be due to the various quotations interspersed
throughout it. If he is inspired to a greater love for the
beauty of God's creation, to be found in his own immediate
environment, or feels a deeper pleasure in listening to the
music of singing bird or rippling stream, we shall be truly



In beginning on our journey we disregarded Horace Greeley's
advice and went east. True, the course of empires has ever been
Westward and the richest gold fields lie in that direction. But
the glamour which surrounds this land of "flowing gold" has
caused vast numbers to lose their interest in both worlds, until
they missed the joys in this and the radiant hope of that to

"All that glitters is not gold,
Gilded tombs do worms infold."

The land of the rising sun is not less lovely than that of its
setting. There is a freshness and a parity in the early dawn not
found in the evening time, and the birds greet the purpling east
with their sweetest songs. No one may know how cheerful, how far
reaching, how thrilling the singing of birds may be unless he
has listened to them telling the gladness of the morning while
the last star melts in the glowing east.

Then, too, what a journey is this when we look forward to the
glad meeting with friends who knew the horrors of the World War
and whom a kind Providence permitted to return to their native
land. During those awful days spent in the halls of suffering
and death near Verdun there were found many golden chains of
friendship, and we thought--

"Better than grandeur, better than gold,
Than rank or title a hundred-fold,
Is a healthy body and a mind at ease,
And simple pleasures that always please,
A heart that can feel for a neighbor's woe,
And share in his joy with a friendly glow,
With sympathies large enough to infold
All men as brothers, is better than gold."

Gold has no power to purchase true friendship and only eternal
things are given away. So, what matters it whether we travel
east or west as long as our souls retain the freshness and
fragrance of the early morning's hours? We can be our own
alchemists, and through the gray vapors of our poor lives
transmute them into golden flowers of character that shall gleam
and sparkle as the evening of our closing days draw near, like
coruscating stars in the violet dusk of our twilight sky.

Nature seemed to have adorned herself richly for our departure;
no sky could have been more blue, no grass more green and no
trees more full of glistening leaves and singing birds. There
was an indescribable freshness and glory on the sunny hills and
shining sky. The breeze sifted through the trees and over the
rim of the circling slopes, causing the maple leaves to show
silver and wafting fragrance from a thousand fountains of
sweetness. At brief intervals the loud, rich notes of the
Maryland Yellow Throat and the high pitched song of the indigo
bunting resounded from the bushes near Glen-Miller park of
Richmond, Ind. A cardinal shot across the road like a burning
arrow, and his ringing challenge was answered by the softly
warbled notes of a bluebird; while down by the spring came the
liquid song of the wood thrush, pure, clear, and serene,
speaking the soul of the dewy morn.

We did not say our prayers, but paused reverently beneath the
broad leaved maple in the park to listen to the thrushes' matin
and knelt at the crystal flowing spring to fill our water
bottles. As we were thus employed a red squirrel, who had the
idea that the whole park was his, crossed and recrossed our path
to see what strange creatures dare intrude at his drinking
fountain. Coming nearer, chattering and scolding as only a red
squirrel can, he began a speculation as to our character in
rapid broken coughs and sniffs, pouring forth a torrent of
threatening abuse in his snickering wheezy manner; "but, like
some people you may know, his defiance was mostly bluster--he
loves to make a noise." Yet, unlike his human brother (while
being a busybody and prying into the affairs of his neighbors),
he is a most provident creature, laying up ample stores for
winter days of need.

Leaving the squirrel in undisputed possession of the park, we
followed the winding road past glowing beds of flowers, which
are worth considering like "the lilies of the field, for they
preach to us if we but can hear." Before God created man He
placed all necessary things for the development of that greatest
of undeveloped resources in the world, the human soul, and
beauty is not the least of these:

"All ground is hallowed ground,
And every bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes."

At all seasons there is a harvest of beauty for him who is
willing to pay the price. But "nature and art are veiled
goddesses, and only love and humility draw the curtains."

We turned away reluctantly from a scene so fair as that of the
charming homes of Richmond, with their well-kept lawns amid
their settings of vines, flowers and shrubs, doubly picturesque,
lying broad and warm amid their encircling hills. It was a happy
fortune for the city that White Water river, with its sinuous
course crowned with sycamore trees, passes it. If we are a part
of all we have ever met then our lives shall be richer for
having contemplated those lovely homes, among the lovelier
hills. If our environment helps make our character, then give us
more parks and quiet retreats among the hills, where from the
breezy uplands we get broader, clearer views.

What a contrast is here in this clean, well-kept American city
to European cities! There, ofttimes, we find narrow, crooked and
dirty streets, and what is worse thousands of children who never
knew the meaning of the word "home." Instead of filthy alleys
filled with smoke and foul smelling gases and profanity and
unclean jests from vagrant lips they should have, as the
children here, the benefits of grassy lawns, running brooks and
singing birds, the natural birthrights of every child. Oh! For
more great hearted men who are more considerate of the sorrows
and cares of others and less considerate of self, as that self
exists for others' good! We thought of the wonderful parks of
Antwerp, Belgium, where the land is so thickly populated, yet
where the love for the beautiful in Art and Nature is so
universal as to perpetuate these lovely parks, thus enriching
the lives of all who see them.

It is pitiful to see in the many smoky cities the little done
for this thirst for beauty, inherent in all. Even in the poorest
sections where many foreigners dwell one sees a broken pitcher
with its stunted geranium, a window box with ferns and vines or
a canary in a rude cage. As soon as a movement is on foot for
parks the seekers after gain will be there howling "the poor
must be fed!" Of course they must, but the body sometimes is the
least part of man that needs nourishment; the soul hungers and
thirsts for the beautiful. Nothing seems useless whereby we can
gratify that insatiable thirst for all that is pure, beautiful
and true in Nature, which draws us a little nearer the Master of
all truth.

We did not mean to preach a sermon this July day for we are not
ordained and therefore our discourse might not be accepted as
orthodox. We heard a few cannon fire-crackers, popping and
sputtering like distant machine guns, the last faint echoes of
the noisy demonstration that filled the streets the day before.
The noise soon died away and we thought how like the
politician's marvelous speeches and outward demonstrations! True
patriotism consists in something vastly more than the waving of
flags and eloquence, which the trying days of 1917 and '18
revealed. The orations were hot ones, and needed no fiery
remarks or burning glances from the eye to make them such, as
the mercury stood high in the nineties; yet some said they
enjoyed them. Perhaps they did, but as a fish might enjoy dry
land or an Esquimo the Sahara. Gladly we left it all for the
grand amphitheaters of the hills where Nature each day holds her
jubilees, filled with calm, serene enthusiasm that falls on one
as gentle as purple shades that linger about her wooded heights,
giving them that strange enchantment that is a part of their
real glory.

The sweeping hills were dotted with shocks of rye and wheat or
were covered with standing grain, and their acres shone like
gold in the level rays of the morning sun. Far and near the
farmers worked in their fields of corn and other grain, giving
vent to their joy by short snatches of song or loud, clear
whistling, as full and flute-like as the notes of the red birds
that sang in the trees which bordered them. The drought and
extreme heat had forced grain into premature ripeness and the
yield thereby was somewhat diminished. We passed men and boys on
the road going to some distant grainfield. They bade us good
morning with pleasant smiles. In like spirit we went to reap our
harvest. Theirs would feed the hungry, and they could at least
make out its value as so many bushels worth so many dollars and
cents. They saw in their vast yellow acres not the hungry their
grain could feed, but only a very small pile of gold. Watching
the mellow colors of the broadening landscape as we climbed the
long waves of earth we saw the yellow bundles of grain gleaming
like heaps of gold, and we seemed to hear Ruth singing as she
gleaned in the fields of Boaz and the lark carolling in the sky
above as sweetly as when we listened enraptured along the lovely
meadows of the Meuse or on the battle grounds of Waterloo. The
value of our harvest only Eternity may gauge.

As we watched the grain falling like phalanxes of soldiers cut
down in battle a nameless sadness filled our souls as we

"Though every summer green the plain
This harvest cannot bloom again."

Out where the land was broken by ravines and the woodbine hung
its long green ladders from the ironwood tree or made pillars of
Corinthian design of the gleaming sycamores which stood along
the banks of a stream, two boys were fishing. It was hard to
decide which made the more radiant picture: the softly
sculptured landscape or the glow of joy that beamed from those
shining boyish faces. How often had streams like this lured and
detained many well meaning lads who had only a bent pin for a
fishing hook and fish worms for bait, yet who had better luck
than many an older person you may know, for they baited their
hooks with their happy hearts.

Well do we recall how the siren songs of a little brook in early
spring, or it may have been the golden willows filled with
gurgling red wings, caused a court scene at school. The teacher
was one of that type who study the stars by night but never his
boys by day. He knew the golden willow not from the fragrance of
its early blossoms or the gurgling melodies of the red-winged
blackbird's song, but from the fact that they make excellent
switches which cut keenly, bend but do not break. The only time
he ever visited the brook was when he needed a new bundle of
switches. With a jury like that, little wonder the case went
clean against Willie.

Now Willie had missed school; that much was evident. So the
teacher called him up to his desk behind which he sat in his
revolving chair. Willie's face had been red, unusually so, and
glowed all morning like sumac seed against its green setting.
Willie came forward slowly. With downcast face he eyed a crack
in the floor near the teacher's desk while his right hand rested
tremblingly against his flushed forehead. "Willie, what makes
you tremble so?" asked the teacher in a gruff voice. "I-I'm
sick," came the feeble reply.

"Why did you miss school yesterday?" he repeated sternly.

"I-I fell into the creek on my way to school and got my feet
wet." As if to bring proof of what he said, he wiggled the toe
that the hole in his boot showed to best advantage. By this time
death-like silence reigned in the usually very noisy schoolroom.
Only the shrieking sound of a pencil toiling slowly up the steep
incline of a slate like an ungreased wagon up the Alleghanies
broke the silence. Strange it was that this sound, so noticeable
at other times, no one heard. Like a piece of grand opera music
this formed a sort of a musical prelude before the villain
appeared. But mark you the villain was not in front of the desk
but back of it, revolving like a pin wheel in an autumn gale.
Suddenly there was a wild waving of hands.

