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Beckley Register Herald Newspaper Archives May 24 1986, Page 5

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Beckley Register Herald (Newspaper) - May 24, 1986, Beckley, West Virginia Jilt Igister Herald saturday May 24, 1986 a 5a ancient Community archaeology enthusiast explores native american settlement near Blue Jay by John Blankenship staff writer Larry Beckett believes that native americans settled in Blue Jay before the time of Christ. Beckett is a member of the West Virginia archaeological society and a self taught archaeologist with nearly 20 years of experience. He says a site in Blue Jay has been known to local residents for 150 years. He says the ancient site is believed to have been used As a fortification. Beckett says it was discovered by a trapper in 1836 on land owned by Gen. Alfred Beckley. The trapper is said to have taken Beckley to the site where the two men took measurements. The Walls of the ancient fortress measured an estimated 6 feet High and 7 feet thick. Beckett explains that in 1918 the Blue Jay lumber co. Cleared the site and erected an office building on the spot. Polly Lynch who owns the property gave Beckett permission to examine the site. Beckett believes reconstruction of the Walls would make the site a tremendous tourist attraction. The smithsonian Institute studied the site in the 1940s, but no one knows very much about the build ers or inhabitants Beckett says the discovery of various artefacts suggest that the site might have been used As a ceremonial Center As Well As a fortress. A if it was a fort it was a Small one a Beckett surmises. He claims to Hae discovered More than 500 items at the site of the ruins. The items include a War axe a x0" animal skins. Whole Valley seems to have knife Clay figurines and Carv �1 petrified Illey a been a culture a he says. Though the Mountain state was no More than a Hunting ground for most indians with very few Early White settlements Beckett contends that an ancient culture existed in the area Long before the White Man Ever came to the Region archaic geologists he says have identified the earliest Eastern Indian settlements As being built about 22,000 years ago other historians believe it could have been As Long As 44,000 years ago. One projectile Point Beckett found near the site is similar to the kind used Meure than 6,000 years ago he says. A but mat does no to prove the site is that old a a he adds. A fall it Means is that prehistoric Man was Here. He May have tossed his Beckett advocates linking City s past to future one of the Clay tablets found at the site pictured in the above file photo shows symbols associated with Indian signs for Fertility. In photo at right Beckett who believes the future of Beckley and Raleigh county lies in its past gestures As he proposes a combination museum and cultural Center for the area. Staff photo by John Blankenship by John Blankenship staff writer Beckley native Larry Beckett believes the City a future lies in its past. Beckett 33, a zone manager for Sun electric corp., proposes a combination museum Ami cultural Center for the downtown area. He views his idea As a Way to give Unity to City a revitalization efforts tying the town s history to its future. A with a downtown mall and museum cultural Center wed have a blend of the modern with the historic a Beckett says of his idea. A a museum would fit in with mayor Chuck Shoemakers plan of trying to give the downtown area a 19th Century flavor and it would be a Cornerstone for downtown Beckett suggests a museum that would House Memorabilia from area Coal logging and Railroad industries. He envisions three sections in the museum one for the City of Beckley one for Raleigh county and one for Southern West Virginia. A there Are no Public historic collections South of he says. A they Are All privately owned. The state could lend artefacts to the museum on a revolving basis and people with private collections could donate in addition to displays at the museum Beckett says devel rent of major historic Sites in area would a part of his scheme. For instance he says several gun emplacements from the civil War Era Are still extant in the area. In addition Beckett says the remains of an old Indian fortress exists in the Blue Jay area. He partially excavated the site with the smithsonian Institute a few years ago. A the walled Structure was discovered by Gen. Alfred Beckley when he explored his land Grant a Beckley explains. A it is still a Complete mystery on the same level with the great inca and mayan ruins of Smith Amer ice a Hie indians built the fort out of Stone. There Are several Gates in the shape of a Pentagon. We found Many artefacts such As Clay and Stone statues a petrified skin with writing on it various Flint