From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pilot Rock Revisited

Life in Christian County, Kentucky...



Pilot Rock, on the Todd and Christian County line in Kentucky

The folks on the Hoptown Hall Forum have been discussing Pilot Rock lately, and that reminded me that I have a photo of the Rock (above) that I should post. I took it at the end of March, just before the late freeze zapped all the leaves you see on the trees. I like this photo because it suggests how rough the terrain is around Pilot Rock.

Like the images (here and here) that I posted in January, this photo was taken from a gravel road to the northwest of Pilot Rock.

Through the Hoptown Hall discussion of Pilot Rock, I've learned of another treasure legend associated with this landmark. It is similar, but not quite the same as the story I've heard.

I am more inclined to believe the written version (which probably was researched to some extent) than the word-of-mouth version (which was told to me by people who heard it from somebody who heard it from somebody, etc.)

Pilot Rock seen from the southwestThe photo at left was taken about six years ago with a zoom lens from the field just north of our little acreage. This view is from the southwest and I think it was taken in July. That's corn in the background, and I believe it's soybeans in the foreground.

You may wonder why I don't post any photos of the view from Pilot Rock. That's because I've never climbed it! I've never had a desire to stand up there and look off the edge of that rock. I think it would give me the heebie-jeebies.

Our 80-year-old neighbor lady, Miss M., told us about climbing Pilot Rock one Sunday with a group of people when she was a little child. She was wearing shoes with hard, slick leather soles, and she got too close to the edge and began to slip. An adult snatched her back by her skirt-tail just in the nick of time. The Good Lord had other plans for her, Miss M. told us.

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7 comments:

ptg said...

Could these tales of buried money be a part of the 'money digging' craze that swept the country in the early to mid 1800's? There were cats who offered to dowse for buried gold and suckers that paid them for the service and sometimes for fake maps.

It was quite popular, ordinary folks organized parties to go hunting treasure. A debate persists among the concerned that Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, got his start as a money digger.

Genevieve said...

That's a very good point, PT, and I wouldn't doubt that the treasure craze of the 1800's played a part in the Pilot Rock stories that circulate.

I think that's an established fact about Joseph Smith being a treasure hunter, though various churches associated with him may deny it.

I am fairly familiar with J.S. as my husband has read at least 20 books about him. When Dennis reads a book, he shares so much that it's very similar to reading the book myself!

RunAwayImagination said...

I almost laughed out loud when I first read the previous comment, "There were cats who offered to dowse for buried gold..." I was visualizing kitty-cats sniffing around and digging for buried gold. lol

Genevieve said...

We used to have a log house here, and I'm sure there must have been a few coins dropped over the years. We need a treasure-finding cat!

Anonymous said...

My family ancestors were among the first pioneers to north Christian county and settled around Pilot Rock on a large grant of land. Others came with them in a wagon train and on horses from North Carolina. The family story that is supported by Meachams book on the County, is that it received that name becuase of its role in guiding early explorers to the area. It served as a navigational landmark for those moving westward into the Indian territories of Kentucky. The other great feature was the pure natural spring water flowing around the base at the NW side (back) a short distance away that provided drinking pure water for the pioneers rather than using the river water.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I climbed it three weeks ago!
I have MS and just had to do it because I'd always heard daddy and my brothers talk about it. I took my three boys who are begging to go again. I'm just uncertain...whose property it is and whether we should. The scariest part for me was the broken shards of glass ALL over it and around it. The view was incredible to say the least and I got amazing photos.
This is the former "shabbyinthecity"...I stopped my blog and have blocked everyone rather than deleting it because it serves as photo storage :)

Genevieve said...

I think Pilot Rock was owned by the USDA at one time. However, I have heard from several sources that it is now privately owned. I doubt if the landowner will be able to keep people off the property unless he guards it day and night. The litter there is terrible. It is shameful that people are so careless and thoughtless.

I'm sorry to hear about your blog! It was doing so well! Maybe you'll decide to do it again someday.

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IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
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