"John, what is it," roared a loud voice. "I can't get the fifth
example on page thirty-six." Now John had never worked so many
as that before and the rest of the class looked amazed. Lily,
remembering yesterday's lecture on cleanliness, washed her slate
three times with her hand and mopped it up with the sleeve of
her dress and yet it was far from clean.

Looking at Johnny now, it would not have taken a physician to
tell that something was seriously wrong with him. He was sick,
without doubt, and yesterday it was a double ailment he had. Any
diagnosis would have revealed spring fever incipient and trout
fever acute. Willie was perhaps thinking of the old saw mills
where cascades fall and the phoebe-bird sings and the high
banks, which the stream had worn deeply because it had some
obstacle to get around. Poor scared Willie! He, too, had an
obstacle to get around, so he said, "I slipped off of the foot
log and got my feet wet and had to go home."

Now, as every teacher knows, wet feet never daunted any boy from
achieving a purpose. The revolving chair swung around once more,
the teacher arose from his comfortable perch and stooped very
low in order to strike the trembling little boy who had heard
the phoebe-bird prophesying spring, and had found the first
hepaticas among the withered leaves and listened to the rippling
song of the brook.

Could the one in the revolving chair have known what he did
toward crushing the love of the true and the beautiful out of
the life before him, the chair would not have been at once
reoccupied. What had he to give the eager growing soul hungering
and thirsting for the beauty and freedom of Nature? Had he more
of the beauty and fragrance of the willow, so redolent of
spring, in his heart there were less need of willows above his
desk. A few of the fragrant buds in a vase would have had more
effect upon Willie and the whole school than the scattered bits
of golden pieces lying on the floor. Which is the greater
knowledge--to be able to feel spring open in your heart on
hearing the phoebe-bird, or to glibly repeat six times eight?

Our attention was drawn to a crowd of young and middle aged men
idly leaning against posts or sitting on benches in the shade of
trees at the famous roque court at a village in Ohio. The topic
of their conversation was probably government inefficiency, hard
times, lack of work, and perhaps many an hour was spent in
discussing capital and labor by those who have had no personal
acquaintance with either. How many are experts at various games,
yet how poorly they play the great game of life! Many have
failed to reach first base, and greater numbers have not yet
entered but still occupy the bleachers and side lines. Go to the
homes of those who clamor there is no work to be had and,
without trying, you will see where at least a few days could be
better spent than down at the rogue court.

Well has Holland said, "Idleness is the sepulchre of a living
man." Though a man has the wealth of Croesus he has no right to
be idle, if he can get work to do. A man who will not work is
not only a burden to society, but he buries his talents,
destroys his own happiness and becomes a nuisance. There are
always good, wholesome books to be had and "temptation flies
from the earnest, contented laborer, and preys upon the brain
and heart of the idler."

Greenville never appeared so marvellously beautiful as she did
in her holiday attire on that morning of July. We were thrilled
anew with the beauty of our flag as we gazed at its lovely folds
rippling in the breeze o'er the grand old men of the G. A. R.
Our hearts went out in gratitude to those noble veterans whose
loyalty, devotion and sacrifice made this great nation of ours
possible. We thought, how many of these heroes we beheld, had
defended the Old Flag at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, offering
their life blood, if need be, for the future welfare of a
nation. Alas! how many comrades they left upon the ghastly field
of battle. Right fitting it was for the hands of children to
bring the fairest blossoms to show their love and honor to those
who made it possible for our glorious banner to still wave o'er
a land from which had been removed the black stain of slavery.

Greenville, O., has the honor of being the home of Brigadier
General Siegerfoos, the highest commissioned officer from the
United States to make the supreme sacrifice. "He answered the
call of his country in the defense of Liberty, Humanity and the
cause of democracy." Branch of service, 56th Brigade, 28th
Division. He was wounded at Mount Blainville, near the Argonne
Forest and died at Souilly, France, October 7, 1918.

As if to join in this glorious celebration Nature unfurled many
a banner of rarest beauty. There was the deep red of the crimson
rambler, the blue of larkspur and clematis forming a wonderful
background for the golden stars of the daisy that nodded and
gleamed in the warm, clear light. For the white stripes of her
emblem she chose the hydrangeas and elderberry. True, they were
not arranged in order, like the colors of our lovely banner, but
seeing them singly brings out their meaning more clearly, for
there is much to contemplate in Old Glory, and we must analyze
one color at a time. (Again we thought of the G. A. R.
encampment in June.)

Among the many worthy veterans who honored Greenville with their
presence was the proud father of Warren G. Harding, of Marion,
Ohio. All were delighted with the lovely St. Clair Memorial
Hall, whose classic beauty makes it an elevating and refining
influence in the community. Then, too, the well kept library,
with its fine museum containing the old original treaty of the
Indians and many other interesting relics, will repay anyone who
visits it.

As we journeyed through the beautiful agricultural region of
Darke county we took a just pride in the well-kept homes with
their broad and sunny acres, stretching away in one vast expanse
of billowy grain or corn fields lying green and fair beneath the
summer sky. We found a restful charm in these pleasant rural
homes that recalled "A Song," written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:


Is anyone sad in the world, I wonder?
Does anyone weep on a day like this,
With the sun above, and the green earth under?
Why, what is life but a dream of bliss?

With the sun, and the skies, and the birds above me,
Birds that sing as they wheel and fly--
With the winds to follow and say they love me--
Who could be lonely? O-ho, not I!

Somebody said, in the street this morning,
As I opened my window to let in the light,
That the darkest day of the world was dawning;
But I looked and the East was a gorgeous sight.

One who claims that he knows about it
Tells me the earth is a vale of sin;
But I and the bees and the birds, we doubt it,
And think it a world worth living in.

Someone says that hearts are fickle,
That love is sorrow, that life is care;
And the reaper Death, with its shining sickle,
Gathers whatever is bright and fair.

I told the thrush, and we laughed together,
Laughed till the woods were all a-ring ;
And he said to me as he plumed each feather,
"Well, people must croak, if they cannot sing."

Up he flew, but his song, remaining,
Rang like a bell in my heart all day,
And silenced the voices of weak complaining,
That pipe like insects along the way.

O world of light, O world of beauty!
Where are there pleasures so sweet as thine?
Yes, life is love, and love is duty;
And what heart sorrows? 0 no, not mine!


In the northern part of Greene county, near the Little Miami
river, lies Yellow Springs. As we neared the quiet town with its
pleasant avenues of trees that sheltered peaceful, well-kept
homes we thought of the noble spirit of him who toiled so
arduously here that life might be richer and happier for all
humanity. Here for five years dwelt one of America's most
illustrious sons, who from a humble beginning of pitiful
struggle and nearly wageless toil evolved such a noble life. We
are told that he earned his first school books by braiding
straw. "I believe in rugged and nourishing toil," he said, "but
she nourishes me too much." Industry and diligence were the
noble keys with which this beneficent soul was constantly
unlocking rare treasure rooms of knowledge. The ruling passion
of his life was to do something worthy for mankind. The theme he
chose for his commencement oration at Brown University was: "The
Advancement of the Human Species in Dignity and Labor." With
such a motive, how beautiful the harvest of life: "This
wonderful man's diary revealed that during his time as a lawyer
he was unable for a period of months to buy a dinner on half the
days and lay ill for weeks from hunger and exhaustion by reason
of having assumed the debts of a relative." His was the
Herculean task of revising and regenerating the school system of
Massachusetts, and by so doing the whole U. S. The influence was
not confined to this country alone, but spread to Europe.

"In 1852, while a member of the U. S. Congress, Horace Mann,
received on the same day the nomination by a political party for
governor of Massachusetts and president of Antioch College." He
could not refuse a position that gave him such an opportunity to
help those seeking after knowledge. His advice to his students
was: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for
humanity." In his last illness he asked his doctor how long he
had to live. On being told three hours, he replied, "I still
have something to do." As we left the town of Yellow Springs,
slumbering beneath her aged trees, we thought of these
significant words of this great man: "Lost somewhere between
sunrise and sunset two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond
minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever."

Suddenly from its lofty station in the tower the clock chimed
the hours as if admonishing us to use them rightly. To some our
journey along the road that afternoon in July may have seemed
but idleness, yet we lost few of those golden moments, and every
change in the foreground gave us a new picture. Now it was a
wooded hillside with numbers of deciduous trees crowning its low
swelling top, with a faint radiance deepening into dreamy
halftones on their eastern slopes; now several giant chestnuts
lifting their proud crests of bloom above the valley; again it
was an emerald meadow in which cattle were grazing. The rich old
gold of ripening wheat and the blue haze hanging over the
distant hills all lent an atmosphere of tranquillity which the
notes of the thrush only emphasized.

Now we felt a soft breeze that stole from the forest,
deliciously tempering the oppressive air and bringing to us the
spicy fragrance of mints, basswood flowers and elder. The
country seemed to grow just a little more rugged as we proceeded
over the widening high-ways. Soon we saw several machines at the
side of the road on a grassy plot. Here we heard exclamations of
delight from the people who were gazing in admiration over the
bank of a stream at the gorge below. We soon learned that they
had ample reason for their exclamations, to which we added our
own. Below us was a chasm worn by the little Miami, ninety feet
in depth. The ground on each side of the stream was a very
garden of wild bloom. The sumac made a low border of glowing
color; back of this flaming mass grew dogwood and Judas trees;
while walnut, maple and linden, overrun with wild grape and
woodbine, made mounds of bright green foliage, from which the
ringing notes of the cardinal came to us above the song of the

Every rock and ledge was cushioned with moss and ferns,
intermingled with long green ropes of woodbine, Here were vast
hanging gardens of many gradations of green, softened by gleams
of pale light from the afternoon sun. The rays falling among
these fern beds made rare masses of delicate mosaics, giving
them that indescribable charm which the level beams produced.
Perhaps thirty feet below us we saw a phoebe perched on a dead
twig that grew from a cleft in the rock. His notes sounded full
and clear, telling the joy of his admirable home. The path of
the stream betrayed itself by a long line of moss and waving
fern. The sweet breath of the summer woods floated around us. We
gazed under a canopy of trees and saw a blossoming jungle of
shrubs and flowers that seemed to have been awakened by some
more potent force than that of the sun.

