Landmarks and Registers

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Landmarks and Registers

These Landmarks were often used to determine the progress of travel,
sometimes they named a location. The Registers, often landmarks themselves,
told of those who had passed by…
Presented here in alphabetical order.
Landmarks and Registers Index
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A.     B.     C.     D.     E.     F.    G.    H.     I.     J.     K.     L.      M.     N.

  O.     P.    Q.     R.     S.     T.     U.     V.     W.    X.     Y.      

A.

Algodones Dunes – California

A sand dune field (erg) in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of California, near the border with Arizona and the Mexican state of Baja California. Approximately 45 miles long by 6 miles wide, it extends along a northwest-southeast line that correlates to the prevailing northerly and westerly wind directions. In the old days, these dunes were a formidable obstacle to cross.  {001}

OWDR Algodones Dunes

The Algondones Dunes from Space
Photo: U.S. PD 2005 ISS photo

OWDR algodones dunes - north

North Algodones Dunes vegetation
Photo: U.S. PD 2010, USBLM – Valerie Kastoll

 

 

 

 

 

 

see also:
The Originals Index – Lost Treasures in the Old West – 1889 Algodones , MX

 

B.

Beckwourth Pass – California

Beckwourth Pass - Landmarks and Registers

Looking east, at the crossing of the
ex-Western Pacific RR’s Feather River Route
towards Beckwourth Pass.
Photo: U.S. PD 2011 by moabdave

 

Beckwourth Pass, located in Plumas County, CA. is the lowest mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (5,221 ft – 1,591 m). Discovered in 1850 by mountain man James Beckwourth, who soon developed his Beckwourth Trail from Truckee Meadows (today’s, Sparks, NV) through the pass to Marysville, CA.
Beckwourth led the first wagon train of settlers along the trail into Marysville in the late summer of 1851. An estimated 1,200 emigrants used the trail between 1851 and 1854 and it was used during the California Gold Rush*until about 1855, when the railroad quickly replaced the wagon train as the preferred method of traveling to California.
Between 1895 and 1916, the pass was used by the Sierra Valley & Mohawk Railway (narrow gauge). The abandoned right-of-way is still visible on the eastern slope of the pass. In 1906, the Chilcoot Tunnel was constructed beneath the pass by the Western Pacific Railroad as part of its Feather River Route. Owned and operated today by the Union Pacific Railroad.
In 1937, the Native Daughters of the Golden West erected a bronze plaque at Beckwourth Pass by to commemorate the discoverer and the pioneers who passed along the Beckwourth Trail. Beckwourth Pass was designated California Historical Landmark Number 33, 08/08/1939.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 44, 10/29/1866 – James Beckwourth
*
Wk. 04, 01/24/1848 – Sutter’s Mill
*Photo Gallery Index – Mining Photos – Gold Rushes

 

Bighorn Medicine Wheel – Wyoming
The Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark

OWDR Bighorn Medicine Wheel 1922

Bighorn Medicine Wheel c. 1922
Photo: U.S. PD, unknown

 

A pre-Columbian Medicine Wheel located at an altitude of 9,642 feet, near the summit of Medicine Mountain in Wyoming. Built from locally gathered, loaf-sized stones, the circular rim is about 25 yards in diameter, with 28 spokes extending from the rim to the center. A center rock cairn, approximately ten feet in diameter, and six smaller ones placed in carefully chosen locations about the rim. These cairns revel the structure to be an astronomical observatory; certainly used by shamans of several tribes to accurately predict the Summer Solstice. Sighting over the correct pairs of cairns, determines the rising day of certain major stars and thereby, the day of the solstice. As it happens, the placement of the cairns can also help date the Wheel itself. It has likely existed, in some form, since at least 1050 AD. Due to the Earth’s precession, the rising points of the stars do slowly change. Newer cairns that reflect this, have been added to the Wheel. Therefore, predictions were relatively accurate from about 1050 to 1700 or so, if, you knew which cairns to use. That information was likely in the various tribe’s oral tradition* about the Wheel. Numerous tribes** were present in the greater area and it not known for certain, which may have visited the Wheel. Young Crow men made journey here for Vision Quest. The shamans came, and, as always, prayers and offerings were and are today, made here by the people, for healing, atonement, for harm done to others and Mother Earth.  {001}
National Historic Landmark in 1970.
Renamed Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark in 2011.

OWDR Bighorn Medicine Wheel old photo

Bighorn Medicine Wheel
Photo: U.S. PD internet

OWDR Bighorn Medicine Wheel diagram

Bighorn Medicine Wheel
Operational diagram

 

 

 

 

 

see:
*Arapaho
for sure.
**Bannock, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kiowa, Nez Perce, Sioux, Shoshone and Ute.

 

Brown’s Park – Utah
aka: Brown’s Hole

OWDR Browns Hole 1937 DPL

Browns Hole, UT
Photo: U.S. PD c. 1937 DPL 1937 DPL

 

Brown’s Park (aka: Brown’s Hole) is an isolated mountain valley along the Green River in Moffat County, Colorado and Daggett County, Utah.  In the early 1800’s, when the Euro-Americans first entered the area, the area was inhabited by Comanche, Shoshoni, and Ute tribal groups. The Blackfoot, Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Navaho tribes also visited or used the area. The presense of the Native Americans was documented by the 1776 Dominguez-Escalante Expedition and again in 1805 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In the 1830s the valley became a favorite location for fur trappers and settlers. In 1837 Fort Davy Crockett was constructed as a trading post and a defense against attacks by the Blackfoot; abandoned in the 1840s as the settler population declined. After the discovery of gold in California in 1848, the valley emerged among ranchers as a favorite wintering ground for cattle.
By the 1860s it had acquired a reputation alongside Hole-in-the-Wall, WY and Robbers Roost, UT as a haven for cattle rustlers, horse thieves, and outlaws; such as Butch Cassidy and Tom Horn. It was the birthplace of Ann and Josie Bassett, considered female outlaws and girlfriends to several of Cassidy’s Wild Bunch gang. During its outlaw heyday, the Browns Park ethic allowed for most “outlaw deeds” except murder. Butch Cassidy reportedly acquired his nickname while working for a local rancher, and returned to the region repeatedly during his outlaw career.
Today, it is the location of the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge (1965).  {001}