artefacts Ana some Beckett says the smithsonian found the artefacts on a site used by a lumber company during the Early 1900s. A with time and development the Wall could be rebuilt a he says. A it is a site of National historic a Public museum for downtown Spear at a Deer and Beckett says the Walls of the Blue Jay site resemble Fayette county a ruins at mount Carbon which Are also estimated to be about 2,000 years old. He says a Symbol found on a Tablet at the Blue Jay site is that of a common North american sign for Fertility. Another image is a baked Clay carving of a Square faced Warrior similar to those produced by southwestern tribal artists he says. Several of the artefacts show thunderbird designs. Others show warriors with outstretched hands with Birds flying out of them. Still it is a round glazed Stone that Beckett values most. A it might be the Only known picture of prehistoric Man in Raleigh county a he says. He theorizes tip object was glazed with Pine pitch. A it has Small eyes and an intricate drawing of a Man a he explains a the figure is wearing beads and holding his hand out to a Beckett believes the Bird Imery is important to tenders Tai ing the prehistoric culture that dwelt Here a they believed that Birch could Fly up and visit the gods a he says. Archaeologists Are Uncertain about the origin of the strange Beckett says examining stones like this one is Only the first step in finding out who the people were that left them. Bin Fife photo Walls and the artefacts contained within them a a it a simply a mystery a he says. A that s the Only Way to describe briefly. By the associated press the world hindus sikhs clash. Hindus battled sikhs during a Daylong general strike Friday in Amritsar India protesting the massacre of la people by sikh gunmen. Police said a policeman was burned with acid a woman a hands were chopped off and nine people were hospitalized with Stab wounds. Hindu youths angry Over escalating terrorist attacks on their minority Community in Punjab also rioted in several other parts of the Northern state the Only one in India where sikhs predominate. 77 at a chemical Plant in Southern Poland released poisonous chlorine compounds that hospitalized 77 people the official news Agency Pap reported Friday. It said the fire began thursday afternoon at the Organka Benzyl chemical Plant in ska Rzysko Kamienny 90 Miles South of Warsaw and was extinguished that night. The Agency said 62 firefighters were among those hospitalized. Dolphins return to have returned to a River in Hunan province where they had not been seen since the late 1960s, the official Xinhua news Agency in peking said Friday. It said a Fisherman found a dozen dolphins swimming in the Xiangliang River this month and local authorities confirmed his report. Xinhua said the dolphins return May be the result of an improvement in the River a water Quality. The nation Krishna critic found Angeles police say a former Hare Krishna devotee who had feared for his safety was found dead in los Angeles Early thursday. Steven Bryant was found shot to death in his Van along autopsy was to be perform reason to link by anti a death to is conium inn me new a Naidan Hare Krishna religious sect in West Virginia. Bryant had been convicted last month of carrying a deadly weapon in connection with an incident at a Krishna Community in Marshall county . The state contract army corps of engineers has awarded a $1.08 million contract to a Kanawha county company for dredging work on the big Sandy River near . Robert c. Byrd d ., says the contract was awarded to Madison Coal and Supply co. Of port Amherst for rental of equipment equipment operators and operating supplies for the big Sandy project. Wavu considered for Virginia University is under consideration As a site for a . Army supercomputer that sen. Robert Byrd do. Va., says could enhance the states ability for attracting High tech Industry. Byrd said a a Rill be the army s promo reviewed by the Secretary Sal to place the computer at Wavu Wil of defense a office beginning june 28. Byrd made his comments at a High technology symposium attended by 300 people. Insurer will maintain policies on Mobile Homes Clay communications news service Mobile Home insurance is Back. An insurance company that was going to drop Mobile Home policies on 5,000 customers in West Virginia will maintain the policies because the state insurance commissioner has approved a 31.5 percent rate increase a min Nehoma insurance co. Official said Friday. But the Tulsa company will Stop providing flood coverage said Joyce Higgins a min Nehoma supervisor. The company announced March 24 it would not renew about 5,000 policies As they expired because of extremely High losses to fire and natural disaster particularly the november floods. The company is one of