The Miami believed the Seven Pillars symbolized the Great Father and was used for many tribal rituals and meetings. It was at the Seven Pillars that young men were educated in spiritual matters that were a passage from childhood into manhood.
A Miami legend about the Seven Pillars has to do with the “little Indians” that were said to live in the caves that have been carved in the Liston limestone that form the geological site. These “little Indians” were believed to be fairy-like little people that helped guide lost Miami boys home safely to their home villages. They not only lived and played in the caves, but also could be found in the waters of the Mississinewa that flow past this most unusual and interesting site.
To add to the legend of the “little people,” the Indians believed only old women could see these dwellers of the Seven Pillars of the Mississinewa.
An early French trading post was also reported to have used one of the caves to obtain furs taken by the Miami in exchange for trade goods.
The Seven Pillars can be seen from CR 200S, which is across the river, while 300E runs along the top of the rocks that contain the caves. It is hard to see the pillars from the road.
Across the Wabash from where the Mississinewa enters this river is Peru, the circus city which hosts the Circus City Festival each July. The young people of Peru put on a circus that is the equal of most professional circuses and is a must if you have never been to one of its high quality shows.
Anne and I have been to Peru many times as our daughter Jackie and her husband Mike lived there for several years before returning home to Cumback. It is indeed a fun place to spend a few days.
Well, I have a lot more on the Mississinewa River area but have run out of space so will have to feature more on this part of Hoosierland in a future column.