Indian Burial Mound Reunited to Cockayne Project


     On Tuesday, February 15, 2005, the Indian Burial Mound located just west of the Cockayne House was purchased by the Marshall County Historical Society from Owner, Joe Blair. The purchase was funded by a $60,000 grant made possible by Senators Jeffrey Kessler and Larry Edgell, Delegates Scott Varner and Kenneth Tucker, and former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise.

     Authenticity of the site was established by a limited excavation of the Cockayne Mound in early January, 2005. With the recommendation of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Archaeological Consultants of the Midwest donated their services for the limited excavation. Work on the mound, listed as Site #46MR26 in the State’s archaeological files, was conducted by Archeaologists Jamie Vosvick and Christopher Jackson.

     Among the reasons for the excavation was to determine if the mound was intact and when it was built. Excavation of a 0.5 m in width and 2 m in length trench that was placed along the eastern edge of the mound, indicated that it was basically intact and that no disturbance had occurred in that area of the mound. This data was collected with only minimum testing taking place.

     While no diagnostic artifacts were collected from excavation, the stratigraphy of the mound indicated that it is similar to other mounds that have been excavated in the area. This would suggest that prehistoric Native Americans constructed the Cockayne Mound. A full report of these findings has been filed with the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

     Recovery of the Mound will enhance the preservation efforts of the Society, create additional funding sources, and provide long term protection of the Mound. In a report of the Marshall County Historical Landmarks Commission completed in the mid-1990's, reference is made to the Cockayne property and Mound. That reference concludes: “Any steps to insure the preservation of these resources, especially the Mound and any associated features, is very important.”