Near the gorge lies the quaint old town of Clifton. The gray old
buildings never knew the use of paint. Nature was trying her
best to make them a part of the landscape. But why use
artificial means to create beauty, when Nature all around was so
prodigal? How one loves to contemplate architecture like this,
where the gray of the buildings blends with the gray of the

With a feast of beauty spread above as well as beneath us, we
found ourselves repeating these words of an Ohio poet:

"Around me here rise up majestic trees
That centuries have nurtured: graceful elms.
Which interlock their limbs among the clouds;
Dark columned walnuts, from whose liberal store
The nut-brown Indian maids their baskets fill'd
Ere the first pilgrims knelt on Plymouth Rock;
Gigantic sycamores, whose mighty arms
Sheltered the Redman in his wigwam prone,
What time the Norsemen roamed our chartless seas;
And towering oaks, that from the subject plain
Sprang when the builders of the tumulis
First disappeared, and to the conquering hordes
Left these, the dim traditions of their race
That rise around, in many a form of earth
Tracing the plain, but shrouded in the gloom
Of dark, impenetrable shades, that fall
From the far centuries."


Within hearing of the waters of the Little Miami dwelt an old
man all alone in a brown frame house. Thinking us to be pilgrims
who had lost our way, he came to give us directions to Yellow
Springs or any nearby point. He said he had lived here many
years and that his companion had died eight years before,
leaving him very lonely. His eyesight was failing, and he told
us that he had neither horses nor cows, pigs nor chickens, dogs
nor cats, to keep him company. "Mentally, physically and
financially, I don't amount to very much any more," he said. As
we looked at his bending, tottering form and noted his failing
vision, we saw that physically he was not one of Nature's
successes; while the mossy shingles thatching his humble
dwelling proclaimed that he had not much of this world's goods.
"Here," said he, "I have dwelt many years, telling strangers how
to get to Yellow Springs and others the way to go to the devil,
which is just to keep on the wrong road and keep disregarding
the sign-posts in God's Word."

Then, thought we, how necessary it is early in life to have some
objective to reach and keep on the straight road, never turning
to the right or left although siren voices call to easier and
fairer ways or gates of idleness swing open to lure the careless
wayfarer on the road of life and steal from him unawares its
golden opportunities. Thanks, dear old man, for the lesson you
have taught. May you live many more years, if only to warn the
sojourner upon the thorny road of life to set his face toward
the distant city, that is only reached by the main highway of
noble aims and self denial. May the rippling music of the Little
Miami be to you a friendly voice of comfort; may the golden
notes of the thrush and the fragrant perfume of the flowers
console you, until you hear the chanting of the angelic choir
and breathe the perfume from flowers that never fade and die!

The sun, still seen above the western hills, turned the moist
evening haze to lustrous pearl that one often sees on the ocean.
Broad stretches of gently undulating land opened before us.
Below in the subdued light shone the houses from whose chimneys
ascended pale blue wreaths of smoke. The peaceful village lit up
by the sun's level rays seemed the one bright spot in the whole
landscape, the rest having been veiled in a soft tint of
transparent gray. It was remarkably silent. Only the wood-thrush
poured forth her serene notes, seeming miles away. No sound of
lowing cattle or bleating sheep came from the pasture lands; no
shout of farmer lads doing their evening chores. Over all the
land brooded an atmosphere of rest, of calm serenity, of
perpetual peace. Sitting there in the warm twilight and gazing
out over this charming Ohio landscape was in itself "more
refreshing than slumber to tired eyes." "The restless yearning
and longing that reigns in the mind of all was quieted for a
time," and we let our fancy roam until higher ideals floated
before us and we experienced that exaltation of spirit that
comes at rare intervals in times like this.

A cooing dove (just one) murmured her dreamy threnody and then
was silent. Far in the distance a wood thrush was sounding his
vesper bell softly--the "Angelus" of the wildwood. Whether it be
morning, and they are clearer and more liquid heard through the
misty aisles of the forest, or evening when quiet pervades the
atmosphere, giving a more fitting back-ground for their pure
notes, they are alike full of rarest melody. How often we have
paused, deep in some lonely forest glen, to listen to those
clear golden notes, following one another at rare intervals so
melodiously, thrilling with their ethereal sweetness the weary
heart, and floating away through dark, gloomy aisles and faint
purple shadows till our ears seem to catch the more remote echo
of some spirit message of the wood.

Leaving the land to its peerless vocalist and quiet repose we
made our way toward Highland county. The road wound among green
pasture slopes, from the summits of which a wide sweep of
rolling country was visible. On reaching these heights, almost
invariably new and surprising vistas opened before us. The hill
roads dropped down to peaceful valleys over which we looked for
many miles. Northward the hills sank into gentle undulations,
robed with golden wheat fields, orchards, and meadows, and now
and then we beheld old villages. Westward they towered into
higher ridges which stretched away until their green faded and
stood gray against the horizon. How amply spread were the
numerous valleys with many trees to diversify them and how
grandly planted were the higher hills with forest!


It was dusk before we reached the town of Hillsborough, where we
spent the night. Hillsborough is Ohio's Rome, for like that
Imperial City, it stands on seven hills. The quaint old mansion
home of Allen Trimble, one of Ohio's early governors, is located
here. It later became the home of his daughter, Eliza Jane
Thompson, who is known the world over as the Mother of the
Woman's Crusade, one of the most remarkable temperance movements
of history, which had its origin here in 1873.

"Hillsborough is reached by two macadamized roads, which pass
through a section of the state unrivaled in picturesque beauty.
It is just in the fringe of hills which in the direction of the
Ohio become almost mountainous."

We left our modern Rome in the morning swathed in its dreamy
charm. What could be more beautiful than to pass through the
country in July when every turn on the highway discloses a
picture of rarest beauty? What a vast volume of divine verse, of
sonnets, lyrics, and idyls, is opened before you, wrought out of
meadows, groves and sparkling streams! The valleys with their
broad green meadows, fields waving with golden grain or dark
green corn that bent and tossed in the morning wind, was an
inexhaustible delight. A few exquisitely white fleecy clouds,
pushed across the deep blue sky by a southern breeze, made
running shadows of rhythmical motion.


At Wilmington we were greatly impressed with the charming, well-
kept homes and the fine class of people. As we noted the noble
bearing, the fine, intellectual countenances and strong physique
of these people, we thought of the early temperance movement
here, and realized we were beholding the fruits of that early


We passed along the graded way near Piketon, where the ancient
people of an unknown race laid out a graded ascent some ten
hundred and eighty feet long by two hundred and ten feet in
width. From the left hand embankment, passing up to a third
terrace, there could be traced a former low embankment running
for fifteen hundred feet, and connected with mounds and other
walls at its extremity. It was evidently built in connection
with the obliterated works on the third terrace.

Here many a passing traveler goes unawares over one of the most
ancient highways in the world. Our trip over it was more
memorable than any journey over a Roman road could have been. We
paused awhile to speculate who these ancient people were who
passed this way centuries before us. What ceremonious
processions may have moved over this ancient causeway! From the
branch of a maple that sent its roots into the more defined
grade came the dreamy notes of a mourning dove, from a walnut
tree a cuckoo uttered his queer song that perhaps was the same
as these strange people listened to; indigo buntings sent their
high pitched breezy song from the tops of the trees, while the
warbling vireo seemed to be saying, "who were they?" and the
clear, melodious call of a quail rang from the highest part of
the embankment, with just enough querulousness in it to appear
as if he too were trying to recall this lost race. The grassy
slopes were still used by the meadow lark for nesting sites
whose "spring of the year" still resounds among the hills
speaking of the eternal freshness and youth of Nature. It
appeared to be a work of defense where the people may have
congregated for protection in times of danger. A hole in the
side of one of the embankments told that it was still used as
such, for a woodchuck had burrowed in under the roots of a maple
where he was safe not only from his enemies but from winter
itself. Thus we left this memento of a vanished race, thinking
that, beginning our journey over a road so romantic, the day
would hold much in store for us.


Whoever wishes to spend a few hours of unalloyed delight amid
the most charming and picturesque scenery of Ohio, should visit
Highland county. Here both Nature and history have done
everything to make this a journey never to be forgotten. The
round browed hills lift themselves in "bold bastions" and
parapets of green that seem to beckon to you to come up higher.
Sometimes you see a wide plain with its far flashing stream and
homes here and there, or clusters of wooded heights with now and
then a single pointed summit rising above and behind the rest.
The roads are made up of innumerable loops and curves, every
twist and turn of which unfolds a picture worthy of an Innes or
a Rembrandt.

The morning of our journey was as fair as a July morning could
be. Near the western horizon a few pearl-colored clouds hung
motionless, as though the wind had been withdrawn to other
skies. There was always that mysterious blue haze over the
higher ridges and that soft light that fills the atmosphere and
creates the sense of lovely "unimaginable spaces." It overhung
the far rolling landscape of wheat fields, pastures and wood,
crowning with a soft radiance the remoter low swelling hilltops
and deepened into dreamy half shadows on their western slopes.
Nearer, it fell on the rich gold of ripening wheat that lay in
the valley or gleamed like golden crowns on the level space at
the very summits of high hills; nearer still it touched with
spring-like brilliancy the level green of meadows that clothed
other uplands, where groups of Jersey cattle grazed beneath the
shade of graceful elms; yet nearer it caught the rich foliage of
blossoming chestnut trees and lit them up like crowns of ermine.
In the immediate foreground it fell on the road that made
continual windings along the edge of a steep ravine. How we
rejoiced at the prospect and the warm, glowing sunshine! Right
at the road's edge grew Christmas lady, sensitive and woodsia
ferns, mealy-bell-wort, true and false Solomon's Seal, ground
ginger, greenbrier, smilax and flaming cardinal flowers which
were lit up with flying gleams of sunshine, forming great masses
of tremulous shifting mosaic of rarer and older designs than any
that Persia or India yet know. This Ohio of ours is indeed a
fair land; and this morning, of all mornings of our lives, we
seemed to hear "the ever-lasting poetry of the race." We thanked
our lucky stars that our lot fell in such a pleasant place, and
were justly proud that from Ohio's farms have come so many
worthy souls.