OWDR Browns Park Utah O Sullivan

Browns Park, UT
Photo: U.S. PD Timothy O’ Sullivan LOC

see:
The Originals Index – Brothels, Saloons, Dance Halls, GamblingBrown’s Hole Saloon c. 1822)

 

C.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument – Arizona

750 foot, Spider Rock
at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon
Photo: U.S. PD 2004 – Brian W. Schaller

 

Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Archeological evidence indicates that the canyon has been occupied on and off for some 4,000 years. Following previous residents, the Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) and the Hopi, the Navajo people, who had only recently arrived in the southwest (c. 1300) came to the canyon some time in the mid-late 1300’s or early 1400’s. They were invaded by forces led by future New Mexico governor Lt. Antonio Narbona in 1805 and in 1863, Col. Kit Carson defeated the Navajo and forced their removal to Bosque Redondo, NM.
Today, some 40 Navajo families live in the canyon which is wholly owned by the Navajo Tribal Trust and jointly managed in cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service, a relationship unique in the nation. It is one of the most visited of the country’s National Monuments.  {001}

Canyon de Chelly
Map: U.S. PD? Arizona for Visitors

 

Castle Rock – Kansas

OWDR Castle Rock, KS BPL

Castle Rock, KS
Photo: U.S. PD 1867-68 Alexander Gardner
Boston Public Library

 

Castle Rock, a large limestone pillar in Gove County, KS, was a landmark on the Butterfield Overland Dispatch route (Overland Trail). Said to have received its name because it looks like a castle rising above the prairie. The chalk was deposited in the area by the Western Interior Seaway in the Cretaceous era. The formation was created by the weathering of wind and water. In modern times, weathering of the rock formation is increasing due to visitors climbing on the rocks. Following a 2001 thunderstorm, the tallest spire fell.  {001}

see also:
Wk. 26, 06/25/1865 – David Butterfield
Wk. 38, 09/23/1865 – The Smoky Hill Route
Photo Gallery Index – Transportation Photosconveyances

 

Chimney Rock – Colorado

Chimney Rock, in southwestern Colorado.

Chimney Rock, in southwestern Colorado.
Photo: U.S. PD ? npr.org

 

Located in Archuleta County in Southwestern Colorado. This landmark, is not so prominent or important as an emigrant trail marker as the one in Nebraska. The paleo-Indian site at Chimney Rock, CO is thought to be one of many outposts of the much larger Chaco Canyon settlement in northern New Mexico, about 55 miles away.  {001}

 

Chimney Rock – Nebraska

OWDR Chimney Rock NE

OWDR Chimney Rock NE
Photo: U.S. PD

 

Located in Morrill County in Western Nebraska and rising nearly 300 feet (91 m) above the surrounding North Platte River valley, the peak of Chimney Rock is 4,226 feet (1,288 m) above sea level. Probably the most important progress marker on the California/Mormon/Oregon Trail.  {001}

see:
The Originals Index – TrailsOregon TrailEzra Meeker)

 

Chimney Rock – New Mexico

Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM

Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch, NM
Photo: U.S. PD Peeping Lizzy

 

Located in Mckinley County, Northwestern New Mexico.  {001}

 

Church Rock – Utah

OWDR Church Rock Web

Church Rock, UT
Photo: 2015 Doc Boyle

 

Located in San Juan County, Southeastern Utah, south of Moab.  {001}

 

Cochise’s Head – Arizona

OWDR Cochise's Head - GililandIn the Chiricahua National Monument, AZ
Photo: U.S. PD 2012 Clay Gililand

 

D.

Devils Tower – Wyoming

OWDR Devils Tower

Devils Tower, WY
Photo: U.S. PD NPS

 

An igneous intrusion (laccolith), near Hulett and Sundance in the Southwest corner of Crook County in Northeast Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River in the Bear Lodge Mountains (part of the Black Hills). It rises 1,267 feet (386 m) above the surrounding terrain, the summit is 5,114 feet (1,559 m) above sea level. The name Devil’s Tower originated during an 1875 expedition led by Col. Richard Irving Dodge. His interpreter misinterpreted the Indian name to mean Bad God’s Tower, which then became Devil’s Tower. Well before Europeans came to the West, Native American Tribes, including the Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, and Shoshone had geographical and cultural and ties to the monolith  which they called: Bear’s Tipi (Arapaho, Cheyenne), Bear’s House (Cheyenne, Crow), Bear’s Lair (Cheyenne, Crow), Daxpitcheeaasáao, “Home of bears” (Crow), Bear’s Lodge (Cheyenne, Lakota), Bear’s Lodge Butte (Lakota), Grizzly Bear Lodge (Lakota),  Aloft on a Rock (Kiowa), Tree Rock (Kiowa). The discussion continues yet today about re-naming the the tower more in keeping with the actual Indian names. Seems like it ought to be “Bear” something.   {001}

Devils Tower, c. 1900

see also:
Wk. 39, 09/24/1906 – First National Monument

 

E.

