Zachary's Mountain  LbNA # 55617 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 11 2010
LocationColumbus, OH
Found By Stampy
Last Found Sep 13 2015
Hike Distance?

Zachary's Mountain

First you should find McKinley Avenue on a Franklin County map. Did you know that you can get a free Franklin County map at the Franklin County Engineer’s Office located at 970 Dublin Road, in Columbus, Ohio? Even on weekends or after hours there is an outdoor drive up box where you can pick up a free map.

McKinley Avenue was named after President William McKinley the 25th president of the United States and a Civil War Veteran. He was also the 39th Governor of the State of Ohio. In 1901 McKinley was in Buffalo New York when he started to shake the hand of a spectator there. To hide the gun he was carrying that spectator had wrapped his hand in a white handkerchief making it look like a bandage. Our 25th president was shot twice and died 8 days later.

On the west side of McKinley Avenue between Fifth Avenue and Trabue Road you will find an often overlooked Ohio Landmark called, Shrum Mound. My grandson Zachary calls it his mountain, because he and I have been climbing it since he’s been old enough to walk. Zach is five years old now but this Adena Indian Mound is still one of his favorite places to go. If you‘ve grown up in Ohio you should know all about the Adena and Hopewell Mound-builders, having been taught all about them is elementary school. If you’ve forgot about them then get online ; there is a ton of interesting websites that will inform you.

The Shrum Mound is thought to be a burial mound, but some historians think it might have also been used as a signal mound as well. There should be ample parking in front of the gate, but be careful with young ones that they don’t stray into the street. At this small park there are several plaques and a Historical Marker that you can read to learn more about this mound. Shrum Mound also has a website that you can visit:

As you walk around this mound notice the stone wall that surrounds it, this wall will be very important to you in your quest for the letterbox. Though it is not mandatory for you to climb to the top of this mound, your first task will be much easier from the top of the mound than from down below; also the view from the top is spectacular.
Whether from the top or from the bottom your first goal is to count the trees that are in this park, but only the trees that are INSIDE of the stone fence. Remember this number!

Now walk to the west side of the mound, this will be the side opposite the gate. Along the western wall there is one single tree just inside the wall. If you are adventurous enough to descend down the rear of the mound which is quite steep you will already be very close to this tree. With your bottom resting on the wall just north of that tree and facing back east, walk on compass heading equal to the number of trees that you counted. Keep walking until you run into the north wall. From the point where you intersect the wall and still inside of the wall you should be able to find a large root that has surfaced from below ground, like a submarine coming up from the deep. This is no small root, it is as big as your leg, and there is only one in the whole park so you should be able to find it.

Do not shy away from this letterbox if you don’t have a compass, or you are not sure how to use one. Simply stick to the west wall and walk north to the corner, turning and following along the north wall until you find the root.

Now, please do not dismantle the wall ! If you look just one stone east of where the root goes under the wall and at the very base of the wall, there is a small stone that is already loose. We did not loosen it… in fact, when we found this hiding spot it was just an empty hole at the base of the wall. We searched for quite a spell to find a stray stone the right size that would plug this hole, so we could hide our box behind it.

Pull gently on the stone and it should slide right out. If it does not then you have the wrong stone. Behind the stone you will find the letterbox. Zach and I hope you have enjoyed your journey and that you like our stamps. Please be discreet if there are others in the park watching you and please put everything back as you found it.

When Zach, Jonathan and I letterbox we try to carry a garbage bag with us so if there is litter around we can do our Boy Scout Duty and leave every site a little cleaner than we found it. We hope you might do the same.

Thank you so much.

Grandma and Grandpa, Zach and Jonathan