Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cairn at Child's Park in Dingman's Ferry, PA. from Norman Muller

From Norman Muller:

Before a small group of us drove and hiked to the wall complex (click here) , we visited Child's Park in Dingman's Ferry, PA, a beautiful area with spectacular waterfalls and surrounding pine woods. To reach the waterfall, we walked down some steps to the pool in front of the waterfall, and from there we followed a trail downstream for a couple of hundred yards where we came upon two large cairns, one of which was still in relatively good condition with a small terraced wall surrounding it. We didn't know quite what to make of this construction, but we later decided that the terrace wall was of recent viintage to help protect the cairn, which we concluded was ancient. Stone lined pathways weaved in and out of the cairns, and it is possible they date to a period when the cairns were a destination for visitors. The other cairn is within twenty feet of the other and has partially collapsed, but it is still impressive.
I am attaching four photos of this area: one of the waterfall, and several of the cairns.


pwax said...

I am very curious about the "terrace" wall. I see diagonal courses of rocks used to build the pile - with some occasional much larger structural rocks used to hold the pile together and achieve its nearly vertical sides. But I also see those same diagonal courses of rock in the terraced wall. Suppose the terrace wall was built at the same time as the pile. Could it have been modern? I think not; since building such a fine cairn is not a modern skill [????]. On the other hand if the terrace wall is as old as the pile, then it had a function. I find it quite suspicious that the pile damage coincides with the terraced wall damage.

Norman said...

We probed the soil on the small terrace and concluded that the wall was probably constructed to protect the cairn from water damage, since it is near the river that runs from the waterfall shown in the first image. Also, you can see in the first photo of the cairn boulders lined end to end that define a trail that meanders through the pine forest. Jim Palmer, who guided us to the site, feels that this area was a destination for tourists in the early decades of the 20th century, and that the site was prettied up. He intends to check into this.
The terrace around the cairn looked strange to me, simply because I had never seen anything like it before. There were a couple of ruined cairns in the area, which made me feel more comfortable that the large cairn was not a construction from historic times.

Anonymous said...

These were likely made in modern times... Cairns were ALWAYS built on the top of an already existing boulder or rock.