El Morro – New Mexico

OWDR El Morro 01

El Morro
Photo: U.S. PD 2006 Joel Mills

OWDR El Morro Petroglyph & inscription

Petroglyph and inscription
Photo: U.S. PD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Morro is located in Cibola County, NM. It is a prominent sandstone bluff with a shaded oasis at its base and a reliable pool of clear water. On an ancient East-West trail it is also a trail register with centuries of use. Zuni Indians call it “A’ts’ina” (Place of writings on the rock). Spanish explorers called it El Morro (The Headland) c. 1620 and new arriving Anglo-Americans called it Inscription Rock. The U.S. government banned further inscription on the rock in 1909.  {001 & 021}

 

Enchanted Rock – Texas

OWDR Enchanted Rock TX 2012

Enchanted Rock, TX
Photo: U.S. PD? 2012, unknown Internet

 

Enchanted Rock is an enormous (largest in the U. S.) pink granite pluton batholith (monadnock) located in the Llano Uplift in Llano County, TX, south of the Llano River. Covering some 640 acres, it rises approximately 425 feet (130 m) above the surrounding terrain, topping out at 1,825 feet (556 m) above sea level. Folklore of local Tonkawa, Apache and Comanche tribes ascribes magical and spiritual powers to the rock. The name “Enchanted Rock” derives from Spanish and Anglo-Texan interpretations of such legends and related folklore; the name “Crying Rock” has also been given to the formation. The Tonkawa, who inhabited the area in the 16th century, believed that ghost fires flickered at the top of the dome. In particular they heard unexplained creaking and groaning, which geologists attribute to the rock’s night-time contraction after being heated by the sun during the day.
The first European to visit the area was probably Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1536. The Indians said they would hide from the Anglo settlers in the area on the top two tiers of the rock, where they were invisible from the ground below.
A memorial plaque reads: “From its summit in 1841, Captain John C. Hays, while surrounded by Comanche Indians who cut him off from his ranging company repulsed the whole band and inflicted upon them such heavy losses that they fled”.  {001}

F.

No “F” entries at this time.

 

G.

Garden of the Gods – Colorado

Garden of the Gods - Landmarks and Registers

Garden of the Gods

 

The Garden of the Gods’ spectacular red rock formations were created during the uplift of the “new” Rocky Mountains around sixty million years ago. Fossils, occurring in the landscape help define the forces of weathering over time which has left the land-forms of today. Archaeological evidence begins to occur in the area at around 1330 BCE. By 250 BCE, Native Americans were camping in the park and the surrounding area. Attracted to the plants and wildlife, they used the overhangs created by the rocks for shelter. Numerous Native American tribes have a connection to Garden of the Gods, including the Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Pawnee, Shoshone, and Ute.
The Ute, in particular, found red rocks to have a spiritual connection and camped near Manitou Springs and the creek near Rock Ledge Ranch bordering Garden of the Gods. Petroglyphs* found in the park are typical of early Utes and their oral traditions tell of their creation at the Garden of the Gods. The Old Ute Trail went past Garden of the Gods to Ute Pass and led later explorers through Manitou Springs.
Beginning in the 16th century, Spanish explorers and then later, European American explorers and trappers traveled through the area. Lt. John C. Frémont and Lt. George Frederick Ruxton, both recorded visits in their journals. Today, the area is a Colorado Springs, Colorado city park of 1,364 acres. It attracts many thousands of visitors each year. Photo: U.S. © 2005 Robert Corby, GNU permission.  {001}
see:
*References – DictionaryPetroglyphs

 

Glass Buttes – Oregon

Glass Butte, OR
Photo: U.S. PD USFS

Glass Buttes Obsidian
Photo: U.S. PD – USFS

 

Glass Buttes are a group of volcanic mountains made up of two prominent peaks and several smaller adjacent hills (A Rhyolitic Dome created approximately 4.9 million years ago.). A major landmark, rising approximately 2,000 feet above the surrounding, arid, high desert plain in an area once known as the Oregon’s Great Sandy Desert. The highest point is known as Glass Butte, 6,388 feet (1,947 m) above sea level. A secondary peak, Little Glass Butte, southeast of the main summit, has an elevation of 6,155 feet (1,876 m). These steep buttes have a number of massive basalt outcroppings scattered along the slopes.
They are named for the numerous large deposits of obsidian found there. Clovis people appear to have collected obsidian at Glass Buttes beginning around 9,000 years ago. Native Americans used the colorful volcanic glass for making cutting tools, arrowheads, and spear points. Also an important trade good, Glass Buttes obsidian has been found at archeological sites throughout the Pacific Northwest, from British Columbia in the north, to California in the south. There are also reports of Glass Buttes obsidian artifacts at sites in Idaho and as far east as Ohio. Today, Glass Buttes is a historical and recreational site managed by the BLM. Located between Bend and Burns, in the remote northeast corner of Lake County, central OR.  {001}

see also:
The Originals Index –  Trade in the Old West
Photo Gallery Index – Mining Photos – Mining Minerals

 

Great Salt Lake – Utah

OWDR Great Salt Lake Satt photo USGSOWDR Great Salt Lake map Kids BritannicaThe Great Salt Lake and the harsh desert country around it were formidable obstacles to travel in the Old West. The map view helps get an idea of its size. Today, the lake is slowly shrinking away. Map: © Kids Britannica – fair use; Photo: U.S. PD USGS.  {001}
see also:
The Originals Index – – Expeditions
Bonneville Expedition (1832-35)

 

H.

Huerfano Butte – Colorado

OWDR Huerfano Butte

“Huerfano,” is Spanish for “orphan”
Photo: U.S. PD aberjame

 

Huerfano Butte stands alone, some 300 feet above the high plains north of Walsenburg, CO. Visible for up to 80 miles, the landmark served early explorers, marking the presence of rivers flowing from the nearby Rocky Mountains.  Noted by natives, the Spanish, and noted land surveyor, John C. Fremont. It attracted pioneers who built a fort and later, a small settlement nearby.
Rising from an ancient sea bed of Pierre Shale, the igneous intrusion, that never reached the surface, was the result of the uplift of the Spanish Peaks some 40 miles to the west. Because of intense heat, surrounding the intrusion, out to a distance of some 270 feet the Pierre Shale has been cooked into argillite, a metamorphic rock. The hard core of the intrusion is formed of cooled lava, black basalt.  {003}

 

Hole in the Wall – Wyoming

OWDR Hole in the Wall 01

Hole in the Wall
Photo:U.S. PD ? unknown – Internet

 

