Pawnee Rock in Barton County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
“A Point of Red Rocks”
We set out at the ushal time and at 8 miles West We passed point of Red Rocks about 600 yds from the river and at Eleven miles crossed the paney River….Some Cottenwood on the Banks and Some Bushis. the Red Rock is evidently a volcanic production is porous like pomestone but heavier than Sand stone.
Jacob Fowler, fur trapper and trader
October 19, 1821
Fowler’s 1821 journal entry appears to be the first recorded mention of Pawnee Rock. Fowler’s geology is incorrect. Pawnee Rock is not volcanic igneous rock; it is sedimentary rock called Dakota Sandstone.
About 100 million years ago sandy and clay sediments were deposited along the edge of a vast sea that covered much of central North America. This layer—known as the Dakota Formation—was later buried beneath other sea depositions. The chemical makeup of these sediments determined their color, texture, and density. For example, sediments became harder in places of high iron concentration.
Over time periods of erosion have uncovered these sediments. More recently water draining toward the Arkansas River has stripped away the softer clay, silt, and sand deposits. This process has exposed the harder sandstone formations such as Pawnee Rock, which protrudes high above the surrounding plain.
You are standing somewhere
Erected by Kansas State Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Santa Fe Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 16.33′ N, 98° 58.907′ W. Marker is in Pawnee Rock, Kansas, in Barton County. Click for map. Marker is along the walking path atop Pawnee Rock, at Pawnee Rock State Historical Site, off SW 112th Avenue/Center Street. Marker is in this post office area: Pawnee Rock KS 67567, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Along Came the Line of Wagons" (here, next to this marker); Nehemiah Carson (a few steps from this marker); "A Rallying Point for the Indians" (a few steps from this marker); “One of the Grandest Sights Ever Beheld” (within shouting distance of this marker); Marking the Rock (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named “One of the Grandest Sights Ever Beheld” (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Fe Trail Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Fe Trail (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Pawnee Rock.
Also see . . .
1. Pawnee Rock State Historical Site, Kansas. (Submitted on April 7, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Geologic Map of Barton County, Kansas. (Submitted on April 7, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Natural Features •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 326 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.