Colon Mountain

Colon Mountain


Unidentified newspaper clipping donated to the Colon Community Historical Society Museum: “COLON MOUNTAIN — Colon mountain, rising 120 feet above the generally smooth level of the township, is a point of interest to observers approaching Colon village from the west.

Over the long years since early reached this area the mountain formation has been investigated by geologists, archeologists, and anthropologists. The geologists claim it is the result of glacial action. The anthropologists give a more interesting theory, tracing it back to the mysterious ancient people called the mound builders.

According to the “History of St. Joseph County Michigan” published in 1877 the race of mound builders once occupied this territory from the upper lakes to the gulf. The history book quotes a Mr. Foster who says in his “Prehistoric Races of the United States,” “With regard to their manners and customs the past is not altogether speechless. Enough of their monuments survive to form an intelligent opinion of their architecture, system of defense, their proficiency in art and their habits, pursuits and religious observance.”

E. H. Crane, a resident of Colon at the time of the 1877 history was completed, was an archeologist who had opened mounds in this area and  said he had found in them nearly every form of implement known to the mound builders, some unique and handsomely made and others in the rougher stages of preparation and also partially prepared blocks of stone for working. One of the mounds contained a sacrificial fireplace. Remains of six fortifications showing method and skill in construction were available for observation during Mr. Crane’s time in Colon.

The history of 1877 concludes that the present day Indians have no tradition of these mound builders, nor had they any, more than 600 years ago when they first came into contact with the Europeans.

Beyond the few facts mentioned, the mound builders remain a mystery. Who they were, from where they came, how they disappeared is sealed history.