In Tar and Paint and Stone
March 03, 2013
Ever since I read the Little House book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, I have been fascinated by the pioneers-those who went west on the Oregon-California Trails. When we travel across Kansas, I picture the covered wagons going up and down the rises in the Flint Hills or straight across the flatness of other sections of Kansas.
If you have ancestors who went west, MGC has a resource that is not widely known. In Tar and Paint and Stone: The Inscriptions at Independence Rock and Devil’s Gate is an amazing book by Levida Hileman. Mrs. Hileman, whom I have met, is a researcher extraordinaire. She has photographed all of the "graffiti" on Independence Rock and Devil’s Gate in Wyoming. The names inscribed on the rocks have been photographed and researched.
Independence Rock was considered by many as the halfway point on the way to Oregon, and pioneers hoped to reach it by the Fourth of July-hence the name. The signers on the rock were soldiers, fur traders, mountain men, and travelers. The author spent years researching pioneer diaries, census information, and available vital statistics to provide information on as many signees as possible. This book is an invaluable source for possibly finding your ancestor’s name on a historic landmark!
Just a tiny bit of info on this blog author: "I worked for many years at the Oregon-California Trails Association and the National Frontier Trails Museum. So, you can see I am just a little obsessed with the trails! So, expect more blogs with resource suggestions on finding your pioneer ancestors." There will also be an in-depth class this year!
Midwest Genealogy Center