Monday, June 20, 2022

America’s first National Monument

 Summer time has arrived!

    Wyoming is well known for many wonderful things. Yellowstone National Park being the main attraction. Sadly Yellowstone is suffering from the recent flooding and will be closed for a while. Devil's Tower is another amazing place to visit. Standing 867 feet from summit to base is quite a sight in the grasslands of the Black Hills of Wyoming.   

   As I was driving to Hulett Wyoming to my friend's quilt shop I passed Devil's Tower. Every time I drive by I find it a fascinating piece of nature and history. I can't imagine what the early settlers and mountain men thought of it when they first saw it.  The first documented encounter with the Tower was in 1875 and it became a National Monument in 1906 and is believed to be over 200 million years old.

   The Native American's have many legends of the tower and other names. Bear's Tipi, Tree Rock, Gray Horn Butte, and the more well known Bear Lodge.  Different variations of how the tower came into existence and how the unusual columns the length of it came to be.  The ledged I remember growing up is the Crow's version.

  "Once when some Crows were camped at "Bear's House," two little girls were playing around some big rocks there. There were lots of bears living around the big rock, and one big bear, seeing the girls alone, was going to eat them. The big bear was just about to catch the girls when they saw him. The girls were scared and the only place they could get was on top of the rocks around which they had been playing.

The girls climbed the rock but still the bear could catch them. The Great Spirit, seeing the bear was about to catch the girls, caused the rock to grow up out of the ground. The bear kept trying to jump to the top of the rock but he just scratched the rock and fell down on the ground. The claw marks are on the rock now. The rock kept growing until it was so high that the bear could not get the girls. The two girls are still on top of the rock."

   Growing up we traveled past the tower often to visit family in Hullet and the sight of the tower always amazed me. As an adult I love the history behind the monument and can only imagine what it might have been like for the pioneers to first come across the it. Making their homestead and sitting on the front porch sewing a quilt as they looked out over the green land and the tower.

   I enjoy the times I travel past Devil's Tower to my friend's quilt shop to do a little bit of sewing.

Witches Stitches in Hullet Wyoming



GiniRifkin said...

Thanks for the interesting post. Love the name of the quilt shop! Beautiful display too.

Julie Lence said...

The western states truly have some magnificent and interesting rock formations. I think the mystery of not knowing the how's and why's lends to the beauty. Thank you for sharing, T.K.!