We found enough to admire in every farmhouse, however humble, to
repay us for our climb. Now and then we saw some narrow valleys
and rough hillsides, where corn and potatoes were engaged in a
struggle with countless stones. Without the aid of the energetic
Ohio farmers they had well-nigh been driven from the field. The
rows of pale thin corn (the stunted reward of necessitous
husbandry) "showed that these people possess that spirit of
labor, which, however undervalued by some unthinking mortals, is
the germ from which all good mast spring." One cannot but notice
with what patient industry these sturdy sons of the soil turn
these rocky hillsides into fields of growing grain; how the
apple trees were made to acquire health and productiveness; and
how the wheat stood like vast billows of gold under the rays of
the forenoon sun. We soon forgot their seeming hardships and
gave our hearty admiration to the sturdy reapers of Ohio.

These men, spending as much toil and energy upon their log
cabins and small barns, prize them just as highly as the people
of a more favored section value their more luxurious abodes. We
were glad to note the whitewashed cabins, well kept yards with
roses at the gate, patches of marigolds under the window, and
the ever present birdhouse and adjacent orchard. How at the
sight one's memory goes back to other days with a wealth of
emotion as refreshing as falling dew to thirsty flowers. One
considers how to these people their humble homes may be
priceless in their wealth of associations. They may be indeed
far richer than the owner of some palatial residence where every
luxury abounds and love is not. How often these tillers of the
soil must sit beneath their doorway, watching the outlines of
far hills clothed in dim blue haze; how often, too, they must
have watched the sinking sun as they ate their evening meal of
bread and milk and looked far away over the rolling landscape
with the air of a king. The old home has grown into their lives,
giving them more than wealth. If the soil is not adapted for the
finest crops it may produce better thinkers.

As we journeyed on we thought of John Dyer's lines on Gronger

Ever charming, ever new,
When will the landscape tire the view?

We answered his question by saying, "Never." A quiet seemed to
creep over the hot landscape. The great chestnut and basswood
trees seemed to be taking their noon rest; only the buzzing of
myriads of bees filled the air with their sound; a robin settled
near us with open mouth and drooping wings; the maple leaves
hung limp and silent, showing their silver linings; only the
warbling vireo sang her medley among its branches. The hills
shimmered. Not far away were masses of dark clouds which
stretched across a valley and seemed to rest on the opposite
hills and sink in a dense mass into a farther valley. Presently
we saw a white sheet of rain drifting rapidly toward us. We drew
out to the side of the road beneath some small hickory trees and
quickly put on the curtains and proceeded to eat our luncheon
during the storm. The rain came down in torrents, but was soon
over. We unfastened the curtains that we might have a better
view of the birds that emerged from their leafy coverts and sang
all about us. The noon sun was lighting up a million gleaming
tears that hung to the leaves, so quiet was the atmosphere. The
storm was still rumbling not far away across the hills, where a
lovely bow spanned the sky. Vapors hung just above the tree
tops, seething like smoke from hidden chimneys.

How the birds rejoiced after the shower! Two cardinals woke the
echoes with their wild, ringing calls. Indigo buntings, using
the telephone wires as a point from which to start messages,
sent them out in all directions. These, if not so important as
those of men, were more pleasant to hear. The summery call of a
turtle dove came dreamily through the forest; while nearer,
towhees filled the place with their "fine explosive trills."
Down in the ravine chats were uttering their strange notes, so
weird that they won from the Indians the name of "ghost bird."
Vireos and tanagers vied with each other in persistent singing.
The vireo sang more constantly but the notes of the tanager were
more wild and possessed greater resonance of tone. The call of a
quail came clear and sweet from a distant wheat field and, like
a glorious soloist, Ohio's finest songster, the woodthrush, was
casting her "liquid pearls" on the air.

We were loathe to leave a song carnival so fine, but Kinkaid
Spring and Rockyfork Caves were some distance away and the
recent rains made the dirt read very slippery and traveling
uncertain. We had to climb a three-mile hill. The road had
innumerable turns, and in many places ran very near the edge of
steep ravines, which were often covered with almost virgin
forest. There may have been some elasticity in the auto, but we
didn't seem to notice it. It seemed, in spite of shock
absorbers, a perfect conductor, and the shock it received in
passing over deep ruts and rough boulders was immediately
communicated to the lowest vertebra of our spines to pass
instantly along all the others, discharging itself in our teeth.
One of the party, not having traveled over many rough roads,
seemed to be enjoying the scenery in much the same manner as a
drowning man might enjoy the Rhine. Whenever the machine skidded
dangerously near a steep ravine, he was seen to cling in alarm
to the seat. He was informed, however, that this was not even A
B C of what the rest of the party were used to, and his fears
somewhat subsided.

This way and that ran wavering lines of low rail fences--some
recently builded, others rotting beneath and thickly covered
with wild roses, blackberry vines and numerous shrubs, forming
an almost impenetrable hedge. Now and then distant hills rose,
clothed with dark green woods. On nearer hilltops the wheat
shimmered in the light, and all around grew green forests which
gave them the appearance of a lake of gold in a setting of
emerald. The blue green of the oats with the brighter green of
meadows, blending imperceptibly together, made a rare picture
enhanced by the blue haze of distance.

Kinkaid Spring is well worthy of a visit, for here is a spring
whose water would be sufficient to run a grist mill. It is
situated in charming woods, where grow fine old walnut, maple
and tulip trees. A gentleman told us that the man on whose farm
the spring is located dammed up its water, only to find that he
had lost his spring. He tore away the dam and recovered it.

So many fine old trees were passed that someone remarked of the
wondrous beauty these woods present at autumn-time. He did not
repeat the words of the poem we shall quote, but he meant it


"Now all the woodlands round, and these fair vales,
And broad plains that from their borders stretch
Away to the blue Unica, and run
Along the Ozark range, and far beyond
Find the still groves that shut Itasca in,
But more than all, these old Miami Woods,
Are robed in golden exhalations, dim
As half-remembered dreams, and beautiful
As aught or Valambrosa, or the plains
Of Arcady, by fabling poets sung.
The night is fill'd with murmurs and the day
Distills a subtle atmosphere that lulls
The senses to a half repose, and hangs
A rosy twilight over nature, like
The night of Norway summers, when the sun
Skims the horizon through the tedious months."

--From Poets of Ohio.

It is not strange that you do not find yourself recalling fair
mornings spent among the far-famed Alps. True, you do not feel
that awe-inspiring sublimity that their snow-clad peaks produce,
but as you joyfully gaze out over the quiet beauty of these fair
Ohio hills and vales clothed in magnificent stretches of golden
harvest field and green forest, through which lead winding roads
and sinuous streams, you ask yourself this perplexing question:
Where have I ever beheld a more lovely or more quiet landscape
than this? To be sure it is not thrilling, but sweet and
soothing, like the view you get at Intervale, above North Conway
in New Hampshire. This fair picture brought to our memory the
scenery among the hills and valleys of the Meuse, as seen from
Fort Regret. Here the view discloses vast stretches of upland
meadows, orchards of cherry and plum trees, old stone highways
that lose themselves in the valleys to appear again like slender
paths where they cross some distant hill. Old stone farm houses,
clusters of ruined villages, and as many as seven forts may be
seen from this commanding position. A few miles distant rises
the almost impregnable fortress of Verdun whose round Roman
towers look down on the devastated region and seem to say, "They
shall not pass." Nature has given just as picturesque a setting
to many of her ancient fortified hills of the Western World,
whose crowning battlements speak of a different age and

To the lofty parapets scattered throughout the southern part of
Ohio, the ferocious warrior of another age came for refuge or
lighted fires on their signal mounds to warn their people of an
approaching enemy. Here are forest trees growing upon their
sides said to be six hundred years old and rising from the
decomposed remains of others perhaps just as old. How long these
forts were used before the forests again reclothed them we have
no means of knowing. We cannot but wonder over the fate of this
forgotten race. What starving sieges, deeds of noble daring and
brave sorties these ancient walls must have known!

Here we found growing great masses of purple spiked loose-
strife. The deep purple flowers that closely cluster on the long
spikes give a rich glow to the lowlands. This flower we found
growing in abundance in New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and
Massachusetts. It is an importation from England. It is
remarkable as an example of trimorphism, the two sets of stamens
and pistil being of different lengths in the same flower. Every
pistil, in order to affect fertilization, must receive the
pollen from the same length in another flower. Professor Darwin
experimented with these flowers and wrote about them to Dr. Gray
"I am almost stark, staring mad over Lythrum. If I can prove
what I really believe, it is a grand case of trimorphism, with
three different pollens and three stigmas. I have fertilized
above ninety flowers, trying all the eighteen distinct crosses
which are possible within the limits of this one species. For
the love of heaven, have a look at some of your species, and if
you can get me some seed, do."


Here in one of the most charming spots that Nature gave to this
scenic Ohio region dwelt a being--a wretch--by the name of
McKinney, the tales of whose terrible deeds recall the gruesome
acts of the days of the Inquisition or the horrible tortures of
the fierce Iroquois. In one of the caves embowered in this leafy
wilderness, where the rays of the noonday sun scarce ever fall
and there reigns perpetually a cavernous gloom, dwelt this bold
robber. Only the complaining water of a brook as it slipped over
the polished stones or the song of the birds broke the silence
of this solitude. Here we listened to a thrilling story, told by
a middle-aged lady, of one of the many horrid deeds committed by
this Ohio robber.

