Stonecutter Reed Krack engraves Mike Fink marker

Jim Bell (left) and Reed Krack (right) help with restoration project


Emma Deel and her brother Jim Stalnaker are still on a mission to restore one of Calhoun's most famous grave sites - the burial ground of Mike Fink and the unknown Indian on Milo Road.

Joining in the cause to erect new grave markers is Grantsville resident Jim Bell and Nicut resident Reed Krack.

"We've obtained an old photograph of the original headstones, and we're now reproducing them," said Bell. Krack, who was a former stonecutter by trade, has been working on the engravings.

"He (Krack) has done some fine work on the markers," said Bell, who furnished the sandstone rock which he acquired from Leafbank.

The men have been working at Krack's workshop this week. "This is the first time I've had my stone cutting tools out in ten years," said Krack.

Bell said they are looking forward to helping with the restoration of the historic site.

Deel said financial help has been slow coming, although "We thank the Hur Herald readers who have sent donations."

She said "We need just a few hundred dollars to get the project done. We appreciate any contributions," she said.

The site is located a short distance from Route 16 near Minnora.

Deel, a longtime civic-minded person in her community, says the site has continued to be in disrepair, including damaged headstones.

"We want to make it a more permanent site, including placing a better fence around the graves," said Deel. "People often see the historic marker on Rt. 16 and drive to the site, to find it in such bad shape." She estimates the cost to be about $1,000.

She and her brother have been maintaining the site.

The Fink-Indian incident began while historic figure Adam O'Brien and Mike Fink were watching a salt lick along a trail in 1780.

Old photograph shows early marker

Col. D. S. Dewees (1821-1905) in his "Recollections of a Lifetime" writes:

"These two adventurers, seeking a new country, conquesting for hunters and backwoodsman's paradise, when a small party of Indians in quest of revenge, seeking to strike a blow upon the usurper of their homes and hunting grounds...coming unexpectedly together, the Indians firing upon Fink, who together with O'Brien retreated up the branch (Fink Fork), wounded Fink in the heel, whose wound becoming so painful against they reached the low gap, that he advised O'Brien to seek his own safety, and leave him to his fate...He dispatched one of them (an Indian), which he in return was laid low in death...O'Brien in a few days returning with others, found the two common enemies cold in death's embrace, whereupon they were buried by O'Brien."