Stone Head marker decapitated

STONE HEAD — Stone Head no longer has a stone head.

The 165-year-old marker at State Road 135 South and Bellsville Pike was severely damaged and the head taken, reported “unofficial caretaker” Mike Kelley, who owns the House at Stone Head directly behind the historic marker.

Kelley said he received a text message this morning from a friend asking what happened to the marker. He and his wife were out of town on vacation, and Kelley believes the incident may have happened last night.

Kelley said it looked as if someone may have taken a sledgehammer to the statue.

Kelley said this was the original Stone Head, carved by famed stonecarver Henry Cross. It was placed to mark directions and distances to Indianapolis, Columbus and to other places which now no longer exist.

Margurete Rust Burns stands with the Stone Head statue at State Road 135 South and Bellsville Pike in 1914. Courtesy of the Brown County Archives.
Margurete Rust Burns stands with the Stone Head statue at State Road 135 South and Bellsville Pike in 1914. Courtesy of the Brown County Archives.

This isn’t the first time the marker has been damaged or stolen.

A new head was created after it was stolen in 1974, Kelley said. Once the original was found, it replaced the replica, he said.

In an Oct. 2, 1974 Brown County Democrat story announcing that theft, Brown County Sheriff Harry E. “Punk” Snider said the marker had been stolen three or four times before.

The head was believed to be carved in the likeness of George Summa, a township road supervisor. The 1974 story said Cross carved it as payment of his road taxes.

Kelley said he planned to file a report with police.

This is the second Brown County landmark to be damaged in less than a week.

On Nov. 2, Brown County resident Don Ford posted a photo to Facebook of graffiti on the 1880 Bean Blossom Covered Bridge.

Brown County commissioner Diana Biddle reported that the county highway department painted over the graffiti after learning about it, and she hopes the county can repaint the entire bridge in the spring.

The Bean Blossom Covered Bridge on Nov. 2. Submitted by Don Ford.
The Bean Blossom Covered Bridge on Nov. 2. Submitted by Don Ford.
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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.