In the near vicinity lived two old people, who represented that
worthy class of pioneers whose strength of character and noble
self-sacrifice formed a fit corner stone upon which to build
such a glorious state. The old gentleman was a stock buyer, and
on the morning of that particular day of which our tale relates
he had received a large sum of money (large for those times) and
returned to his home late that afternoon. It was too near night
to distribute the money among the various farmers. After
consulting his good wife as to the best place for secreting it
he decided to bury the money in the ground beneath the puncheon
floor. Raising one or two of the huge planks, while his wife
kept watch from the doorway of their cabin, the old gentleman
dug a small hole in the ground and deposited the pouch which
held the money. Smoothing over the place he carefully relaid the
rough-hewn puncheon and, with an air of satisfaction in a work
well performed, he left the cabin to do his evening chores,
while the good housewife busied herself in preparing their
frugal meal.

The work being done the old man returned to the house where in
the twilight they ate their corn bread and potatoes with a
relish that only those who labor may know. The last faint notes
of the woodthrush came softly from the shadowy ravine, robins
caroled in chorus, then they, too, became silent.

Late in the afternoon from his leafy covert (one of the numerous
places found in this region, overlooking the road) peered the
treacherous eyes of this bold highwayman. Here he awaited the
coming of the twilight, patiently, silently, for he knew that
the old man was alone, and like a fierce wild beast, he did not
stir from his retreat until the gleam of light from the cabin
door announced his hour had come. Leaving his hiding-place, he
gazed through the deepening dusk and ever and anon glanced over
his shoulder, as might a criminal who is fleeing from his

Stealthily he approached the cabin, where the two old people
were made plainly visible by the lamp and the warm, ruddy glow
of the fireplace. With silent tread he entered the peaceful
abode, and drew a pistol on the old couple, who stood up
speechless and horror stricken before him. He demanded the
money, which he very well knew the old man had received, but
neither the man nor his wife would inform him of its
whereabouts; whereupon he seized the old man and bound and
gagged him. Then threatening the old lady with vile oaths, he
tried to frighten her into revealing the secret hiding place,
but to no avail. Seizing her, he securely bound her, with a
horrible threat of pushing her into the glowing fireplace, but
to no purpose.

Having the two forms prostrate upon the floor, he shoved their
feet into the fire, removing the gags now and then so they could
speak and disclose the secret he so vainly strove to force from
theist. Removing the gag from the old man for the second time he
found that he had fainted. He gave him a toss and a rude kick,
leaving him to lie lifeless, as he thought, upon the floor.
Turning again to the old lady, he pulled her lack from the fire
and removed her gag, threatening to again torture her if she
persisted in refusing to reveal the secret. Although her feet
were horribly burned by the coals and her suffering was so
intense that her whole frame shook convulsively with the
inexpressible pain she endured, she remained silent. His
barbarous attempts proved of no avail.

Unbinding the old lady he left her alone with the still form of
the old man lying as dead before her. Painfully she hobbled to
the well after releasing his bonds and brought water, with the
aid of which she revived him. The old man lived only a short
time, but his wife recovered to tell of that thrilling night to
her grand children.

"Those people were my grand parents," continued the lady who
related the story.


At Chillicothe still stands the magnificent old elm under which
Logan, that gentle, noble Mingo chief sat, "while he told the
story of his wrongs in language which cannot be forgotten as
long as men have hearts to thrill for other's sorrows."

"I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's
cabin and I gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked
and I gave him not clothing. During the course of the last long
and bloody war Logan remained in his tent, an advocate of peace.
Nay, such was my love for the whites that those of my own
country pointed at me as they passed and said, 'Logan is the
friend of the white man.' I had even thought to live with you
but for the injuries of one man, Colonel Cresap, who last
spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, cut off all the relatives
of Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not
a drop of my blood in the veins of any human creature. This
called upon me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed
many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country I
rejoice at the beams of peace, yet do not harbor the thought
that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not
turn on his heel to save his life. Who is thereto mourn for
Logan? Not one."



Thou unrelenting Past!
Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain,
And fetters sure and fast
Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign.

Far in thy realm, withdrawn
Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom;
And glorious ages gone,
Lie deep within the shadows of thy womb.

Full many a mighty name
Lurks in thy depths, unuttered, unrevered.
With thee are silent fame,
Forgotten arts, and wisdom.

--W. C. Bryant.

"Who can read the history of the past? Who is there who can tell
the story of creation's morn? It is not written in history,
neither does it live in tradition. There is mystery here, but it
is hid by the darkness of bygone ages."

"There is a true history here, but we have not learned well the
alphabet used. Here are doubtless wondrous scenes, but our
standpoint is removed by time so vast that only the rude
outlines can be determined. The delicate tracery, the body of
the picture, are hidden from our eye. The question as to the
antiquity and primitive history of man is full of interest in
proportion as the solution is set with difficulties. We question
the past, but only here and there a response is heard. Surely
bold is he who would attempt, from the few data at hand, to
reconstruct the history of times and people so far removed. We
quickly become convinced that many centuries and tens of
centuries have rolled away since man's first appearance on the
earth. We become impressed with the fact that multitudes of
people have moved over the surface of the earth and sunk into
the night of oblivion without leaving a trace of their
existence, without a memorial through which we might have at
least learned their names."

"In Egypt we find the seat of an ancient civilization which was
in its power many centuries before Christ. The changes that have
passed over the earth are far more wonderful than any ascribed
to the wand of the magician. Nations have come and gone, and the
land of the Pharaohs has become an inheritance for strangers;
new sciences have enriched human life, and the fair structure
has arisen on the ruins of the past. Many centuries, with their
burden of human hopes and fears, have sped away into the past,
since 'Hundred-gated Thebes' sheltered her teeming population,
where now are but a mournful group of ruins. Yet today, far
below the remorseless sands of her desert, we find the rude
flint-flakes that require us to carry back the time of man's
first appearance in Egypt to a past so remote that her stately
ruins become a thing of yesterday in comparison to them."
(footnote Von Hellwald: Smithsonian Report, 1836.)

Europe, in the minds of some travelers, seems to have a monopoly
on all fair landscapes and ancient civilization, to hear their
overdrawn descriptions gleaned from many books of travel. But,
in the socalled New World we find mysterious mounds and gigantic
earthworks, also deserted mines, where we can trace the sites of
ancient camps and fortifications, showing that the Indians of
America's unbounded primeval forests and vast flowery prairies
were intruders on an earlier, fairer civilization. Here we find
evidence of a teeming population. No one viewing the imposing
ruins scattered about the Mississippi valley and especially the
wonderful work of Fort Ancient can help but marvel at these
crumbling walls of an ancient, forgotten race.

One writer has stated that America has no hoary legends or
traditions that lend an ever-increasing interest to the scenes
of other lands. It will never have any ancient history, nor any
old institutions. This writer surely never stood on those
ancient mounds of Ohio and elsewhere which tell us that there
were people here ten thousand years ago, when the glaciers began
to melt and the land became inhabitable once more. "Even before
the ice came creeping southwestwardly from the region of Niagara
and passed over two-thirds of our state, from Lake Erie to the
Ohio River there were people here of an older race than the
hills, as the hills now are; for the glaciers ground away the
hills as they once were and made new ones, with new valleys
between them, and new channels for the streams to run where
there had never been water courses before. The earliest Ohioans
must have been the same as the Ohioans of the Ice Age, and when
they fled southward before the glaciers they mast have followed
the retreat of the melting ice, back into Ohio again. No one
knows how long they dwelt here along its edges in a climate like
that of Greenland, where the glaciers are now to be seen as they
once were in the region of Cincinnati. But it is believed that
these Ice Folk, as we may call them, were of the race which
still roams the Arctic snows.

"All they have left to prove that they were able to cope with
the fierce brute life and terrible climate of their day are axes
of chipped stone and similar tools and weapons dropped on the
gravelly banks of new rivers which the glaciers upheaved. Such
an ax was dug up out of the glacier terrace, as the bank of this
drift is called, in the valley of the Tuscarawas in Mississippi.

"For the next four or five thousand years the early Ohio men
kept very quiet; but we need not suppose for that reason that
there were none. Our Ice Folk who dropped their stone axes in
the river banks may have passed away with the Ice Age, or they
may have remained in Ohio, and begun slowly to take on some
faint likeness of civilization. There is nothing to prove that
they stayed; but Ohio must always have been a pleasant place to
live in after the great thaw, and it seems reasonable that the
Ice Folk lingered, in part at least, and changed with the
changing climate, and became at last the people who left the
signs of their presence in almost every part of the state."
(footnote Howell's History of Ohio.)

The great masterpiece of the Mound Builders is known as Fort
Ancient. Its colossal size, ingenuity in design and perfection
in construction give it first rack in interest among all
prehistoric fortifications, and it represents the highest point
attained by this lost race in their earth-work structures. Why
make a journey to Europe to see the old forts when we have in
Ohio one so old we have no record of its building? Truly we were
more impressed while rambling over this old fort than we were
when we entered the passages that led through Douamont and
Verdian or stood on the ramparts of Mighty Ehrenbreitstein and
gazed at the wonderful panorama spread out before us.

The works of these ancient people are said to be two or three
thousand years old. Some seem to think they were a race of red
men like those the whites found here. Only an agricultural
people who were settled in their habits could have produced such
wonderful works as we find scattered about the Ohio and
Mississippi valleys. It is stated that every Indian requires
fifty thousand acres to live upon. If this be true this country
in which we find these vast mounds could not have provided food
enough for the vast number of laborers required for such
stupendous works. It is estimated that the white men found only
two or three thousand Indians in the whole Ohio Valley.