An Outlaw Hideout in Southwest Johnson County Wyoming, Hole-in-the-Wall is really a pass, located in the Big Horn Mountains. Remote and secluded, easily defended because of its narrow passes, and impossible for lawmen to approach without alerting the outlaws. From the late 1860s to around 1910, the pass was used frequently by numerous outlaw gangs. Late in the 19th century, the Hole in the Wall Gang, Black Jack Ketchum‘s Gang and Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch had all spent time at the pass. At its height it featured several cabins that gangs used to lie up during the harsh Wyoming winters, and it had a livery stable, a corral, livestock, and supplies, with each gang contributing to the upkeep of the site. The variable selection of cattle rustlers, desperados and outlaws met at a log cabin in the Hole-in-the-Wall country which had built by Alexander Ghent in 1883. In the ever changing west and with the gangs using it less frequently, Hole-in-the-Wall eventually faded into history…  {001}

see also:
Wk, 05, 02/01/1896
Wk. 17, 04/25/1901
Wk. 45, 11/07/1908
Wk. 46, 11/18/1944)
and PLAYERS – Timelines Index
Timelines A-L Index – Butch Cassidy Timeline
Timelines M-Z Index – Sundance Kid Timeline and Wild Bunch Timeline

 

I.

Independence Rock – Wyoming

OWDR Independence Rock WY on the Oregon Trail 1870

Independence Rock WY on the Oregon Trail 1870
U.S. PD c. 1870, USGS

OWDR Independence Rock WY names

Names carved on Independence Rock WY
Photo: U.S. PD Gortexguy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The middle of the three California/Mormon/ Oregon Trail “Registers” in Wyoming. A large rounded monolith of Archean granite typical of the surrounding region, an isolated peak at the southeast end of the Granite Mountains. Located in the high plateau region of central Wyoming, north of the Sentinel Rocks ridge and adjacent to the Sweetwater River. About 130 ft. tall (40 m).  {001}

see:
Wk. 27, 07/04/1862
Quotes Index – Commentators Quotes,
Commerce, Industry , Mining and TransportationJohn C. Fremont (1843)

 

J

No “J” entries at this time.

K.

No “K” entries at this time.

 

L.

Llano Estacado – Texas
Staked Plains

The Staked Plains - Landmarks and Registers

The Staked Plains

 Llano Estacado map Landmarks and Registers

Llano Estacado map

Topographly, one of the flattest areas in the United States, rising 450 feet above the red earth lowlands of the surrounding Great Plains, the Llano Estacado is a high plateau covering some 32,000 square miles in New Mexico and Texas. It was a formidable obstacle to travel in times past. So much so, that the Spanish who crossed it, set out stakes in the ground to show the route, so travelers would not get lost in that great unmarked sameness…  {001}
see also:
PLAYERS – Timelines – Timelines M-Z – Staked Plains Horror Timeline

M.

Medicine Rocks – Montana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medicine Rocks is part of the Fort Union Formation, a geologic unit containing coal, sandstone, and shale in Montana, Wyoming, and other adjacent states. The site is about 25 miles (40 km) west-southwest of Baker in southeastern Montana at 3,379 feet (1,030 m). The area is populated with unique perforated sandstone rocks, filled with holes, tunnels and caves crafted by rain and wind over some 61 million years. Including chained and isolated arches and spires reaching 80 feet high and 200 feet across, the rocks contain numerous examples of Native American rock art, and are considered a sacred, holy place by Plains Indians. Archaeological evidence indicates that there has been human habitation at or near Medicine Rocks for about 11,000 years. Native Americans were attracted to the site because of the many medicinal plants which grew there and the fossil seashells which could be gathered for decorations. The Spires served as lookout points for hunting bison and the locale was a beautiful resting spot and a perfect location for those considering vision quest.* Plains Indian tribes which resided here permanently or temporarily, include: the A’aninin, Arikara, Assiniboine Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, Mandan, and Sioux. Bone and stone tools, fire rings (circles of stones used to contain a bonfire), pottery, tipi rings (circles of stones used to hold down the edges of a tipi), and other artifacts have all been found in the area. Due to the quantity of Native American art on the rocks, the signatures and graffiti of white settlers and the vandalism of then and now, Medicine Rocks also clearly qualifies as a Western Register site.

The Cheyenne stopped at here on their way from the Yellowstone River Valley to the Black Hills each summer and early fall. Each year, the Crow made an offering to the “Little People” (a race of tiny, ferocious, spiritually powerful dwarves) at Medicine Rocks, where they believed some Little People lived. Such gifts might include beads, paint, or tobacco. The Crow also made “fasting beds” out of rocks, on which they would lie down while seeking visions and dreams.* The Crow called the Medicine Rocks area Inyan-oka-lo-ka, or “rock with a hole in it.”

The 1880’s saw the first white settlers in Medicine Rocks area.  The “101 Ranch” established by the Standard Cattle Company in 1888, moved more than 30,000 head of cattle every year from Wyoming, north through the area to Wibaux, MT, then, the cattle shipping hub for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Hundreds of cowboys worked the ranch, and some of these passers-by stayed, gradually increasing the white presence in the area. More than a few of those cowpunchers carved their names or graffiti into the sandstone of Medicine Rocks. During the 1910s and 1920s, Medicine Rocks was a favorite picnic spot for local people, who often drove to the site on Sunday’s for feasting, entertainment, and conversation. Today the area is a state park. In 1883, future President Theodore Roosevelt visited the land and wrote, “As fantastically beautiful a place as I have ever seen.”  {001}
see also:
References – DictionaryVision Quest

 

Meteor Crater – Arizona
Barringer Crater

Meteor Crater - Landmarks and Registers

Barringer Crater

 

Barringer Crater is a meteorite impact crater approximately 3,900 ft (1,200 m) in diameter and 560 ft (170 m ) deep. It is surrounded by a rim that rises 148 ft (45 m ) above the surrounding plains. The center of the crater is filled with 690–790 ft(210–240 m) of rubble lying above bedrock. Located in the northern Arizona desert 5,710 ft (1,740 m ) above sea level, about 18 miles (29 km) west of Winslow, AZ. The crater was created about 50,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch.

