Native American Shaft Polisher from Stamans Run in Washington Boro

Close up of the Native American Shaft Polisher at the Blue Rock Heritage Center.

This large boulder on display at the Blue Rock Heritage Center was removed from Stamans Run in Washington Boro in 1890 by a local artifact collector from Columbia. The exact purpose of the grooves in the boulder has never been verified.

Stamans Run

Speculation is that it served as a sundial or indicated directions for Native American pathways. However, the most popular theory is that it was a shaft polisher or straighter. The grooves would help polish, smooth, and straighten the wooden shafts of arrows. The maker would roll the stick in the grooves using sand or grit mixed with water.

It was one of several shaft polishers found in Stamans Run. This stream has the most prolific number of shaft polishers in the United States.

Close up of the Native American Shaft Polisher at the Blue Rock Heritage Center.

The shaft polisher is believed to be associated with the Susquehannocks, who occupied this area from 1525 to 1680. This artifact is on loan from The State Museum of Pennsylvania, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

What do you think?

Map Manor Township from 1864 with Washington Boro highlighted. Stamans Run goes through the G of Washington.

Planning Your Visit

The Blue Rock Heritage Center is located at 2251 River Road, Washington Boro, PA 17582. They have limited hours for the 2022 season. They are open on the following Sundays from 1 to 4 pm on July 17
August 21, September 18, and October 23. Visit their website for more information.

Adventure Awaits!

Never miss a new article by signing up for email updates below. Be sure to follow Uncharted Lancaster on Facebook or Instagram for exclusive content.

Learn More

Were the Susquehannocks really giants?

When Captain John Smith first met the Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannocks on his 1608 voyage up the Chesapeake Bay, he described them as giants. Smith claimed one warrior’s calf measured 27 inches in circumference. When we read Smith’s account, it’s easy to picture seven-foot-tall Native Americans roaming the forests surrounding the Susquehanna River, especially when many of you reading this are six feet tall yourself. So the question is, were the Susquehannocks true giants? Click here to read more.

How the Susquehannocks became known as the Conestoga

Would you be surprised to know that the Native American tribe known as the Susquehannocks never referred to themselves by that name? Learn how they eventually became known as the Conestoga. Click to learn more.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: