Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Double Harpoon 52lb and 55lb


Did giants, 10 or 12 feet in height, and with the muscles of a Hercules or an Atlas, once dwell in Shiawassee County? Such is the question speculated upon by Frank Richardson, living south of town, who has found two stone weapons of such a size that they could have been handled only by a race of men of gigantic proportions.

These stones weigh 61 and 55 pounds and are each 14 inches long and 24 and 26 inches in circumference, respectively. They have been scaled down by bone tools and shaped the same as a tomahawk. The handiwork that has been put upon them makes them suitable weapons, being perfectly visible.

Each is notched in a manner that suggests a haft might be fastened to it. One is grayish and nearly round in shape, and rather pointed at the top, with a very good surface on the bottom. This would be classed as a sledge or maul. The other is the Ogemaw stone, which is a brownish color and very hard, reminding one of a double harpoon. It is a foot across from point to point, and 31 inches in circumference at these points. At the lower end or bottom, the point is blunt, and on the opposite lip.

Double Harpoon 52lb and 55lb


The question is brought to a sharper edge. If this instrument had a handle large enough and there was someone strong enough to swing it, it would likely make a very noticeable impression on the head of a whale.

Did some dusky denizen of the wilds in the Stone Age, some prehistoric human, wield those formidable weapons on the skull of the grizzly bears which might dispute the kill? Or perhaps, upon the skull of some neighboring tribesmen on occasion?

These questions form interesting food for thought, and Mr. Richardson, who has devoted his whole lifetime to the collection of interesting Indian relics, spends his spare time pondering on the tales these stones could tell, if only they could talk.

Mr. Richardson had his eye on the lighter-colored stone for two years, he says, but the immense size of it kept him for some time from believing that it could have been used by humans as a weapon. Then some time later he found the other and more perfect stone, and after weighing and comparing the two, there is little doubt in his mind, he says, that they must have been used by men of mammoth stature as weapons of warfare sometime in the dim past. Has Large Collection.

When he was 10 years old, Mr. Richardson started collecting arrow tips, and he has devoted his life since to this pastime. Now he devotes a large out-building to his collection, which contains about 50 large specimens and countless smaller ones. There are gorgets, bird stones, amulets, pestles, flints, banner stones, arrow and spearheads, and two Indian plows. One interesting specimen is a small flat stone covered with hieroglyphic signs in Indian fashion, and another is an egg-shaped charm stone, perfectly smooth, and only slightly larger than an egg. This was probably some medicine man’s charm. Then there is a gorget stone, a small flat black stone, very thin, with two small holes drilled through it, with 22 scalp notches cut in the edge.

There are two varieties of arrowheads, those with notches back of the point, and those without the notches. Those with the notches were used in hunting and were for the purpose of fastening the tip on securely; in warfare, the tips without the notches were used so that when the shaft of the arrow was pulled from the body, the head would remain inside and poison the victim, Mr. Richardson says.

  1. The Owosso Argus-Press – Nov 26, 1927
  2. Research done by Rephaim23