Saturday, August 7, 2010

Scripture Rocks

On our camping trip we stopped by "Scripture Rocks" in Brookville, PA. I have been camping in this area for 32 years and never knew this place existed until I read about it on an online blog! lol
That is the wonder of the internet! You can find almost anything on here! I'm going to give you a little background on Scripture Rocks before I share the photos with you.

In the 1890's a young school teacher by the name of Douglas Stahlman got in a fight with a man behind a local tavern in Brookville, Pennsylvania. The fight left him with part of his skull crushed.

In a medical procedure that was quite risky back in the late 1800's, doctors patched Douglas' skull with a metal plate. Whether it was the plate pushing on his skull or his near death experience, Douglas became obsessed with the scriptures that he read.

He took to the woods in the Brookville area and carved 500 individual scriptures among the rocks! Which is about 15,000 individual letters! It is truly amazing!

In the 1920's he was placed in a mental institution in Pittsburgh, PA. He remained in there until he died in 1937.

Thankfully the owner of the blog I read gave me detailed directions and the gps coordinates to find these rocks! If it wasn't for his help, we never would have found them!

We had to park on a back road, walk up the road a little, up a hill, and onto the remains of these railroad tracks.
We walked the tracks for several yards and came across the "Death Rock."
Here is a photo of the boys standing next to the rock, it gives you a little comparison to it's size. Ben was a little scared at first...he said "I think this place is booby trapped!" lol I think he plays way too many Indiana Jones Lego games on Wii! ;)
The moss covered rock is my favorite! I love how the moss grows in the letters! Sorry that this image and the next are sideways. They were not like that originally when I uploaded these. I'll have to leave them like this, because it's too hard to re-upload here on blogger.
Here is a close up of the rock with moss.
Locals have weeded the area to make it more accessible to visitors. Well sort of. It was really grown up in places when we went. We actually had to walk through weeds that were above our knees! I was a little nervous, especially since I was warned that the place was crawling with snakes! Luckily, we didn't run into any on our hike!
Here was a cross that someone made and erected among the rocks. It's a dedication to the man that hand carved all of these rocks!
This was a huge rock that my boys climbed. Can you believe that they actually climbed this all by themselves? I was a nervous wreck, because it was nearly a straight up slope! You can't really tell from this photo, but there were several verses carved on many different angles on this huge rock. And it's amazing how uniformed each of the letters are!
This rock is dated by Douglas. At the top it says: "July 30, 1913." If you glance at the lower left hand corner of the rock it is numbered on a yellow splotch of paint. Each piece that he carved is either numbered on the rock itself, or on the tree that is right next to the rock. They are all numbered and I would have loved to have went and found every single one, but I was soo sick that day. It was 90 some degrees, I had bronchitis, I couldn't breathe, and it was sooo humid in the thick woods. We stayed for about an hour and I just couldn't handle it anymore, so we left. I would have loved to have gotten better photos and stayed much much longer, but I just couldn't take it!
This photo I made black and white and increased the contrast, so you could see the different angles of scriptures. I would like to go back in the Fall when it is much cooler and take some paper and charcoal and do some stone rubbings!
We found a heart shaped stone on our hike! I had to keep it, I LOVE heart shaped stones!
Lastly, I had to include a photo of my happy little hiker Alex. Both boys did so well on this hike, and it wasn't easy! They walked through weeds almost as tall as they were, and climbed rocks and a steep hillside in 90 degree weather! And they never complained at all!
I also had to include this photo because my parents bought the boys these t-shirts with these funny sayings on them. Alex's says: "Don't look at me, that smell is coming from grandpa!" lol
We really enjoyed our trip to Scripture Rocks, we just wish we had more time to explore. It was so peaceful there and truly amazing, I hope to go back soon!


Bizzy Lizzy said...

Is there a list of the scriptures carved into the rocks?

quemahoning said...

A book about Douglas Stahlman and the Scripture Rocks has been published by the Jefferson County Historical Society. It includes a comprehensive listing of the inscriptions found on the rocks.

All proceeds benefit the Jefferson County Historical Society.