BECKLEY, W.Va. — A boulder whose engraving may be two centuries old has been given to the city of Beckley.

Councilman Tom Sopher, also president of the Raleigh County Historical Society, says it predates the city’s founding and indicates the area’s early civilization.

The Beckley Register-Herald reports that the 500-pound (227-kilogram) rock has been in the yard of city residents who officially transferred custody to Beckley.

The engraving says: “S. Ferguson, F. County 1814.”

Sopher says it will be temporarily placed on the trail going toward the Beckley mill ruin, a National Register of Historic Places site in the gorge where Piney Creek flows.

Workers building the Piney Creek sewer plant found it nearly obscured in the creek in 1988. It was moved to the yard, then owned by a Sanitary Board worker.

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