Collection of Relics
Dr. J. M. Hill Collection

     The foregoing is a brief write-up of a collection of relics, belonging to Dr. J. M. Hill of Wise, VA, that may be found in his office. Among this collection is to be found various Indian Relics, old guns and petrified potatoes as well as skeletons. Each of the articles he has numbered and the foregoing is a write-up of the more important ones.
     Indian pipe found in a deserted Indian village near Mossy Rock, Washington. It is made like a tomahawk of a deep red stone.
     Skinning knife made of a black stone.
     Indian Relic: an instrument assumed for catching fire. It is made of black granite, in the shape of a new or crescent moon, with a hold the size of a lead pencil through the center. A stick was inserted in the hole, with a raw hide
bow attached and by sawing another stick across this it caused friction and thus the fire was started. The stone weighs about one half pound and was found in North Carolina.
     Indian Celt: a stone about eight inches long and about three inches wide at the cutting point. Weight about two and half pounds. Made and polished from gray, bastard limestone. Was found near the Beaver Dam, on Guest River, Wise Co.
     Large tomahawk weight about four pounds. Made of bastard limestone and was found in the Crackers Neck section, near East Stone Gap, Wise County. Among his collection is various other tomahawks of smaller size.
     Skinning knife made of a very hard rusty brown colored stone, about fourteen inches long, four inches wide in the middle, tapering to a sharp point at each end. Weight six or seven pounds. Found in Powell Valley at the Country Club.
     Indian tomahawk found near the Beaver Dam, on Guest River, Wise Co., VA. It has a rather long slim blade, with a deep groove around the top for attaching handle. Weight about two pounds.
     Among this collection is another tomahawk weighing about thirty pounds and also an Indian Pipe found near Skeet Rock, Dickenson Co., VA.
     Perhaps the most interesting relic in this collection is a charger used by the Indian Medicine man to measure his medicine. It is a walnut colored stone, about three inches long and would hold probably two ounces. About two and half inches in circumference and has two rings cut around it. Was found by Berry Collins on top of Indian Mountain, Wise Co., VA.
     Petrified Hill of Irish Potatoes, twelve in number. Found on the bank of Clinch River, near Dungannon, Scott Co., VA.
     Mad Stone, found in the stomach of a cow. Four inches in circumference, two inches in diameter and weighs about three fourths of a pound. An old legendary saying about the Mad Stone is that it is a sure remedy for snake bite and hydrophobia.
     Another interesting thing is a hand spinning wheel. This wheel was fastened to the table or bench by a screw after the fashion of a food chopper. It has neither cog wheels nor band but runs by friction. The master wheel is twelve inches in diameter and the wheel has three smaller wheels attached to the spindle. Wheels of this type were used by pioneer women for spinning yarn. This wheel came from the mountains of Kentucky and is 110 years old.
     Four Bladed Razor used by the Jewish Rabbis to comply with the circumcision laws of Moses, when a child became the age of eight days. This relic was taken from a pawnshop and the identity confirmed by a Jewish Rabbi as to the originality of it. It is perhaps over two thousand years old.
     Another is a skeleton of a bird intact from toe nail to wing and tail feathers. Was found between overhead ceiling of the first floor of an old home on the Pound, Wise Co., VA.
     Pestler used by the Indians for grinding corn in a mortar. Was found in the Crackers Neck section of Wise Co.
     Wooden Spoon made of coarse grain chestnut, handle eighteen inches. Long spoon six inches long by three and a half inches wide. These spoons were used by the early settlers of this county instead of metal spoons. Large spoons of this type were used for making mush or to render lard in large kettles.
     He also has a greenback bill for 25 cents. These were used after the Civil War. This one is the series of 1874, Act of March 3, 1863. It has Robert J. Walker's picture on it. He was Secretary-Treasurer 1845.
     Hog Rifle, type used by early settlers. This one was formerly owned by a Mr. Johnson in the Birchfield Section and is 110 years old. This is the cap lock type of gun with a barrel length of 43 inches.
     Lehman Rifle, made in or prior to 1880.
     Flint Lock rifle this gun was the same type that was used by David Crockett and Daniel Boone. It has been in the possession of Dr. Hill for 30 years.
     Cap Lock, large caliber, short barrel. This type of gun was used as a bear gun by the early native settlers.
     Muzzle Loading Shotgun, old and badly worn, origin unknown.
     U. S. Rifle used in the Pan American War. Carried over from Florida and used in the first battle.
     Carbine used in the Civil War. Barrel 22 inches long. Caliber same size as Civil War musket, britch loader, used cushion caps same as the musket.
     Carbine cartridge britch loader, barrel 22 inches long, with magazine five cartridge capacity. Owned and used by Linkhorn Blevins in Civil War in and around Gladeville (now Wise).
     He has seventeen pistols in his collection. Very old, some using cartridge and some cap and ball. One a 32-5 shot, center fire. Found near Pound Gap where Dr. Taylor and the Fleming Brothers was said to have lain in wait and killed a team and five people. Another a 32 center fire, using Smith and Wesson Cartridge, one shot, called Clevis Pin pistol. It was held in the hand and the barrel extending out between the fingers. Three and one half inches long with a knob at the rear.
     One bayonet that was used at the Pound Gap, Wise Co., VA during the Civil War.
     One sabre, 44 inches long with brass hand guard, in sheath with two rings with strap attached thereto for carrying. Used in Civil War.
     One bayonet found in a field near Appamattox where General Lee surrendered.
     One Officers German Helmet, captured in dugout while the Officers were eating their breakfast. Taken by V. O. Hill during the World War.
     One pair old fashioned Stillyards. Has two hooks, beam and pea. Weight drawing capacity 50 pounds.

Return to Wise
Return to Articles

Copyright Notice
All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Vickie Sturgill Stevens . Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are.