Burning Stake


The broad rolling area beginning about 3 miles south of Circleville, with a north-south extent of several miles, is known as the Pickaway Plains. This area is composed of glacial outwash - sand and gravel deposited by meltwater from the latest glacier. Conical kames dot this outwash plain.

The well-drained soils of the Pickaway Plains were covered by prairie vegetation, principally grasses, when European settlers visited the area in the late 1700's. This area was inhabited by various Indian cultures, the most recent of which were the Shawnees, who maintained several villages here until the late 1700's. From this area, the Allied Indian nations sent 1,000 warriors to meet Lord Dunmore's army of 3,000 men from the Shawnee towns at Pickaway Plains. At Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the great Shawnee chief Cornstalk and his warriors met a detachment of Dunmore's army under command of Col. Andrew Lewis. Unsuccessful in defeating Col. Lewis' detachment, the Indians retreated to Pickaway Plains with Dunmore's Army in pursuit. The Indian nations wished peace, to which Dunmore agreed, much to the chagrin of Col. Lewis and many of the troops, who were bent upon destroying the Indians.

After the Indian era, the Pickaway Plains were the site of bountiful agricultural production. Today this area is the site of several large industrial complexes and homesites for citizens of Circleville. Note the conical kames to the west. The steep kame just south of Radcliff Road is known as Black Mountain and was a lookout point for the Shawnee towns.

On the east, Gold Cliff Park on the north bank of Scippo Creek was the approximate site of Cornstalk's Town. The south bank of Scippo Creek was the site of Grenadier Squaw Town. Grenadier Squaw was Cornstalk's sister and was noted for her strength and intellect.

The small kame on the east at the top of the hill just south of Emerson Road was the site of the "burning stake" where Shawnee prisoners were put to death.