Warren County Serpent Mound, Ohio, US

Warren County serpent mound near Hamilton, Ohio, was apparently second only to the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County. Its controversies died when it was destroyed in the early 1970s. Wed 27 April 2022

Stubbs Earthwork: 'W' cluster aerial view. 1951. Source: Stubbs Earthworks

Location: Stubbs Cluster 'W': (Google Maps), (Google Streetview), (OpenStreetMap), (Flickr images)

Warren County 'Serpent Mound' - or Stubbs Earthwork Serpent Mound - was first reported shortly before 1837. Surveyor Charles Whittlesey began surveying it that year, continuing into 1838.

This is allegedly his plan, published in 1851:

'W' mound on the left of image. Source: Stubbs Earthworks

Around 1850 a dispute began over whether the 'W' shape on the left (the west) was a serpent mound. Whittlesey thought the 'W' shape had been attached to the remains on the right, and was therefore not a serpent mound. He thought if it was an effigy mound, it might be a bird, with the 'W' being its beak.

From Stubbs Cluster - Wikipedia

possible "serpent" (now a gravel pit) reported by Wright (1906) on the Little Miami River adjacent to the Stubbs cluster, Morrow, Warren County, Ohio. Apparently first seen in 1851.

Ohio Serpent Mound excavator - and possible partial fabricator - Charles Putnam got involved.

1892 Plan of Stubbs Earthwork serpent mound. Source: Peabody Museum

See Peabody Museum link for photographs of partial excavation in 1880s.

Other plans are not apparently online. Of those that are, some are different enough to Whittlesey's that they may be construction plans for proposed modifications.

From Ohio State 1915 Archaeological Atlas. Source: Cincinnati Public Library

In the above image, the spiral tail looks very much like the Adams County serpent mound tail. And reports from around 1912 suggest it had been modified.

From Archeological Atlas of Ohio: showing the distribution of the various classes of prehistoric remains in the state, with a map of the principal Indian trails and towns, Fred J Heer, 1912-1915, p83 of original atlas:

Warren county presents an ex­ample second only to the Great Serpent in Adams county. This work is known as the Warren County Serpent and is located on the south side of the Little Miami river in northern Hamilton township.

The Warren county Serpent is situated just across the river from the village of Stubbs' Mills. It lies with the head toward the waters of Baker's creek near its mouth, the body undulating towards the southwest and trminating at the opposite side of the sharp bend in the stream which it occupies. There are many points of similarity, both as to form and size between the Warren county serpent and that of Adams county.

In 1938, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) 'restored' Stubbs Earthwork 'W' mound. They added a diamond shaped serpent's head:

Warren County Serpent Mound Committee plan. C. 1950. Source: Earthworks.site

The Warren County Serpent Mound Committee was formed in around 1950 to investigate, preserve and promote the mound as a serpent mound.

This was just the last phase in a century-long argument over what the mound really was. A restricted access paper - The Stubbs Earthwork: Serpent Effigy or Simple Embankment - includes a publicly visible list of papers generated by the argument over what the Stubbs Earthwork 'W' mound really was.

The mound was destroyed in 1971 when it was quarried for gravel.

Links for Stubbs Earthwork:

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