Leslie Mine / Indian Paint Mine, 23FR115


Profile of the prehistoric mine shaft drawn by Holmes (1903). The site was situated along Big Creek, a branch of the Bourbois River. Modern mining activity has erased all evidence of the prehistoric mine.

Photograph of the prehistoric mine shaft published by Moorehead (1912). Several artifacts from the site are curated in the Archaeology collection of the Smithsonian Institution. My interpretation of the artifacts is that they were used to pulverize the hematite and red ochre into powder - a needed material in some burial rituals. Projectile points from the site, some coated in powdered hematite and red ochre, date to the Late Archaic Period (approximately 3000 to 1000 BC).


Photograph of the prehistoric mine shaft published by Moorehead (1912).


Photograph of the workmen standing on the surface of the prehistoric mine gallery after the overburden had been removed. Photograph published by Moorehead (1912).


Photograph of the prehistoric tunnels exposed as a result of mining during the early 1900s. Photograph published by Moorehead (1912).


Photograph of over 100 stone mauls piled against a tree at the Leslie Mine site; photograph from Moorehead (1912).



Drawing of a stone maul illustrated by Holmes (1903).



Drawing of a stone maul illustrated by Holmes (1903).



Grooved, iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul. Maybe the same tool illustrated by Holmes (1903).



Grooved, iron stained stone nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Grooved, iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Grooved, iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Grooved, iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Grooved, iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Grooved, iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Grooved, iron stained nodule used as a hammer or maul.



Projectile point from the Leslie Mine.



Iron coated Etley point from the Leslie Mine.



Etley point from the Leslie Mine.



Etley point from the Leslie Mine.



Iron coated base of a Wadlow point from the Leslie Mine.



Iron coated adze from the Leslie Mine.



Holmes, William Henry
1903 Traces of Aboriginal Operations in an Iron Mine near Leslie, Missouri. American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1903), pp. 503-507.

1904 Traces of Aboriginal Operations in an Iron Mine near Leslie, Missouri. Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 723-726.

Moorehead, Warren K.
1912 Hematite Implements of the United States. Bulletin of the Dept. of Archaeology of Phillips Academy 6.


Special thanks to Mr. Alan Banks for the use of his private library.


Webpage constructed 5 September 2007

Revised 27 Sseptember 2007