Armstrong Mountain Fort & Rock Circle, West Virginia Hopewell • Hilltop Fort, Rock Mounds, & Earthworks
By Dr. Greg Little
Portions of this article come from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Native American Mounds & Earthworks.
The remains of these truly enigmatic formations can be found at Armstrong Mountain and near the mouth of Armstrong’s Creek at the Kanawha River in Fayette County, WV, near Mount Carbon. Archaeological work has shown that they were constructed between A.D. 1-500 by the Hopewell Culture. About a half-mile up Armstrong’s Creek are the remains of what was a large, conical stone mound, 10-feet high and 25-feet in diameter. A triangular opening to the stone mound once existed but most of the stone has since been looted. Enclosing the mound was a circular stone wall 100-feet in diameter. This wall was 15-20 feet wide and 3-5 feet high. The wall’s total length was nearly one-half mile. On nearby Mount Carbon, which is situated between Armstrong and Loop Creeks, was a massive Hilltop Fort, a long irregular earth and stone wall enclosing 300 acres. The outer wall was constructed primarily from piled stone blocks, very similar to the stonewall enclosing The Old Stone Fort in Tennessee. The outer wall ran for an estimated 10 miles and was 6-feet high and an average of 6-feet wide. Within the walls were two odd huge circular stone formations that are believed to have been high stone towers. The towers were 20-feet in diameter and believed to have been at least 20-feet tall.
Portions of these sites are on private property but some areas should be accessible. If any readers do make the trek to visit these sites, I’d appreciate receiving a report on what remains there are.