We find forts that were skilfully planned, showing a knowledge
far superior to that of the savage race. Some of them contained
hundreds of acres which were enclosed with high walls of earth
rising to ten or twelve feet from the ground. The largest and
most interesting ruins we find in Warren county, "where on a
level terrace above the Little Miami river, five miles of wall,
which can still be easily traced, shut in a hundred acres." This
was not only a fort but was probably used as a village site, and
has some features about it which are regarded as of a religious
nature. The hill on which it stands is in most cases very steep
towards the river. A ravine starts from near the upper end on
the eastern side, gradually deepening towards the south, and
finally turns abruptly towards the west of the river. By this
means nearly the whole work occupies the summit of a detached
hill, having in most places very steep sides. To this naturally
strong position fortifications were added, consisting of an
embankment of earth of unusual height, which follows close
around the very brow of the hill. This embankment is still in a
very fine state of preservation, and is now, thanks to the State
of Ohio, no longer exposed to cultivation and other inroads so
that it will not be marred by domestic animals and will be
preserved for future generations.

"This wall is, of course, the highest in just those places where
the sides of the hill are less steep than usual. In some places
it still has a height of twenty feet. For most of the distance
the grading of the walls resembles the heavy grading of a
railway embankment. Only one who has examined the walls can
realize the amount of labor they represent for a people
destitute of metallic tools, beasts of burden, and other
facilities to construct it. We notice that the wall has numerous
breaks in it; some of these, where it crossed the ravines,
leading down the sides of a hill. In a few cases the embankment
may still be traced to within a few feet of a rivulet."

Considerable discussion has ensued as to the origin and use of
these numerous gateways. Mr. Squier thinks that these openings
were occupied by timber work in the nature of block-houses,
which have long since decayed. Others, however, think that the
wall was originally entire except in a few instances, and that
the breaks now apparent were formed by natural causes, such as
water gathering in pools, and muskrats burrowing through the
walls, and we are told that such an opening was seen forming in
the year 1847. No regular ditch exists inside the wall, the
material apparently being obtained from numerous dug holes.

"It will be seen that the works could be naturally divided into
two parts, connected by the isthmus. In relation to the wall
across the isthmus it has been thought to have been the means of
defending one part of the work, should an enemy gain entrance to
the other. It has also been supposed that at first the fort was
only built to the cross wall on the isthmus, and afterward the
rest of the inclosure was added to the work."

The late Dr. Edward Orton, president (1898) of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, and one of the
foremost scientists this country has produced, gave an address
before the Ohio State Legislature (March, 1898) upon Fort
Ancient in which he said:

"The first point that I wish to make is that the builders of
Fort Ancient selected this site for their work with a wide and
accurate knowledge of this part of the country. You all know of
the picturesque location, in the beautiful and fertile valley of
the Little Miami, on the table land that bounds and in places
almost overhangs the river, and which is from two hundred to two
hundred and fifty feet above the river level. Availing
themselves of spurs of the old table land which were almost
entirely cut off by the gorges tributary to the river, they ran
their earth walls with infinite toil in a tortuous, crenulated
line along the margins of the declivities. Where the latter was
sharp and precepitous the earth walls were left lighter. Where
it became necessary to cross the table land, or where the slopes
were gradual, the walls were made especially high and strong.
The eye and brain of a military engineer, a Vauban of the olden
time, is clearly seen in all this. We cannot be mistaken in
regard to it when we thus find the weak places made strong, and
the strong places left as far as possible to their own natural
defenses. The openings from the fort, also, lead out in every
case to points easily made defensible and that command views
from several directions.

"In the second place we cannot be mistaken in seeing in the work
of Fort Ancient striking evidences of an organized society, of
intelligent leadership, in a word, of strong government. A vast
deal of labor was done here and it was done methodically,
systematically and with continuity. Here again you must think of
the conditions under which the work was accomplished. There were
no beasts of burden to share the labor of their owners; the work
was all done by human muscles. Buckets full of earth, each
containing from a peck to a half bushel, borne on the backs of
men or women, slowly built up these walls, which are nearly five
miles in length and which have a maximum height of not less than
twenty feet. Reduced to more familiar measurements the earth
used in the walls was about 172,000,000 cubic feet."

"Can we be wrong in further concluding that this work was done
under a strong and efficient government? Men have always shown
that they do not love hard work, and yet hard work was done
persistently here. Are there not evidences on the face of the
facts that they were held to their tasks by some strong control?

"It is said that the Roman legion required only a square of
seven hundred yards to effect the strongest encampment known to
the ancients of Europe or Asia, but within these formidable
lines there might be congregated at a moment's notice, fifty or
sixty thousand men, with all their materials of war, women,
children, and household goods."

"There are two mounds seen just outside of the walls at the
upper end. From these mounds two low parallel walls extended in
a northeasterly direction some thirteen hundred and fifty feet,
their distant ends joining around a small mound. As this mound
was not well situated for signal purposes, inasmuch as it did
not command a very extensive view, and as the embankments would
afford very little protection unless provided with palisades, it
seems as if the most satisfactory explanation we have is that it
was in the nature of a religious work.

"Mr. Hosea thinks he has found satisfactory evidence that
between these walls there was a paved street, as he discovered
in one place, about two feet below the present surface, a
pavement of flat stones. From this as a hint he eloquently says:
'Imagination was not slow to conjure up the scene which was once
doubtless familiar to the dwellers of Fort Ancient. A train of
worshippers, led by priests clad in their sacred robes and
bearing aloft the holy utensils, pass in the early morning ere
yet the mists have arisen in the valley below, on the gently
swelling ridge on which the ancient roadway lies. They near the
mound, and a solemn stillness succeeds their chanting songs; the
priests ascend the hill of sacrifice and prepare the sacred
fire. Now the first beams of the rising sun shoot up athwart the
ruddy sky, gilding the topmost boughs of the trees. The holy
flame is kindled, a curling wreath of smoke arises to greet the
coming god; the tremulous hush which was upon all nature breaks
into vocal joy, and the songs of gladness burst from the throats
of the waiting multitude as the glorious luminary arises in
majesty and beams upon his adoring people, a promise of renewed
life and happiness. Vain promise, since his rays cannot
penetrate the utter darkness which for ages has settled over
this people.' Thus imagination suggests, and enthusiasm paints,
a scene, but from positive knowledge we can neither affirm nor
deny its truth."

The largest of the burial mounds is situated at the junction of
Grave Creels and the Ohio river, twelve miles below Wheeling,
West Virginia. It measures seventy feet in height and is nearly
one thousand feet in circumference. An excavation made from the
top downward, and from one side of the base to the center
disclosed the fact that the mound contained two sepulchres, one
at the base and one near the center of the mound. These chambers
had been constructed of logs, and covered with stone. The lower
chamber contained two skeletons, one of which is supposed to
have been a female. The upper chamber contained but one
skeleton. In addition to these, there were found a great number
of shell beads, ornaments of mica, and bracelets of copper.

It mast have been indeed a great work for people who had neither
metallic tools nor domestic animals to have erected such a great
mound. The earth for its construction was probably scraped from
the surface and carried to the mound in baskets. A people who
could erect such a monument as this, with such scanty means at
their command, must have possessed those qualities which would
sooner or later have brought them civilization.

Charles Dickens, when visiting America, gives this impression
that the Big Grave made upon him "...the host of Indians who lie
buried in a great mound yonder--so old that mighty oaks and
other forest trees have struck their roots into the earth, and
so high that it is a hill, even among the hills that Nature
planted around it. The very river, as though it shared one's
feelings of compassion for the extinct tribes who lived so
pleasantly here in their blessed ignorance of white existence
hundreds of years ago, steals out of its way to ripple near this
mound, and there are few places where the Ohio sparkles more
brightly than in the Big Grave Creek."

Standing here in this lovely region, chosen by a vanished race
as their last resting place, we recalled the words of an Ohio

"Lonely and sad it stands
The trace of ruthless hands
Is on its sides and summit, and around,
The dwellings of the white man pile the ground,
And curling in the air,
The smoke of thrice a thousand hearths is there:
Without, all speaks of life; within,
Deaf to the city's echoing din,
Sleep well the tenants of that silent Mound,
Their names forgot, their memories unrenown'd.

Upon its top I tread,
And see around me spread
Temples and mansions, and the hoary hills,
Bleak with the labor that the coffer fills,
But mars their bloom the while,
And steals from nature's face its joyous smile:
And here and there, below,
The stream's meandering flow
Breaks on the view; and westward in the sky
The gorgeous clouds in crimson masses lie.
The hammer's clang rings out,
Where late the Indian's shout
Startled the wild fowl from its sedgy nest,
And broke the wild deer's and the panther's rest.
The lordly oaks went down
Before the ax--the canebrake is a town:
The bark canoe no more
Glides noiseless from the shore;
And, sole memorial of a nation's doom,
Amid the works of art rises this lonely tomb.

--Chas. A. Jones.

It is a well known fact that these ancient people chose the most
fertile spots along river bottoms for their settlements. The
Cahokia Mound is such a stupendous example of the work of the
Mound Builders that it well deserves mention here. It is located
in one of the most fertile sections in Illinois. It is well
watered, and not often overflowed by the Mississippi. It is such
a fertile and valuable tract that it has received the name of
the "Great American Bottom."

"Dr. Patrick has stated that the area of the base is over
fifteen acres. This base is larger than that of the Great
Pyramid, which was counted as one of the seven wonders of the
world, and we must not lose sight of the fact that the earth for
its construction was scraped up and brought thither without the
aid of metallic tools or beasts of burden, and yet the earth was
obtained somewhere and piled up over an area of fifteen acres,
in one place to a height of one hundred feet, and even the
lowest platform is fifty feet above the plain. Some have
suggested that it might be partly a natural elevation. There
seems to be, however, no good reasons for such suggestions.

"Near the site of Hughes High School in Cincinnati stood this
prehistoric earthwork. It was originally more than thirty-five
feet high, but was entirely levelled in 1841." (footnote Chas.
A. Jones.)

