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.
This was our first visit to Giant City. It was quite a rugged hike and the place where the messages were written was quite eerie.
Thank you for visiting, Rudi.
I read April 1848. Did the park provided a transcript of thesevwritings? It would be interesting to read the message.
I believe the Visitors Center does provide some history of the park but we didn’t stop in there on this trip, so unfortunately didn’t find out.
Amazing. The Civil War battles were harrowing for soldiers on both sides. I find it interesting and a bit sad to think of them carving their names into these stones.
It was very quiet and eerie there, especially where the rocks on either side of the path were so close.
Amazing discoveries! Thank you for sharing!
It’s a fascinating place and well worth the hike which although not long, was quite rugged.
Obviously a good place of refuge.
Yes, I imagine you could hide there for quite a while. Although, by the same token, you might easily be trapped in those narrow passagways. There was a very eerie feel to the place.
Love these, Sue. If you get to New Mexico, stop at El Morro National Monument. You’ll love all the old signatures and messages and, of course, the country itself.
Thanks, Janet. Hopefully I will get to see some more of the country and places like this.
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.
Many thanks for visiting, Donna.
MY pleasure. Thank YOU.
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.
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.
I didn’t fancy going under that rock either, but there was no other way round.
Amazing post and messages Sue!
Thank you, Anne!