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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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