Canyon Diablo Meteorite - Landmarks and Registers

Canyon Diablo
Meteorite sample

The site was formerly known as the Canyon Diablo Crater and fragments of the meteorite are officially called the Canyon Diablo Meteorite. Scientists refer to the crater as Barringer Crater in honor of Daniel Barringer, who was first to suggest that it was produced by meteorite impact. Today, the crater is privately owned by the Barringer family through their Barringer Crater Company, which proclaims it to be the “best preserved meteorite crater on Earth”. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in November 1967. Photos: U.S. PD? internet  {001}
I am seeking Native American perspective, legends, etc. about this location. – Doc

 

Mexican Hat Rock – Colorado

OWDR-Mexican-Hat-Rock-Web

Mexican Hat Rock near Mexican Hat, UT
Photo: 2015 Doc Boyle

About 60-feet (18 m) wide by 12-feet (3.7 m) thick – San Juan County, Southeastern Utah.  {001}

 

Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark – Kansas

Monument Rocks
Photo: U.S. PD 2011 – Brian W. Schaller

 

 

Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark (aka: Chalk Pyramids). The formations were the first landmark chosen by the US Department of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark. They are a series of large chalk formations including buttes and arches, some reaching a height of  70 ft (21 m). Rich in fossils, these carbonate deposits are estimated to have been laid down 80 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period in what was then the Western Interior Seaway, which had split the continent of North America into two landmasses. Located in Gove County, KS.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 29, 07/20/1943 – Charles H. Sternberg

 

Monument Valley – Arizona/Utah

Monument Valley
Photo: U.S. PD? – internet

 

Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii – Valley of the Rocks) lies within the confines of the Navajo Nation Reservation. It is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor, whose elevation of the valley floor ranges from 5,000 to 6,000 feet (1,500 to 1,800 m) above sea level. Iron oxide exposed in the weathered siltstone accounts for the valley’s vivid red rock while the darker, blue-gray rocks in the valley are colored by manganese oxide.
Beginning in the 1930s, the spectacular scenery of Monument Valley has been featured in many forms of media. Movie director John Ford used the location for a number of his best-known western films. The valley is located on the Arizona–Utah border just north of Kayenta, AZ. Nearly a thousand people live in the valley, the settlement known as Oljato.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 35, 08/31/1973 – John Ford
Wk. 21, 05/24/1986 – Yak Canutt

 

N.

Names Hill – Wyoming

OWDR Names Hill WY

Names Hill WY
Photo: U.S. PD NPS

OWDR Names Hill WY names

Names Hill WY
A close-up of some of the names…
Photo: U.S. PD 2014, Realwyo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Names Hill is the westernmost of the California/Mormon/ Oregon Trail “Registers” in Wyoming; a sandstone bluff located on the bank of the Green River near a heavily used crossing. Earliest human recordings at the site are Native American pictographs. European American names began appearing as early as 1822 as mountain men crossed the river on their way to the beaver streams of the Western Rocky Mountains. In 1844, Caleb Greenwood and Isaac Hitchcock lead the first wagon train over what would later be called the Sublette-Greenwood Cutoff, along the way crossing the Green River at Names Hill. The wagon trails would rest at the Green River following a 40 miles (64 km) waterless trek across the prairie, providing an opportunity for travelers to add their names to the hill.  {001}

see also:
Wk. 16, 04/16/1969 – Historic Place

 

Newspaper Rock – Utah

OWDR Newspaper Rock cu

Closeup of a portion of the Rock
Photo: U.S. PD Jim

OWDR Newspaper Rock UT

Newspaper Rock UT
Photo: U.S. PD c.1972 NARA, David Hiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first carvings at the Newspaper Rock site were made perhaps 2,000 years ago. Since then, the signs and symbols have been left by people from the Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures (and, unfortunately, modern culture as well). In Navajo, the rock is called “Tse’ Hone'” which translates to a rock that tells a story. The petroglyphs* were carved by Native Americans during both the prehistoric and historic periods. Some of the over 650 rock art designs are of different animals, including deer, buffalo, and pronghorn antelope. Various symbols and human figures also appear. Some glyphs depict riders on horses (therefore are from after about 1530 ish…). Other images depict past events as in a newspaper.
Precisely dating the rock carvings is difficult, but, repatination of surface minerals reveals their relative ages. These images were inscribed into the dark coating on the rock, called desert varnish; a blackish manganese-iron deposit that gradually forms on exposed sandstone cliff faces owing to the action of rainfall and bacteria. The ancient artists produced the many types of figures and patterns by carefully pecking the coated rock surfaces with sharpened tools to remove the desert varnish and expose the lighter rock beneath. The older figures are themselves becoming darker in color as new varnish slowly develops. The reason for the large concentration petroglyphs at this particular location is unclear.  Located east of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, San Juan County, Southeastern UT.{001}
FYI: – Rock paintings are called
see:
*References – Dictionarypetroglyphs
References – Dictionarypictographs

 

O.

Old Oraibi Village – Arizona

Old Oraibi Village c. 1899 - Landmarks and Registers

Old Oraibi Village c. 1899

 

Thought to have been founded sometime before the year 1100 CE, Oraibi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the United States. Archeologists speculate that a series of severe droughts in the late 13th century had forced the Hopi to abandon several smaller villages in the region and consolidate within a few population centers. One of these surviving settlements, eventually, Oraibi’s added growth made it, the most influential of all the Hopi settlements.
European contact came with Coronado expedition explorer Don Pedro de Tovar, who encountered the Hopi about 1540 while searching for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. Contact with Europeans was always scant. The San Francisco mission was established in the village in 1629, but the Pueblo Revolt 1680 resulted in decreased Spanish influence in the area and the cessation of the mission. Subsequent attempts to reestablish the missions in Hopi villages were met with repeated failures. The old mission is still visible today as a ruin.
Hopi interaction with outsiders slowly increased during the 1850–1860 time period through missionaries, traders and surveyors for the US government. Contact remained sporadic and informal until the U.S. Government appointed an Indian agent to the Hopi in 1870. The Hopi Indian Agency in Keams Canyon followed in 1874 and the U.S. government established the Hopi reservation in 1882. This led to a number of changes for the Hopi way of life. Missionary efforts intensified and, as with the Navajo and others, Hopi children were kidnapped from their homes and forced to attend school, exposing them to new cultural influences. Part of the ongoing effort, of the times, to destroy Indian cultural traditions. By 1890 the village was estimated to have a population of 905, almost half of the 1,824 residents estimated to be living in all of the Hopi settlements of the times. Oraibi continues to be the bulwark of Hopi cultural tradition.  {001}

 P.

