Jackson Hill is a large hill just upriver from Rockport. At a time in history, it
was used by Native Americans and/or Ancient Indians as a day camp or a rest area.
Mussels were plentiful in the Green River, in earlier times, and this high area
above the river was a good place to camp and forage for food by the Native Americans.
The river area was teeming with fish, mussels, and wild game. After all, Kentucky
has often been referred to as "Happy Hunting Grounds." In the mid-twentieth century,
this area was a good place to explore, play, and search for Indian artifacts. As
young boys, we would walk up river, about a mile from Rockport and make a half day
outing just being boys and entertaining ourselves on the high hill above the river.
Large grapevines were cut at the root end and used to make "Tarzan Type" swings.
Most of the time we were able to find a vine in such a location where we could swing
across the Jackson ditch or creek. Mussels shells, on the hillside, were numerous
and we have found Indian relics, some unknown to us and others, like arrowheads,
that we picked up as a valuable trade item. By this time, mussels were still
plentiful, fish were not scarce and small game was a joy to hunt in the area. Deer
and turkey and other larger game had been depleted.
Jackson Hill is located on the right bank of Green River just upriver from Rockport.
The north side of the hill drains into Jackson Slough and Jackson Creek while the
south side drains into Brown's Slough area and Brown's Slough Ditch with both
ditches emptying into Green River within 1000 feet apart. Of course, this water
entering into the river made fishing just a little better and the rocky shoreline
between the two ditches was a good place for fish and mussels.
As a young preteen and teenager, Indian artifacts were just trading items to most
of us, somewhat like comic books. To my knowledge, Jackson Hill, Graveyard Hill,
or Indian Graveyard were just names that we used to call this old hill. In reality,
I don't think that this place was ever a human graveyard of any type and only a
"Day Camp". Some years later, we learned of a true Indian Graveyard called "Indian
Knoll" and it was some four miles or so upriver from Rockport. Of course, if it
was there and we could get there, most of us made a few visits to Indian Knoll. At
the time, we thought of this place was a graveyard of the modern American Indian,
and it would be years later before we discovered that it was actually an Ancient
Indian burial ground and had been on the banks of Green River before Christ walked
upon this Earth. To us, it was somewhat sacred, but that did not prevent us from
picking up an arrowhead, a shard, or anything else of interest that was on top of
the ground. Although we never dug for anything in this area, we later discovered
that Archeologist had previously made two digs and would make another in 1960. These
digs were not necessarily for artifacts, but of complete excavation of the site.
Hundreds and human and dog skeleton remains, as well as arrowheads, pottery and
other Indian artifacts were removed for museum display and scientific study. In
1966 Indian Knoll was designated a National Historic Landmark, and today the site
lies within 290 acres of private agricultural fields. More on this Indian Knoll
area in the future as I have a web page in mind to be listed under the "Paradise"
heading and titled "Indian Knoll."
In the early nineteen sixties, the Western Kentucky Parkway was completed. The
Ohio Country side of the parkway, and the bridge, were constructed on the highest
point of Jackson Hill and split the small town of Echols. Another historical
place gone, but time and progress must continue.
Thanks for looking.