Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Messages

The theme for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, suggested by Donna from Wind Kisses, is Messages. If you take a hike around the Giant City nature trail, you may see some messages carved into the huge sandstone bluffs that tower over the pathways in this State Park near Carbondale, Illinois.

Many of these messages, worn with time, are not easy to find, but others, more deeply etched, are still easy to read, some dating back to the time of the Civil War.

There is evidence of human habitation in this area from as early as 10,000 years ago, but European settlers didn’t move into this region until the early 1800’s.

The cliffs and canyons were used as safe havens for both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War and one can imagine weary soldiers carving their names for posterity on these massive stones before going into battle.

The State of Illinois acquired more than 1,100 acres of land in Union and Jackson counties in 1927 and dedicated the area as Giant City State Park.

24 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Messages

  1. It is fascinating to find names etched into walls. They tell such a story of a place in time. Interesting amidst the moss laden rocks, making Giant City a sanctuary. Thanks Sue.

  2. How interesting and amazing to see all those carved names. One could spend many hours just looking at them and trying to figure out the names and dates. Remembering the people who carved them too…such history. Thank you for sharing.

    • We got a very real sense of what it must have been like for those soldiers, who had possibly traveled on foot for days, to be in those narrow passageways, awaiting their orders and leaving behind their names for posterity.

  3. Oooh that last rock is so cool Sue – don’t think I’d stand under it however!! I loved all of the names carved in the rocks and can imagine as you say the weary soldiers wondering if they’d live long enough to come back to see them again. Sad really, but at least their names live on.

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