Major County Rock Cairn - NW Oklahoma
"The Waynoka Historical Society has been given a photo of a rock cairn in Major County. I hope your readers can shed light on its location and history.
I know I have heard or read about it, and that it is no longer there. I don't think cairns always marked a burial place; they might have been made for a landmark. You'll like the photo. I hope we learn the story of it from someone!
Your ezine has been invaluable for the Waynoka Historical Society! I think we'll get some information from your readers.
The remnants of the rock cairn were investigated in 1992 for the Oklahoma Archeological Survey.
A long-time resident, Vernon Case, said the marker was present in the 1890's, and might have been a trail marker for the old Kiowa Trail from Kiowa to Ft Reno. The survey says, "The trail reportedly crossed the Cimarron River south of the ridge and followed the Barney Creek valley west of the cairn up a gradual slope to the uplands.
A marker might have been useful to guide travelers to the easiest route out of the Cimarron Valley." The report further states that it may have served both, and may have had significance to the Cheyenne. According to the report, it was originally over 8 feet tall.
We would be interested in knowing where the cairn stood. Thank you for any information. Thanks very much." -- Sandie Olson - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Comments: My Grandad told me about what I assume was another rock cairn west of Alva. He called it an "Indian water sign" as there was a good spring nearby. This was on the Ralph Smith farm 14 west and approximately 1 mile north and 1/2 west of Alva Grandad said the marker was there in the "early day" but then fell down. He said on a clear day it was visible from the top of the hill going west out of Alva. ~Edward Lyon 2008-03-02 20:51:20
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