NORWAY — A sign has been placed next to Indian Rock, telling the legend of the controversial piece of granite that now lies in the picnic area beside Lake Pennesseewassee.

“There was a volunteer who submitted the wording,” Town Manager David Holt said.

The rock, that has a deep depression which legend says was used by Indians to grind corn, had to be removed or lost during the $1.6 million Route 117 reconstruction project this summer by the Maine Department of Transportation.

Town officials thought initially they had moved the wrong rock during the monthlong effort to bring it to the picnic area next to Route 118. But selectmen finally agreed last month that the best route for the rock was to have it remain at the picnic area and put a sign by it. The problem was what to write on the sign.

Town officials confirmed that the rock is the same one state archaeologists looked at several times over the past 20 years. But the archaeologists said there is no evidence that the site where the rock was originally was occupied by Indians in the early 1600s. They say the rock’s depression is simply a natural formation.

The volunteer submitted the following description for the sign which, was approved by Selectmen Bill Damon and his wife,  Beatrice, who donated money for the project.

The inscription reads: “According to local legend, going back to at least the mid 1800s, Native Americans used a bowl-shaped hole in this rock to grind corn. These pieces were salvaged and moved here in September 2009 when Route 117, where the rock was located, was widened. The cooperation of Maine DOT and donations from the Denison Cole Trust Fund, Bea and Bill Damon, and others made this project possible.”

Funding for the rock project came from a $1,000 personal donation of the Damons and $300 from the Herbert Denison Cole Trust Fund that town voters approved last June.

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