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Search for Relics of Ancient Race, 1923
Sept. 16, 1923
TO SEARCH GEORGIA MOUNTAIN
FOR RELICS OF ANCIENT RACE
Archeologists Interest in Fort Peak
"For many years there has been a legend in the Southern Appalachians that this country was inhabited by a pre-Indian race which had attained a high order of civilization and then suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth. The Cherokee Indians told the first white settlers that there had been a strange white, race here before them and that it had left enduring monuments behind it."
"This mountain is known in its vicinity as Fort Mountain. Old men living in sight of it, some of them who have lived all their lives at and around the base, have kept carefully away from its top. In fact, only two men are known ever to have gone to the summit. They are Judge J. T. Bates, of Spring Place, Ga. and T. G. Jordan, of Cleveland, Tenn., the latter an amateur archaeologist, in search of data regarding facts back of the Cherokee legend. On the top they found a remarkable stone wall.
"Some distance west of the center of the wall there is an entrance to the enclosure, a gate one might say, with stone posts. The wall is built of large, rough stone, showing conclusively that it was constructed by human hands. It is mostly fallen now, probably from some earthquake. It was built, as I have already explained, of large rough stone, just as they were picked up on the top of the mountain, and is what would be called Cyclopean in structure, made without cement. When I last saw it some portions were still standing and owing to the absence of the weeds and vines, it was as easily traced as if it went down the middle of Market street in Chattanooga.
"Who built this stone wall? DeSoto did not. He passed down the Conesauga river in sight of this mountain, but he had no occasion to build such a fort. He had no trouble or fighting with the Cherokees, or any Indians, until in his travels he reached what is now Alabama. Cherokee Indians told the first white settlers who came to this section of the country that they did not know who built the fort. They said it was there when they came to this country. But who did build this fort? When was it built? And why?
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