Side Quest: Behold Grubb Run’s Mysterious Stone Giant

If you hike the wildflower trail in Shenks Ferry, you will eventually spot this mysterious 12-foot tall stone pillar standing in the center of Grubb Run.

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At some point before 1875, C.B. Grubb built a short narrow-gauge railroad track to transport iron ore from a nearby mine to an iron furnace. The hiking trail through Shenks Ferry follows the former rail line.

Remains of that railroad are still visible today in the form of two stone abutments, which were once part of a bridge. Nearby is the pictured 12-foot tall support pillar.

Stone Abutment
Stone Abutment

In addition to being the support for a railroad bridge, this structure may have also cradled a 6-inch diameter cast iron pipe that transported oil or natural gas all the way to Baltimore before 1900. If you peer closely at the top of the pillar, you will notice a cutout area that would have supported the pipe.

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On the side opposite the trail, the cast iron pipe is visible from the bank. Segments of the pipeline have also been found farther south in the river hills.

The six-inch diameter pipe can be seen in the upper right-hand corner.
The six-inch diameter pipe can be seen in the upper right-hand corner.
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This 1875 map superimposed on a satellite image shows the location of Grubb’s iron ore mine, his flour mill, and the short railroad.

Click here for the exact GPS location of the pillar. Shenks Ferry is full of history, mystery, and perhaps even the supernatural. Click here to learn more about all these things.

Before You Go

The stone abutments and pillar are located inside of Lancaster Conservancy’s Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve. For the most up-to-date information about parking and accessing the preserve, be sure to visit their website by clicking here.

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