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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Relics, Sticks & Stones

When I was spending more time paddling on the Susquehanna River, one of my favorite pastimes was to stop on islands and explore; sometimes for hours. At times, I would get down on my hands and knees to inspect every unusual rock or piece of debris that came into view.
Over the years, I've found some very interesting "stuff", including the three rocks pictured below. Other than cleaning off mud, I've done nothing to alter their appearance. 

The Susquehannock ruled the Susquehanna River valleys for countless generations; from the Chesapeake Bay to the present day Sayre PA area...and perhaps beyond. Until the first Europeans began to arrive, their working materials were limited to everything nature had to provide; water, rocks, trees, animals and plants.
In reading numerous accounts of the games that Native Americans of this region played, I know that sticks and stones were a major component of many of them. I would like to think that perhaps in the distant past, some young Susquehannock boy or girl found these stones on an island in the Susquehanna, added the eyes or drilled the hole in the smaller piece above, and used them in the games they played in their longhouse on cold winter nights. 
These little pieces of the past, along with other items I've gathered along the way, sit on a slab of pipestone ( Catlinite ) on the top shelf of the desk I sit at in my home office when I do my early morning blogging, like today.
At some point in the future, I think I'll create a few "relics" from that pipestone and leave them scattered on islands in the Susquehanna, hoping they will be discovered by someone crawling along on their knees...centuries from now.
Enjoy your weekend.


  1. Don, I love this post so much. I love stone collecting and have stones from the banks of the Susquehanna, too. One year, while swimming in the river at French Azilum, my cousins and I found a huge submerged rock which we used to jump off of, much to our total delight. I don't think it was there the next year. It was an immense rock out near the middle of the river there. As I recall, the river was low that summer (maybe 1960 or so), which was why we could find it and why we were so far out from the shore. It was rectangular in shape. We had a ball with it!

  2. Peacegirl: The Susquehanna did approach some record lows in the 1960's. Great memory! I would love to dive in the spot and get some pics of that rock.

  3. It might still be there- it was so massive, I don't know how it could move, but I suppose it could have. It seems to me we looked for it the next summer and couldn't find it. I would say it was about 6-8 feet long and about 2 feet wide.