Palo Duro Canyon – Texas

Lighthouse Peak Palo Duro Canyon, TX - Landmarks and Registers

Lighthouse Peak – Palo Duro Canyon, TX
Photo: U.S. PD – internet

Early Spanish explorers discovered the canyon and named it for the resident junipers and mesquite trees; Palo Duro, Spanish for “hard wood”. Formed by the Prairie Dog Town fork of the Red River, it is 120 miles long and 20 miles across at its widest point. Considered the second largest and longest canyon in the U.S., its highest elevation is 3,463 feet above sea level and its deepest point is over 800 feet below the rim. Lighthouse Peak is about 300 ft. tall.
Native American people have inhabited the area for around 12,000 years. The Clovis and Folsom peoples first lived in the canyon and hunted large herds of mammoth and giant bison. Later, the canyon’s plentiful resources attracted other cultures: Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche and Kiowa.
Near the city of Amarillo, a recreational and tourist attraction these days, Palo Duro Canyon, is sometimes billed as “The Grand Canyon of Texas“.  Photo: U.S. PD – internet.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 39, 09/28/1874 – Battle of Palo Duro Canyon
The Originals – Native American Tribes – Native American Pre-History

 

Pikes Peak – Colorado

OWDR Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak, CO
Photo: U.S. PD

 

Located in El Paso County, CO, just 12 miles (19.3 km) west by south of downtown Colorado Springs. The icon of the gold seekers in 1859, Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. This ultra-prominent 14,115-foot (4,302.31 m) mountain is located in Pike National Forest and named in honor of American explorer Zebulon Pike. The summit is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude. It can be seen nearly 100 miles away from out on the eastern Colorado prairie.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 46, 11/15/1806 – Pike’s first view

 

Pilot Butte – Oregon

OWDR Pilot Butte OR

Pilot Butte

 

Pilot Butte is an extinct cinder cone volcano located in the city of Bend, OR; rising nearly 500 feet (150 m) above the surrounding plains (elevation above sea level – 4,132 ft.). Named Pilot Butte by Thomas Clark in 1851. The Clark wagon train approached  from the east, after recovering from the Clark Massacre*.  They were the first party of European settlers to camp on the future site of Bend.  {001}
see:
Wk. 32, 08/06/1851 – Clark Massacre

 

Q.

No “Q” entries at this time.

R.

Register Cliff – Wyoming

OWDR Register Cliff WY

Register Cliff WY
Photo: U.S. PD c. 2006 NPS

Register Cliff WY names
Photo: U.S. PD? Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geographically on the eastern ascent of the Wyoming portion of the Continental divide leading upward out of the great plains, Register Cliff is the easternmost of the Oregon Trail “Registers” in Wyoming. Prominently noted in Oregon Trail guidebooks of the 19th century, this sandstone cliff was one of the key checkpoint landmarks for parties heading west along the Platte River valley west of Fort John, WY. Sighting it allowed travelers to verify that they were on the correct path to South Pass and not moving into impassable mountain terrain. It is notable as a historic landmark for ‘registering’ hundreds of emigrants and their families on the Oregon Trail (thus also the other northern Emigrant Trails that split off farther west such as the California Trail and Mormon Trail) who came to follow custom and inscribed their names on its rocks during the western migrations of the 19th century.  {001}

 

Round Rock, Texas

The Round Rock of Round Rock, TX
Photo: U.S. PD 2006, Larry D. Moore

 

This round rock in Brushy Creek, marked a convenient low-water crossing for wagons, horses, and cattle. In 1851, a small community was formed on the banks around the crossing and the new postmaster called the place “Brushy”. However, in 1854, the postmaster suggested the settlement be renamed Round Rock in honor of the increasingly famous rock. After the Civil War, Jesse Chisholm began moving cattle up from South Texas. The trail crossed Brushy Creek at the round rock, on the way to Abilene, KS. The route he pioneered became known as the Chisholm Trail. Today, the historic area around the rock is called “Old Town.” and preserves most of the old buildings, including the Saint Charles Hotel.  {001}

 

S.

Sandhills – Nebraska

OWDR Sandhills - NE - Hooker CntyOWDR Sandhills from space

 

 

 

 

 

Covering just over one quarter of the state in twenty counties, some 23,600 mi2 (61,100 km2), in north-central Nebraska, the Sandhills are a region of mixed-grass prairie on grass-stabilized sand dunes which may exceed 330 ft (100 m) in height. Temporary and permanent, sand bottomed, shallow lakes are common in low-lying valleys between the grass-stabilized dunes and these help recharge the part of the massive Ogallala Aquifer which underlies the dunes. The eastern and central sections of the region are drained by tributaries of the Loup River and the Niobrara River, while the western section is largely composed of small interior drainage basins. The average elevation of the region gradually increases from about 1,800 ft (550 m) in the east to about 3,600 ft (1,100 m) in the west. For all of that, the dunes are a dry desert in the winter when all of the water is frozen. A formidable obstacle to travel and no place to be in a Great Plains Blizzard. Photos: U.S. PD, LH 2010 Ammodramus – Sandhills in Hooker, County, NE, south of the Dismal River – RH 2001 NASA Terra sattelite – the Sandhills from space.
The dunes were designated a National Natural Landmark in 1984.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 06, 02/06/1865 – Tribes on the move…
Wk. 06, 02/09/1865 – dealing with the army…

 

Scotts Bluff – Nebraska

Scotts Bluff National Monument, NE
Photo: U.S. PD 2010, Podruznik
An Oregon Trail Landmark

 

