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Picture Scramble # 83 20 February 2001


Chimney Rock

A spire of solitary grandeur, visible for miles to travelers of the onstretching prairie, Chimney Rock was a celebrated landmark on the Oregon Trail. (27 pieces)

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"at this place was a singular phenomenon, which is among the curiosities of the country. It is called the Chimney. The lower part is a conical mound rising out of the naked plain; from the summit shoots up a shaft or column, about one hundred and twenty feet in height, from which it derives its name. The height of the whole...is a hundred and seventy five yards...and may be seen at the distance of upwards of thirty miles."

Capt. Benjamin Bonneville, 1832

Of all the curious rock formations along the trunkline of the trail, none drew more comment from 19th century travelers than this one. Yet to the emigrant it was more than a wonder of nature. As an oft described milepost on a journey noted for its monotony; the column eased the emigrant's way westward by heralding his progress and recalling the descriptions and sketches of earlier travelers.

Picture © copyright by Calvin J. Hamilton. Information courtesy of the National Park Service.




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