The first platform is reached at the height of about fifty feet.
This platform has an area of not far from two and four-fifths
acres-large enough for quite a number of houses, if such was the
purpose for which this mound was erected. The second platform is
reached at about the height of seventy-five feet, and contains
about one and three-fourths acres. The third platform is
elevated ninety-six or ninety-seven feet, while the last one is
not far from one hundred feet above the plain. We require to
dwell on these facts a moment before we realize what a
stupendous piece of work this is.

Why need we go to Egypt to see the Great Pyramid when we know
who built it and for what it was used; while we have this great
work in our own country by a vanished race whose purpose in
erecting it is still unknown? Some writers think that this huge
piece of work was performed so that their tribe would have an
elevation upon which to place their village, as an elevated site
has always been an important factor in defenses. Other writers
consider it a temple mound, and it resembles those that the
ancient Mexicans raised for both religions purposes and town
sites. Others believe that it may have been used to elevate
their homes above the level valley in case of floods.

At Miamisburg we have a great mound, rising to a height of sixty-
eight feet, which is regarded as one of a chain by which signals
were transmitted along the valley. In the Scioto valley, from
Columbus to Chillicothe, a distance of about forty miles, twenty
mounds may be selected, so placed in respect to each other that
it is believed if the country was cleared of forests, signals of
fire might be transmitted in a few minutes along the whole line.
They may have been used as signal stations by the red man
centuries after the disappearance of their original builders.

Several examples of effigy mounds are found in Ohio. The most
notable is that known as "Great Serpent Mound," in Adams County.
It is the largest and most distinct of this class of mounds in
the United States if not in the whole world. Other important
Ohio points are the Eagle Mound at Newark and the Alligator or
Opossum Mound at Granville.

The morning of our arrival at this remarkable effigy--how shall
we describe it? The time was June, and as Lowell phrased it,
"What is so rare as a day in June?" We wound among picturesque
scenes that were softened by the hazy clouds and reveled in the
unsurprising riches of the charming landscape. The road led
through thick forests of oaks, linden and maple, through smiling
vales and to the crests of hills overlooking long open valleys
with wooded heights beyond. Everything seemed to break forth
into singing. Even the rippling streams chimed merrily in with
the glad exultant songs of red wing black birds and fluting

As we entered the park we were greeted by the cheery piping of
the Baltimore oriole-a warm, rich welcome from this brilliantly
colored bird as he fluttered about the elm like a dash of
southern sunshine. Try as we would we found our thoughts
straying from the dim days of the dead past to the ever living
present, for bees and birds were busy everywhere, telling their
joy in melodious and ecstatic notes.

European travelers say that our woods are nearly devoid of
birds, and that the songs of such as we have are not to be
compared with those about which their poets have written so
charmingly. They never were out among our blossoming wilderness
while the sun poured his first rays through delicate green
leaves and mounds of flowers or they never would have written
that way.

When from a rising eminence of land we let our eyes rove over
the vast undulating country around us, only the more prominent
features impress themselves on our view. The lesser details, the
waving grain, the blossoming sumac, the small brooklet, which
attract the immediate passerby, are lost in the distance, but
the range of forest clad hills, the wide expanse of fertile
plain, or the purpling hills in the distance, determine the
landscape and claim our attention. So in the light of the
present century let us note what we can of these ancient and
forgotten people. "Distance lends enchantment to the view," and
this is true of distance in time, or culture as well as in

In memory we live over again those scenes, when a strange race
met in this very spot to worship. In fancy we see again vast
multitudes of people who assembled at the head of a victorious
warrior-king who returned from the field of battle, to offer
sacrifice upon the altar in the center of the oval. The casting
off of the old skin of the serpent may have been to these
primitive people typical of immortality. "Then a kite, by
producing death, would be to them the working of some powerful
spirit through that serpent. Its power to destroy life no doubt
caused it to be held in great veneration by many primitive
tribes. Likewise any striking object in Nature, such as a river,
lake, precipitous cliff, with singular shaped stone such as we
have here on the crescent shaped plateau rising from Brush
Creek, would have been regarded as the abode of some spirit and
would be worshipped accordingly. That such objects are
worshipped the world over we have abundant testimony, and it
will be found in all such cases that there is some peculiarity
about the contour of the land on which are placed these objects,
that would be sure to catch the eye of a superstitious race."

There has been another serpent mound discovered in Warren
County, but space forbids a description of it. Not far from the
city of Toronto, Canada, we also find another.

"The Great Serpent Mound" in Adams County has a counterpart in
the Old World. In Scotland there is a very remarkable and
distinct serpent, constructed of stone. This work has so much in
common with the Ohio serpent that we reproduce the description
as given by Miss Gordon Cummin in Good Words for March, 1872.

"The mound is situated upon a grassy plain. The tail of the
serpent rests near the shore of Loch Nell, and the mound
gradually rises seventeen to twenty feet in height and is
continued for three hundred feet, forming a double curve like
the letter S, and wonderfully perfect in anatomical outline.
This we perceive the more perfect on reaching the head, which
lies at the western end... The head forms a circular cairn, on
which, at the time of a visit there in 1871, there still
remained some trace of an altar, which has since wholly
disappeared. On excavating the circular cairn, or circle of
stones forming the head, a chamber containing burnt bones,
charcoal and burnt hazelnuts, and an implement of flint were
found. The removal of peat, moss and heather from the back of
the reptile showed that the whole length of the spine was
carefully constructed, with regularly and symmetrically placed
stones at such angles as to throw off rain... The spine is, in
fact, a long narrow causeway made of large stones, set like the
vertebrae of some huge animal. They form a ridge, sloping off at
each side, which is continued downward with an arrangement of
smaller stones suggestive of ribs. The mound has been formed in
such a position that the worshippers standing at the altar would
naturally look eastward, directly along the whole length of the
great reptile and across the dark lake to the triple peaks of
Ben Cruachan. This position must have been carefully selected,
as from no other point are the three peaks visible. General
Forlong, in commenting on this, says

"'Here, then, we have an earth-formed snake, emerging in the
usual manner from the dark blue water, at the base, as it were,
of a triple cone--Scotland's Mount Hermon--just as we so
frequently meet snakes and their shrines in the East.'

"Is there not something more than mere coincidence in the
resemblance between Loch Nell and the Ohio Serpent, to say
nothing of the topography of their respective situations? Each
has the head pointing west, and each terminates with a circular
enclosure, containing an altar, from which, looking along the
most prominent portion of the serpent, the rising sun may be
seen. If the serpent of Scotland is the symbol of an ancient
faith surely that of Ohio is the same."

Rev. MacLean of Greenville, Ohio, is a well known writer on
these topics. During the summer of 1881, while in the employ of
the Bureau of Ethnology, visited the place, taking with him a
thoroughly competent surveyor, and made a very careful plan of
the work for the bureau. All other figures published represent
the oval as the end of the works. Prof. Putnam who visited the
works in 1883, noticed, between the oval figure and the edge of
the ledge a slightly raised, circular ridge of earth, from
either side of which a curved ridge extended towards the side of
the oval figure. Rev. MacLean's researches and measurements have
shown that the ridges last spoken of are but part of what is
either a distinct figure or a very important portion of the
original. As determined, it certainly bears a very close
resemblance to a frog, and such Mr. MacLean concludes it to be.

"The oval mound in front of the Great Serpent effigy would
indicate that this was a locality which tradition had fixed upon
as a place where some divinity had dwelt. We suggest also in
reference to this serpent mound, that possibly the very trend of
the hill and the valleys, and the streams on either side of it,
may have been given to tradition. The isolation of the spot is
remarkable. Two streams which here separate the tongue of land
from the adjoining country unite just below the cliff, and form
an extensive open valley, which lays the country open for many
miles, so that the cliff on which the effigy is found can be
seen a great distance. The location of this effigy is peculiar.
It is in the midst of a rough, wild region, which was formerly
very difficult to approach, and according to all accounts was
noted for its inaccessibility.

"The shape of the cliff would easily suggest the idea of a
massive serpent, and with this inaccessibility to the spot would
produce a peculiar feeling of awe, as if it were a great Manitou
which resided there, and so a sentiment of wonder and worship
would gather around the locality. This would naturally give rise
to a tradition or would lead the people to revive some familiar
tradition and localize it. This having been done, the next step
would be to erect an effigy on the summit which would both
satisfy the superstition and represent the tradition. It would
then become a place where the form of the serpent divinity was
plainly seen, and where the worship of the serpent, if it could
be called worship, would be practiced. Along with this serpent
worship, however, there was probably the formality instituted
here, and the spot made sacred to them. It was generally
'sacrificing in a high place,' the fires which were lighted
would be seen for a great distance down the valley and would
cast a glare over the whole region, producing a feeling of awe
in the people who dwelt in the vicinity. The shadows of the
cliff would be thrown over the valley, but the massive form of
the serpent would be brought out in bold relief; the tradition
would be remembered and superstition would be aroused, and the
whole scene would be full of strange and awful associations."

The various authors who have treated of this serpent mound have
maintained that the tradition which found its embodiment here
was the old Brahmanic tradition of the serpent and the egg. Even
the Indians had their traditions in regard to the meaning of
various symbols.

In Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha we have this legend from the

Thus said Hiawatha, walking
In the solitary forest,
Pondering, musing in the forest,
On the welfare of his people.
From his pouch he took his colors,
Took his paints of different colors.
On the smooth bark of a birch tree
Painted many shapes and figures,
Wonderful and mystic figures,
And each figure had a meaning,
Each some word or thought suggested.

Gitche Manito, the Mighty,
He, the Master of Life, was painted
As an egg, with points projecting
To the four winds of the heavens.
Everywhere is the Great Spirit,
Was the meaning of the symbol.

Mitche Manito, the Mighty,
He the dreaded Spirit of Evil,
As a serpent was depicted,
As Kenabeek the great serpent.
Very crafty, very cunning,
Is the creeping Spirit of Evil,
Was the meaning of this symbol.

(footnote From "The Egg and Serpent.")