Located in Scotts Bluff County in western Nebraska, the bluff stands more than 800 feet (240 m) above the plains at its highest point. A well known landmark for Native Americans before the collection of bluffs was charted by Europeans in 1812; noted by the Astorian Expedition of fur traders traveling along the river as the first large rock formations along the river where the Great Plains started giving way to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Rediscovered in 1823, fur traders in the region relied on the bluffs as a landmark on the route to the Rocky Mountains. European/Americans named the most prominent of the bluffs after Hiram Scott, a fur trader who died near there in 1828.
More and more fur traders, military expeditions and missionaries began passing Scotts Bluff during the 1830s. Beginning in 1841, the emigrant Trail to Oregon and later to California and Utah passed by Scotts Bluff on the way west. Wagon trains used the bluff as a major navigation landmark. The route through Mitchell Pass was tortuous and hazardous as the trail passed through a gap in the bluffs flanked by two large cliffs. However, many emigrants preferred this route to following the North Platte river bottom on the north side of the bluff. Passage through Mitchell Pass became a significant milestone for many wagon trains on their way westward. In one of its first engineering deployments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a smoother road through Mitchell Pass in the early 1850s. Use of the Emigrant Trail tapered off in 1869 after the trail was superseded by the completion of the transcontinental railroad.  {001}

OWDR Mitchell Pass looking east

Today, Mitchell Pass looking east
Photo: U.S. PD c. 2004 Decumanus

see also:
Wk. 50, 12/12/1919 – National Monument

 

Shiprock – New Mexico

OWDR Shiprock NM

Shiprock NM
Photo: U.S. PD Snodgrass

 

Shiprock, the landmark of the Navaho Nation, is the erosional remnant of the throat of a volcano, a monadnock, rising nearly 1,583 feet (482.5 m) above the high-desert plain. Its peak is 7,177 feet (2,187.5 m) above sea level. It is located in San Juan County in northwestern New Mexico, 10.75 miles (17.30 km) southwest of the town of Shiprock, which is named for the peak. It is the most prominent landmark in the Four Corners region (northwestern New Mexico). Located in the center of the lands of the Ancient Pueblo People, Shiprock and the surrounding lands, governed by the Navajo Nation, have mythological, religious and historical significance to the Navajo people. The formations Navajo name is: Tsé Bitʼaʼí, “rock with wings” or “winged rock”. It is mentioned in many myths and legends.  {001}

 

Shoshone Falls – Snake River, Idaho

Shoshone Falls on the Snake River, ID - Timothy O'Sullivan - Landmarks and Registers

Shoshone Falls
Timothy H. O’Sullivan (1874)

 

Shoshone Falls – On the border of Jerome and Twin Falls Counties, 615 miles (990 km) upstream from the Snake River’s confluence with the Columbia River, in the Snake River Canyon,  it is the tallest of several cataracts along this stretch of the Snake River. About 2 miles (3.2 km) downstream from Twin Falls and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) upstream from Pillar Falls, the appearance of the falls varies significantly depending on the amount of water flowing in the Snake River. Directly above Shoshone Falls, the Snake narrows to less than 400 feet (120 m) wide and rushes over a series of rapids split by islands, before plunging over the vertical, horseshoe-shaped cliff 212 feet (65 m) high and 925 feet (282 m) wide. During high water, the falls appear as a single massive stream stretching the full width of the river. In low water, the falls split into four or more separate drops; the widest, northern section, also known as Bridal Veil Falls.
Shoshone Falls are named for the Agaidika people (“Salmon eaters”) aka: Lemhi Shoshone, who depended on the Snake River’s immense salmon runs as their primary food source. Because the falls are the upstream limit of salmon migration in the Snake River, they served as a central food source and trading center for other Native Americans as well. The Bannock people also traveled to Shoshone Falls each summer to gather salmon. Everyone fished with willow spears tipped with elk horn.
All of these tribes would have supplemented their diet with various roots, nuts and large game such as buffalo, deer and elk.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, led by Lemhi Shoshone Sacajawea in 1805-06 did not pass through the Shoshone Falls area, nor did the 1811 Wilson Price Hunt Expedition. John C. Frémont passed by Shoshone Falls during his 1843 expedition. He described them as “Fishing Falls”… “a series of cataracts with very inclined planes, which are probably so named because they form a barrier to the ascent of the salmon; and the great fisheries from which the inhabitants of this barren region almost entirely derive a subsistence commence at this place.” He also observed that the salmon were “so abundant that they [the Shoshone] merely throw in their spears at random, certain of bringing out fish.” Early relations between Europeans and Native Americans were generally friendly, however, land ownership issues soon led to conflicts.  After the Bear River Massacre (1863)* the Shoshone were forced onto reservations. As early as 1900, locals called for the creation of a national park at Shoshone Falls. This proposal was never approved by Congress.  {001}
see:
*Wk. 05, 01/29/1863 – Bear River Massacre
The Originals Index – Expeditions Lewis & Clark, Wilson Price Hunt, John C. Frémont.

 

Split Rock – Wyoming

OWDR Split Rock WY

Split Rock WY
Photo: U.S. PD? unknown – Internet
Oregon Trail Landmark

OWDR Split Rock Marker - Johnson

Split Rock Marker with Split Rock in the Background
Photo: U.S. PD Margie Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit Mound – South Dakota

Spirit Mound is a prominent hill on the American Great Plains. Today, within the Spirit Mound Historic Prairie, a state park about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) north of Vermillion, SD. Plains Indians of the region considered Spirit Mound the home of dangerous spirits or little people. Stories and religious beliefs about “Little People“* are common to many, if not most, Native American tribes in the West.  {001}
See also:
*Resources – DictionaryLittle People
Wk. 34, 08/25/1804 – Lewis and Clark

 

T.

