Rock Fight Has Kentucky And Ohio At Odds

By: Denny Trease
By: Denny Trease

A big battle is brewing between Kentucky and Ohio, and it's all over a boulder. Indian Head Rock was pulled from the Ohio River and is now on display in the Buckeye state. But Kentucky officials held a news conference in Frankfort today to say the rock belongs to the Commonwealth.

Since the Ohio River was dammed about 100 years ago, Indian Head Rock has been relegated to its murky depths, but Dr. George Carrothers of the UK Anthropology Department says, "Kentucky owns any property to the low water mark on the north shore of the river. Since, Indian Head Rock was located under water near the south shore, it is property of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

While admitting there is no conclusive proof that any of the carvings on the 8 ton boulder were done by native Americans, members of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission told the media today removal of Indian Head Rock from the Ohio River represented theft of cultural property.

Dr. David Pollack of the Commission told 27 NEWSFIRST, "Ohio should not get to keep and benefit from stolen property."

Kentucky State Representative Reginald Meeks wrote a resolution asking Ohio to return the rock, and to those who would argue this is much ado about nothing because if Ohioan Steve Shaffer hadn't brought the rock to the surface, it would have remained on the river bottom forever, never to be seen by a single Kentuckian, Meeks says, "Perhaps the artifact's greatest significance has been lost. That is the opportunity to preserve it in place and interpret it to the public in its original setting. Removal of Indian Head Rock is tantamount to someone from Kentucky traveling to Ohio and digging up native American remains or burial property and bringing those artifacts back across the river."

Officials said it was simply a coincidence that the news conference about the rock was scheduled for the same time an Indiana Jones movie about stolen antiquities is playing all across the country.

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  • by Phillip Location: floyd on Jun 2, 2008 at 01:29 PM
    Its trivial at best but legally the rock should be Ky's..Ky does own 3/4 of the Ohio river and does own the part of the river the rock was taken from. Technically the rock was stolen. Though its still a waste of time and energy. This is just a grudge match..
  • by Sarah Location: KY on Jun 2, 2008 at 06:55 AM
    Cut it in half and give each state one half.
  • by c Location: fkt on Jun 2, 2008 at 03:53 AM
    I'm sure this rock is important to someone, however, given our current financial situation, I think our tax money can be better spent. Let Ohio have the rock and save taxpayers some money. It's crazy stuff like this that gives KY it's bad reputation. Fighting over a rock?? What other state does such stupid stuff? No wonder the rest of the US calls us "dumb hillbillies"! Shows some real stupidity on the part of our elected officials. If KY wanted the rock, then why did they wait until SOMEONE else got it out of the river? I'm sorry, but this whole thing is just plain stupid! WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY FOR SUCH NON-SENSE!
  • by green on Jun 1, 2008 at 05:27 AM
    The Rosetta Stone, is in a sense, a rock, and yet every museum in the world would love to have it. This is certainly on a different scale then the Indian Head Rock but the situation is similar. Something that would not be considered valuable has become historically valuable because what is ON it. If we want to say that it is "just a rock," then the Declaration of Independence is just a piece of parchment. Maybe one seems more important then the other, but should that really matter? Law is law, right? I do believe the rock should go to Ohio since it has more to do with them historically. However, they should have gone through the proper procedures. Say I go to Ohio and start digging around in the ground and I find a rock Henry Clay carved his initials on and I take it back to Kentucky since Henry Clay is more prominent historically there. I'm to believe Ohio wouldn't throw a fit about it?
  • by Abby's Husband Location: Powell on May 31, 2008 at 04:45 PM
    Since our state is in a financial crisis I think it's a waste of money in litigation over a stupid rock. If the state needs a rock that bad I have all kinds of rocks on my land they can come and get for free. Let's better use our money to go toward the defense of the grandpa who slapped the teacher.
  • by Bill on May 30, 2008 at 04:29 AM
    What a waste of time and money.We do not have a shortage of rocks in Kentucky.let them keep it.
  • by Dave Location: Garden Springs on May 30, 2008 at 04:00 AM
    Deep six it.
  • by Susan Location: Georgetown on May 29, 2008 at 06:09 PM
    The rock is just the object, the point is that state and federal laws were KNOWINGLY violated when part of the common "wealth", our shared past, was removed from the place that gave it meaning. Should we ignore lawbreakers? We do so to our own detriment and to the loss of our children's heritage. Hm, I don't find that to be the joke that others do. But that's just me.
  • by Wow Location: Richmond on May 29, 2008 at 12:53 PM
    @Jay Location: Lexington on May 29, 2008 Im with ya, we have been invaded and deprived of our culture by a enemy state lets restart the civil war with just teh two states. After all with cincinatis gun laws we wont even have to shoot anyone to take the city. (Lmao I hope people have enough since to know Im making a joke.)
  • by JC Location: Madison Co on May 29, 2008 at 09:20 AM
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