the states larger insurers of Mobile Homes. Higgins and state insurance commissioner Fred Wright confirmed Friday that those policies would be renewed. Parks wet cold and open next weekend by Joann p. Rhody staff writer wet weather and Cool tem May opening of Beckley Sparks until next saturday. Tures have delayed the a me optic racial a a we re Back in West Virginia a Higgins said. She added that the Only reason the company decided to keep the policies was because Wright on May 14 approved a 31.5 percent rate increase. The company will no longer provide flood coverage in the state because of the High losses after november floods she said. Wright said Mobile Home owners can get flood coverage through the National flood insurance program an Agency he said already provides most flood coverage for property owners. A for the most part it is the Only place you can buy flood insurance on personal property a he said. But Leff Moore executive director of the West Virginia manufactured housing association said min Nehoma a decision to stay in the state May not be directly related to the rate increase. However no snags Are predicted in the summer athletic programs that the City co sponsors with the Raleigh county Board of education at Stratton Junior High and Woodrow Wilson High. Basketball Tennis track and Field fitness and jogging quarterback clinics tournaments and other special programs will take place at the two Beckley schools thanks to the cooperation of the knights of Columbus. Complete details will be announced soon according to a mayoral spokesman. In past years new River Parks summer program began on the memorial Day weekend but recent weather a just Isnit conducive to opening until the end of the month said Beckley mayor Chuck Shoemaker. The addition of new City operated Parks in East Park and Maxwell Hill will offer for the first time three principal recreation complexes in addition to the Beckley exhibition mine which opened May i. Campsite rentals for new River Parks 18 campsite hookups Are managed from me exhibition mine office. Beckley a new East Park recreation Center will offer concessions basketball and other court games in addition to swimming Ana diving in a new Pool. A Large City managed Park on Maxwell Hill Road has sheltered and unsheltered picnic areas con Cessions and a Small kids Pool As Well As a Community Center building that is available for rent for private gatherings. At new River Park swimming Tennis and miniature Golf will be available this summer As usual. Also a free 20-station fitness Trail opened May 16. Reservations for the Tennis courts at Stansbury and in new River Park May be made by dealing 256-1797. All three Park areas will be open daily from to . To to . Swimming hours at All three pools will be noon to 8 . And private Pool parties again Are available. Reservations for private swimming parties and picnic shelters May be made at 256-1740. Rates Are As follows i swimming $2.50 for adults 12 years and older $1.50 for children season Pool passes Are $45 per adult $35 per child or at a family rate ranging from $75 for two persons to $95 for a family of six or More persons season Pool passes May be used at any City swimming facility. A Pool rentals $60 per hour up to 50 guests or $70 per hour up to too persons$85 per hour up to 150 people or $95 per hour up to 200 people. There is an additional $10 per hour charge for the kiddie Pool at new River Park a Golf $1 per game per person a Tennis $1 per hour a shelters $9.50 per hour new River Park and Maxwell Hill recreation Center Only. A East Park Community Center rental $10 per hour. Reservations available by telephoning 256-1740. A Maxwell Hill recreation Center rental $10 per hour to Reserve the building Telephone the City Board of Public works at 256-1740. A campsites $8 per Day or $150 per month. Larry Beckett of Beckley says he has discovered More than 500 objects around the ruins of an old Indian site at Blue Jay near Beaver. Beckett helped excavate the site a decade ago and believes the ruins Are at least 2,000 years old. Bin file photo would be a drawing card for tour groups he explains. A instead of having tourists just Stop Here briefly and then go elsewhere Why not have them spend the night or even a week Here a he asks. A we should be Able to hold Peoples attention for a becketts idea is another in a Long list of attractions suggested for downtown Beckley. The greater Beckley arts Alliance is working toward renovating the old Beckley theatre into a performing arts cultural Center an idea Beckett supports. On sunday the Raleigh county historic society opened the Wildwood House Gen. Beckley someplace and the youth museum of Southern West Virginia has opened up its interpretative Center on Ewart Avenue

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