Sudbury

French River man discovers geological formation in his backyard

When David Lichty noticed a unique rock formation in his backyard, he started digging.

A rock "pot" or "kettle" is a cylindrical geological formation found in granite

David Lichty lives in Monetville, southeast of Greater Sudbury, and discovered a geological formation members of the nearby Dokis First Nation call rock “pots” or “kettles” in his backyard. (Supplied by David Lichty)

When David Lichty noticed a unique rock formation in his backyard, he started digging.

"I first exposed a bunch of rocks and there was a section of rock that looked a little different, had a different curve to it, and I thought, 'What is this?'" he said.

Lichty lives in Monetville, southeast of Greater Sudbury. What he discovered was a geological formation members of the nearby Dokis First Nation call rock "pots" or "kettles."

What Lichty found looked like a perfect circle in the granite that had a hollow core. It took him a week of digging to reach the bottom, around four metres below his backyard.

Rock kettle in Monetville

2 months ago
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David Lichty's children play in a formation called a rock "pot" or "kettle" he discovered in his backyard. Video credit: David Lichty 0:28

At one end he measured the diameter to be around two metres, and a bit under two metres at the other.

Lichty said uncovering the formation brought out his inner child.

"I think you feel kind of like an archaeologist, I suppose," he said. "Am I going to reach the bottom? And at what point do I quit? But I don't know, I'm pretty driven at times, to my wife's chagrin." 

Formations are sacred to Dokis First Nation

After he uncovered the formation, Lichty invited Norm Dokis, a knowledge keeper with the Dokis First Nation, to take a look.

"It was quite fascinating," Dokis told the CBC. "I was comparing it to some of the rock formations at the Dokis First Nation, where I'm from, and I appreciate David getting a hold of us because these rock pots are sacred for our people."

Dokis said similar rock pots were found near canoe portage points. They were places where his people would ask for safe passage. Because the formation resembles a pipe bowl, it was also common to lay tobacco at those locations.

David Lichty dug four metres below his backyard, in Monetville, Ont., to uncover a cylindrical geological formation in the granite. (Supplied by David Lichty)

Because he has young children, Lichty said he will put a barrier around the formation. 

"The idea was to have a nice rock garden for my kids to have a safe place to climb on rocks, and I've got this really deep hole," he said. 

With files from Markus Schwabe

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