(The following was written by Bill Howison, and is reprinted from “Reflections”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
The Indians did have a superstition relative to Kentucky. One Indian expressed great astonishment that white people could live in a country which has been the scene of such conflicts as had taken place there. And old Sac, in 1800, said that Kentucky was filled with the ghost of its slaughtered inhabitants and wondered how the white man could make it his home.
The temple mounds and geometrical works of Ohio would indicate a government of the priesthood. When the vast amount of labor required by primitive methods is considered, it must be apparent that the ancient priesthood of the Ohio Valley was absolute and despotic. Only a powerful government among the semi-civilized people could affect such monuments.
For another theory on the origin of the mounds we can turn to the writings of the Rev. Landon West of Pleasant Hill, Ohio, who has located The Garden of Eden in Adams County, Ohio. The New York Herald reported that the famous Serpent Mound is the key to the whole discovery. It is held by some that it was old before the Chinese Wall was built and that it was finished and disintegrating when the children of Israel slaved in Egypt. It is also probable, judging from the condition of the soil that covers the figure, that it was part of the “Things Universal” that were overwhelmed by the flood.
The Rev. West, a prominent and widely-known minister of the Baptist Church, outlined a theory concerning the Creation and significance of the mound widely different from all those of the scientist. He believes the mound, itself, was created by the hand of the Creator of the World and it marks the site of the Garden of Eden. He believes that the amount is purely symbolic and has no significance relative to the religion or worship of any race of man but is intended to teach by object lesson the fall of man and the consequences of sin in the Garden of Eden.
According to the Reverend Mr. West, the open jaws about to swallow the fruit represents the deception; the withering and twisting of the body indicates the pangs of death and physical suffering. To support his startling claim he quotes Scripture and refers to Job 16:13 “By his Spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His Hand hath formed the Crooked serpent.”
The Rev. West’s use of the scientist’s findings to support his own conclusion makes interesting and thought-provoking reading in Vol. 10, Page 225 of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publication published in April 1902.
While today’s archaeologists is hard-pressed to explain who constructed these prehistoric wonders, it would appear that our ancestors–both red and white–had no such problems; and, as so often happens today, their “assured tradition” has been lost in the over complicated world of Academia, where fact can be replaced by fiction by the mere utterance of the phrase “we have no data to support that.”