A Giant’s Kettle in the Middle of Lanark County


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Somewhere along Sheridan Rapid’s Road is something known locally as Grinding Rock or Jacob’s Well.  Potholes (also called Rockmills or Giant’s Kettles) are round depressions in solid rock ranging from very small to many feet in diameter and depth. Jacob’s Well is actually a deep hollowed rock on the right hand side of the road between the 3rd and 2nd concessions of Dalhousie.


Legends has it that it the geological formation called a kettle was used by the  Algonquin First Nations for grinding corn. The native population was still present in this area when European settlers began to arrive, and the number of artifacts found in this area indicates that there was certainly a native presence here. Archaeological research has proven that potholes were indeed used by ancient peoples.

In the days when the Mississippi River was larger, a piece of hard granite traveling over softer stone would have caught the eddies and whirlpools grinding away the softer rock forming a kettle. Sheridan Rapids was also a camping place for the natives travelling along the Mississippi.

Sheridan Rapids used to be a bustling community with a Catholic Church, cheese factory lime kiln tinsmith and iron mine. Given the fact that the hole is hewn from solid bedrock, it is very unlikely that it was created by hand by the Algonquin First Nations. Similar holes have been found in riverbeds at the foot of cascades, and under some other circumstances.

PLEASE NOTE- New Lanark Highlands History caches were placed in rural areas using an iPhone; coordinates have been checked many times but if you encounter a problem, please let us know by personal message and we will attend to it right away. Useful hints have been provided if you need help!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Prqnef orfvqr gur cbgubyr, rlr yriry

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)


The Preaching Rock of Lanark County


In the northern Great Plains of North America, wetlands formed in glacial kettles are known as prairie potholes.

Photo credit-Mike Szabo

they have kettles upstream @ ragged chutes as well!

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

5 responses »

  1. At Kettle Point, north of Sarnia on Lake Huron, kettles are actual round rocks. No point to make, just spreading information. 🙂

    I am pleased to learn of this kind of kettle.


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