Somehow, I suppose through my love of history and ancient Indian artifacts, I came across Nethers Farm on Flint Ridge in Hopewell, Ohio and decided I wanted to get some flint.
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I wouldn’t have any reason to care about Flint Ridge flint if I weren’t into cool rocks and ancient Indian artifacts and maybe history, come to think of it. I’m not a knapper (someone who knaps their own flint tools) and I’m not into collecting modern made reproductions.
I’ve read that Flint Ridge flint is not only Ohio’s “famous flint” but was very important in Native American life going back for possibly thousands of years.
Flint is also Ohio’s state rock, but not all flint in Ohio comes from Flint Ridge.
After taking the kids to Hocking Hills State Park we made a stop at Nethers Farm on the way home.
I turned down the highlight feature when editing this image below to show you the beautiful colors of flint that are represented at Flint Ridge at Nethers Farm. Knapping if the process of working off the surface to shape your tool and the beauty of the stone shines through. Wow!
According to Ohio History Central’s website:
Referred to as the “Great Indian Quarry of Ohio,” Flint Ridge is a nearly eight mile long vein of high quality Pennsylvanian-age Vanport flint located in Licking and Muskingum Counties of eastern Ohio. Hundreds of quarry pits and workshop sites are scattered across more than 2,000 acres of ridge top in these Appalachian foothills. The prehistoric flint mines range in size from 12 to 80 feet in diameter and from 3 to 20 feet in depth. …
All of Ohio’s pre-contact American Indian peoples used Flint Ridge flint to make spear and arrow points, scrapers, and knives. The Hopewell culture (100 BC – AD 500) especially prized it, using it to make particular kinds of small knives called bladelets.” Read more here.
Finding my First Indian Artifact
Sometime around June I was digging in my yard and found an archaic Indian scraper, as I soon found out. I was SO excited, this was AMAZING to me. You have no idea.
Anyways, I’ve been wanting to hunt for relics but you can’t do this without permission from land owners and permits for government-run parks or land. There are no public places that I know of that a person can hunt and collect on land here in Ohio. While I have permission from relatives of family members to hunt on their property they are out of town and I just can’t go on a whim.
Anyways, I showed people in the Native American artifact groups I’m in and the overall response was that I had a scraper or some tool. I took my scraper to the archaeology lab at our Stark Kent State University branch and was told my scraper appeared to be from the late archaic era and he recognized the flint as being from Plum Run in the Alliance, Ohio area.
In addition to my exciting personal find, a Youtube I follow sent me some of his many eastern North Carolina artifacts (he finds so many!) to use in my homeschool club this year. Thanks again Indian Trace. You can see what he sent me by watching this Youtube video.
So what do you think? Are you a history lover? Do you hunt for artifacts or something else? Tell me in the comments.
More resources on Flint Ridge:
For the Ohio History Connection Flint Ridge Museum and more visit this website.
Here’s the Nethers Farm Facebook page. You can just go quarry or pick up flint. As of this summer (2019) the price is $7.50 per person and 5o cents per pound. Mrs. Nethers has a scale on the porch so you can weigh and pay if she’s not there to collect. And, I recommend you don’t drive into the quarry area because one or more people I’ve listened to have popped a tire. Flint can become VERY sharp.
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The best place to rockhound in Ohio is Flint Ridge, located in Licking and Muskingum Counties, where high quality specimens of flint and other minerals can be found. Other potential rockhounding sites include regional quarries and mining dumps, rocky outcrops, and stream gravels in select areas.
Flint Ridge is a nearly eight-mile-long vein of high-quality flint located in Licking and Muskingum counties of eastern Ohio. Hundreds of quarry pits and workshop sites are scattered across more than 2,000 acres of ridge top in these Appalachian foothills. It has been called the “Great Indian Quarry of Ohio.”
Flint Ridge flint varies greatly in its morphology and mineralogy, and occurs in four general types. Two of them are opaque, massive, white flint and porous, light-brown flint, which are impure and fracture unevenly; both are unsuitable for flaking and were used to manufacture buhrstones.
In 1965, the Ohio General Assembly adopted flint as Ohio's official gemstone. Large quantities of this gem exist, especially in the eastern and central parts of the state. Flint, a specialized variety of microcrystalline quartz, is a hard and durable mineral.
Three diamonds have been reported from Ohio, all discovered in the last century in glacial drift deposited by the glaciers of the Ice Age. The Ohio discoveries form part of a relatively large area of occurrence known as the Great Lakes diamond field.
The best places to find crystals in Ohio, are Delaware County, Columbus, Chillicothe, Sandusky, Genoa, Clay Center, Flint Ridge, Muskingum County, Licking County, Bowling Green, Maple Grove Quarry, Green Island, Conneaut, or the Medusa Quarry.
Flint Ridge Chert is associated with the Van Port Member of the Allegheny Formation. Primary sources are found in eastern Ohio (Muskingum, and Licking counties). Secondary, and poorer quality, sources are in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.
Ohio got its name from the Iroquois word, “O-Y-O,” meaning “great river.” The Iroquois Indians had begun to settle between the Ohio River and Great Lakes by 1650, although it is estimated that only a few hundred lived in present-day Ohio during any one period.
The Ohio Historical Society states that the best chance of finding an arrowhead is in a recently plowed field after a rain, generally in the spring. Fields in Ross, Adams, Medina, Defiance and Mahoning counties have all had large arrowhead troves uncovered.
Three-bladed, trilobate, or Scythian arrowheads appears in regions under influence of the Scythians and ancient Persians. It was the type normally used by the Achaemenid army. Target points are bullet-shaped with a sharp point, designed to penetrate target butts easily without causing excessive damage to them.
It is very tough, meaning that it does not break easily. It can also be polished to a brilliant luster. Ohio Flint makes a wonderful gemstone!