Table Rocks – Oregon

OWDR Table Rock - OR crp

 

Upper and Lower Table Rock are two prominent volcanic plateaus in Jackson County, OR. Created by a medium-grained (andesitic) lava flow around seven million years ago and shaped by erosion, they now stand about 800 feet (240 m) above the surrounding Rogue Valley just north of the Rogue River. Based on the age of Clovis points discovered nearby, it is thought that the Takelma tribe of Native Americans, inhabited the Table Rocks for at least 15,000 years. They gathered food such as acorns and tarweed seeds, caught salmon in the nearby Rogue River and hunted deer for clothing and food. They had several names for the rocks, including Di’tani (“rock above”), Titanakh (“little Indian plums”), and possibly Kwenphunkh.
The first recorded use of the names Upper Table Rock and Lower Table Rock was by mountain man James Clyman in 1845. Table Rock City (later renamed Jacksonville) was established several miles south of the rocks during the 1850’s Gold Rush. After some years of struggle, the Takelma were finally forced from the rocks and onto reservations in 1856. The surrounding area was quickly developed by the white invaders.A post office was established nearby in 1872. Home to over 70 species of animals and 340 species of plants, the plateaus were not protected until the 1970’s. Today, they are jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management. A popular hiking location in the Rogue Valley, they see some 45,000+ visitors annually. Upper Table Rock is 2,091 feet (637 m) above sea level at its highest point and Lower Table Rock’s elevation is 2,049 feet (625 m). Upper and Lower refer to their location along the Rogue River, not their height. Photo: U.S. PD?, old photo or postcard from the internet.  {001}

 

U.

No “U” entries at this time.

 

V.

No “V” entries at this time.

 

W.

Weavers Needle – Arizona

OWDR Weavers Needle 03

 

Always prominent in the legend and on the maps of the Lost Dutchman’s Mine. Located East of Phoenix in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. Photo: U.S. PD? Internet  {001}
see:
Wk. 43, 10/25/1891 –Jacob Waltz

 

Winchester Mystery House – California

Winchester Mystery House - Landmarks and Registers

Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion in San Jose, CA, which was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester. After her husband’s death from tuberculosis in 1881, she inherited more than $20.5 million. She also received nearly fifty percent ownership of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, giving her an income of roughly $1,000 per day, equivalent to about $23,000 a day in 2013.
Tabloids from the time claimed that, at some point after her infant daughter and husband both died, a Boston medium told her (while supposedly channeling her late husband) that she should leave her home in New Haven and travel West, where she must continuously build a home for herself and the spirits of people who had fallen victim to Winchester rifles.
In 1884 she purchased an unfinished farmhouse in the Santa Clara Valley. Carpenters were hired to work  on the house, building what was to become a 160+ room, Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion. She did not use an architect but added on to the building in a haphazard fashion. As a result, the home contains numerous oddities such as doors and stairs that go nowhere, windows overlooking other rooms and stairs with odd-sized risers. Eventually it included 40 bedrooms, 2 ballrooms (one completed and one unfinished), 47 fireplaces and 17 chimneys (with evidence of two others). There were two basements, three elevators, gold and silver chandeliers, hand-inlaid parquet floors and trim, and over 10,000 panes of glass. The house is a kaleidoscope of colors and materials. However, there was only one working toilet, for Winchester. All the other restrooms were decoys to confuse the spirits. This was also the reason she slept in a different room each night.
Since its construction in 1884, the property and mansion were claimed by many, including Winchester herself, to be haunted by the afore mentioned slain spirits. Under her day-to-day guidance, in fits and starts or perhaps as the current owners claim, around the clock without interruption, work on the mansion proceeded… until her death on September 5, 1922, at which time work immediately ceased.
Today, a designated California historical landmark, renowned for its size, its architectural curiosities, and its lack of any master building plan, it is a privately owned tourist attraction. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Photo: U.S. PD 2007 USNPS.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 50, 12/11/1880 – Oliver Winchester
Photo Gallery Index – Weapons Photos – Long GunsChildren of the Henry

 

X.

No “X” entries at this time.

 

Y.

No “Y” entries at this time.

 

Z.

No “Z” entries at this time.

For related information on Old West Daily Reader
see also:
The Originals Index – Trails
The Originals Index – Western Forts and Trading Posts
References – DictionaryMound Builders

If you know of a Landmark or Register that should noted be here, please leave a comment.

Landmarks and Registers Index

A.
Algodones Dunes – California
B.
Beckwourth Pass – California
Bighorn Medicine Wheel – Wyoming
Brown’s Park – Utah
C.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument – Arizona
Castle Rock – Kansas
Chimney Rock – Colorado
Chimney Rock – Nebraska
Chimney Rock – New Mexico
Church Rock – Utah
Cochise’s Head – Arizona
D.
Devils Tower – Wyoming
E.
El Morro – New Mexico
Enchanted Rock – Texas
F.
NO “F” entries at this time
G.
Garden of the Gods – Colorado
Glass Buttes – Oregon
Great Salt Lake – Utah
H.
Huerfano Butte – Colorado
Hole in the Wall – Wyoming
I.
Independence Rock – Wyoming
J.
NO “J” entries at this time
K.
NO “K” entries at this time
L.
Llano Estacado – New Mexico and Texas
M.
Medicine Rocks – Montana
Meteor Crater – Arizona (Barringer Crater)
Mexican Hat Rock – Colorado
Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark – Kansas
Monument Valley – Arizona/Utah
N.
Names Hill – Wyoming
Newspaper Rock – Utah
O.
Old Oraibi Village – Arizona
P.
Palo Duro Canyon – Texas
Pikes Peak – Colorado
Pilot Butte – Oregon
Q.
NO “Q” entries at this time
R.
Register Cliff – Wyoming
Round Rock, Texas
S.
Sandhills – Nebraska
Scotts Bluff – Nebraska
Shiprock – New Mexico
Shoshone Falls – Snake River, Idaho
Spirit Mound – South Dakota
Split Rock – Wyoming
Staked Plains – Texas
T.
Table Rocks – Oregon
U.
NO “U” entries at this time
V.
NO “V.” entries at this time
W.
Weavers Needle – Arizona
Winchester Mystery House – California
X.
NO “X” entries at this time
Y.
NO “Y” entries at this time
Z
NO “Z” entries at this time

OWDR-barbed-wire-divider2End: Landmarks and Registers

38 items
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