Here while gazing in wonder at this ancient shrine we recalled
how in the stillness and fading light of evening we visited the
famous cathedral of Antwerp. The last rays of the descending sun
fell through the stained glass and darkened the vast aisles. The
grandeur and solemn beauty of this noble pile at this time of
day touched the imagination most deeply. Then listening to the
mellow music falling as it were from the clouds through the
tranquil air of evening, we were enchanted. How those light
silvery notes filled our imagination with romantic dreams of old

Again we recalled our visit to the Great Cathedral of Cologne,
the most complete piece of Gothic architecture anywhere to be
found. We mounted the steps of one of the gigantic towers which
lift their sublime heads to a height of five hundred two feet,
the exact length of the cathedral. Here we gazed out over the
level plain that stretched away to the marvelous scenic region
of the Seven Mountains. The foundation of this beautiful
structure was laid two hundred fifty years before the discovery
of America and fifty years before the founding of the Turkish
Empire. But the last stone was not laid on the south tower until

As we listened to the deep-toned bells, how we were thrilled
with visions of the past! Here lived Colonia Agrippina, the
daughter of Germanicus and the mother of Nero. It was from
Cologne that Hadrian received his summons to Rome as emperor.
Here, too, Vitellius and Silvanus were both proclaimed emperor
in this remote northern camp on the left bank of the Rhine.

But you do not dwell long on the past, for here stands this
colossal, magnificent cathedral with its incomparable towers to
call your attention to the glorious achievements of man. Men
were not the only ones to use this noble edifice as a sanctuary,
for out and in among its superb towers numerous birds darted to
and fro, where they dwelt safely as in a citadel. Pretty falcons
circled gracefully about them as though they were crags of some
wild mountain; rooks cawed from their lofty stations below the
bells; chimney swifts glued their log cabins to rough stone
ledges, and in various niches above the doorway pigeons placed
their nests and uttered their messages of peace to all who
entered. English sparrows, too, had taken possession here and
there just as their countrymen had taken possession of the city.

As we entered the cathedral a mingled feeling of awe and
devotion came over us. But it was not the blazing shrine of the
eleven thousand Virgins, the magnificent windows through which
the morning sunbeams filtered, nor yet the choir, perhaps the
most wonderful in the world, that produced this feeling of
reverence. "We remembered that this glorious structure had been
erected to the 'God of Peace' in the midst of strife and
bitterness, and by men estranged by the first principle of the
Gospel." But here we beheld French officers, Scotch Highlanders,
English and American soldiers, scattered among the Germans,
reverently kneeling, devout and hushed at the Consecration. Then
we thought how "notwithstanding the passions of men and
wickedness of rulers, the building up of the Church of God and
of the Christian faith, goes steadily on, unrecorded but

But here among these lovely Ohio hills, where the Master
Architect erected and is still building these wonderful temples
that never decay, we were more impressed by their solemn
grandeur than any work of man could inspire. Here long before
the cathedrals of Europe were thought of, a primitive people
erected their altars and offered up their sacrifice to their
gods. Here as the rays of the sun filtered through the leafy
windows of the trees falling upon the richly wrought mosaic of
ferns and flowers, where the gorgeous cardinal blossoms flamed
from a hundred altars and the bell-like song of the wood thrush
rang through all the dim aisles, these ancient people felt the
presence of a higher power, and not yet knowing that their god
required the sacrifice of noble lives and loving hearts, brought
to the altar the best gifts they knew.

Standing alone in this fair solitude, as much alone as if we had
been on some fairy isle of a distant sea, we felt that we were
surrounded by a strange, mysterious presence, and thoughts and
fancies, like weird articulate voices of those ancient people,
filled the solemn place. The aged trees sighed in the evening
wind, telling over and over their mournful legends, lest they
forget. The storm-swept maples repeated their "rhythmical runes
of these unremembered ages." We allowed ourselves to sink
soothingly beneath deep waves of primitive emotions until we
seemed to perceive the sagas that the maples told the elms of a
more remote history than that of the Pharaohs or storied Greece.

Darkness began to settle over this lonely spot. Along the silent
and gloomy road we seemed to see shadowlike forms that flitted
here and there through the blackness of darkest night, a
blackness only relieved by a few stars that peered like silent
spectators from the dark draperies of clouds. Now a band of
people was seen moving not swiftly to the accompaniment of
martial music, but slowly and silently to the sighing night
wind. As we watched a lurid flame burst from the center of the
oval while a strange figure bent over it as he performed his
weird mystical rites. Now the light from the red and yellow
flames fell upon a vast group of dark figures and a thousand
gleaming eyes peered out of the velvety canopy around us. The
mournful distressing notes of the ghost bird broke the
stillness. The scream of some passing night bird replied as if
in answer to their weird calls. A great horned owl made us
shiver with his "hoo, hoo, hoo," as the flame shot upward in
scarlet circles. The night wind stirred the branches, which
sighed audibly, and died away leaving the place lonelier than
before. Then the sharp bark of a fox rang out from a neighboring
hill. The breeze started up again and a limb of a tree that
rubbed against its neighbor produced a wailing sound as of some
one in distress. We could see fantastic shapes out among the
gnarled tree trunks and ghostly forms appeared in the velvety
shadows and vanished again among the trees. The moon rose out
over the rim of the eastern hills and seemed almost to pause as
if some Oriental Magic was being wrought. A mist arose from the
river and hovered over the valley below us; the complaining
water of Brush creek mingled with the wailing of the screech owl
as the ghostly footfalls sounded more remote. The bullfrog's
harsh troonk "ushered in the night" and, imagining one of them
as the very one that escaped the serpent and leaped into the
creek centuries ago, we left the place to the spirits of that
unknown age and the moonlight.

But why this concern over a vanished race? Why all this worry
over the Coliseum or Parthenon? Why so eager to learn of these
crumbling mounds and broken down embankments in our own land?
Then as if we heard a voice from the shadowy past, rising from
these silent ruins, we begin to gain their secret at last. The
Parthenon and Coliseum call up the sad story with its yet sadder
truth that true weal can only come to that nation that plans for
the future. Yet each adds something to the onward march of

In the ancient gardens of France and Italy the nightingale still
warbles her divine hymn, all unmindful of Caesar's conquests.
The whippoorwill calls in her plaintive notes through the
silvery spring nights over the graves of this vanished race of
America. Let us concern ourselves about the past only as that
past shall contribute to a more glorious future. It is not
mounds, pyramids, or bronze tablets we should be building for
later generations of archaeologists to puzzle their brains over.

A large and beautiful mound standing in the precincts of the
original plat of Columbus, Ohio, was demolished, the clay taken
therefrom and used as the material for the bricks with which the
first State House was built. Here where a thousand years came
and went and the Indian warrior reverently spared the last
resting place of these unrecorded dead, another people reared
their legislative halls out of their mouldering sepulchres and
crumbling bones. O, American Nation, with your wonderful
civilization of today, it is well to pause here amid the "steam
shriek" career of your harried life with all its getting and
spending, to contemplate the ruin of even this once consecrated
piece of ground.

Here as you watch, the swift winged swallows dart from their
homes in the steep bank of the stream; the kingfisher sounds his
discordant rattle and hangs poised in mid air as he gazes into
the waters below; the woodbine like a staunch friend still
clings round the oak or hangs out its crimson banner in autumn;
the meadowlark walks sedately on the vast coils of the serpent
calling, "Spring o' the year," or as we fancied, "they are not
here," as he did on that first morning. Man, yes, nations pass
away and are forgotten, yet the spirit of life is ever
perpetuated in a thousand new and lovely forms. At times we are
touched by the fluttering of the maple leaves as if we read a
mournful prophecy. Even now the petals of the wood rose are
lying around us and we see signs where earlier blossoms have
faded. Yet will they never bloom again ? Men may return to dust
from whence they sprung, but out of the mould will rise new
blossoms to make glad the earth, and while some other nation
shall wander over the ruins and tread with solemn step over the
resting place of those who now wander here, they too shall
listen to the liquid notes of the wood thrush through the hushed
aisle of some shadowy forest and also learn that nothing dies.

Here crowning the summits of these ancient mounds of an older
race of tillers of the soil dwell the peaceful American farmers
in their comfortable rural homes all unmindful of that other
race who toiled here. How well the secrets of the past are
guarded! "Try as we might we could not roll hack the flight of
time, even by the aid of ancient history, by whose feeble light
we were able to see but dimly the outlines of the centuries that
lie back of us; beyond is gloom soon lost in night. It is hidden
by a present veil that only thickens as the years roll on."

The encroaching days of the Red men and the ravages of time, as
the centuries came and went, have affected but not obliterated
these ancient mounds. The vandal hand of conquering man has
destroyed or hid from sight many of the monumental works of this
primitive people. But there yet remain many mournful ruins here
in Ohio which cannot fail to impress us with a sense of a
vanished past.

"To think of our own high state of civilization is to imagine
for this nation an immortality. We are so great and strong that
surely no power can remove us. Let us learn humility from the
past; and when, here and there, we come upon some reminder of a
vanished people, trace the proofs of a teeming population in
ancient times, and recover somewhat of a history as true and
touching as any that poets sing, let us recognize the fact that
nations as well as individuals pass away and are forgotten."

"There is the moral of all human tales;
'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
First Freedom, and then glory--when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption,--barbarian at last,
And history with its volume vast,
Hath but one page."

(footnote NOTE. Many of the quotations given in the above are to
be found in "Allan's History of Civilization." We are also
indebted to Mr. Randall, State Secretary of the Ohio
Archaeological Society, for material used.)


Shenandoah, "the Daughter of Stars," as the Indians have called
this lovely valley, lies in the northwestern part of Virginia
between the Blue Ridge mountains on the east and the Alleghanies
on the west, beginning near Staunton and extending in a
northeastern direction to the Potomac Water Gap at Harpers
Ferry. Through it runs what was once known as the "Great Valley
Pike" and which is now part of the National Highway. Not only
its incomparable scenery but its many thrilling campaigns of
historical significance make this valley the Mecca for thousands
of tourists. It has been the stage of vast scenic beauty on
which the bloody drama of war has so often been enacted. How

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