Near Brookville in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Scripture Rocks Heritage Park
Mary Gilbert lived near Port Barnett and worked as a private nurse in the area. The traditional oral history tells us that Stahlman became obsessed with the idea that he and Miss Gilbert were predestined to be married. In August, 1913, Mary was thirty-three years of age. In that same year Douglas Stahlman turned fifty-two years old. Apparently Mary declined the advances and his work on the rocks began telling of God’s command of a wife to obey her husband.
This is the only rock so far discovered with an inscription intentionally defaced, either by Stahlman himself or by someone who wanted to erase any evidence of his association with Mary Gilbert. Based on the letters and words that could be positively deciphered, the inscription is believed to have read as:
GOD HAS BEEN CALLING MARY GILBERT FOR A LONG TIME TO BECOME MY WIFE BUT SO FAR HER OWN AND HER FATHER’S STUBBORN RESISTANCE HAS PREVENTED OUR MARRIAGE.
It is reasonable to speculate that they may have shared some common interests and friendly exchanges. Both were well-educated during a time when higher learning was not a common trait among rural residents,
Was there some affair or flirtatious exchange between Stahlman and Miss Gilbert that quickly soured after his obsession with her became a public scandal? Did Stahlman write about Mary Gilbert in the missing chapters of his book? And if so, was the missing notebook destroyed to protect Mary Gilbert and the Gilbert family from any further embarrassment? Most likely, these questions will never be answered.
Mary Gilbert later married William Henderson of Sigel. The couple lived out the rest of their lives on their farm in Eldred Township, Jefferson County. Mary (Gilbert) Henderson died in October of 1945.
Erected by Jefferson County History Center, North Fork Ch 29 PA Archaeology, PA Lumber Heritage Region, and Jeff Co Motel Tax Cmte.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Women. A significant historical month for this entry is August 1913.
Location. 41° 9.67′ N, 79° 3.026′ W. Marker is near Brookville, Pennsylvania, in Jefferson County. Marker is along the Scripture Rocks Heritage Park trail (Geocoords are for the start of the trail; stay on the Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 560 PA Rt 28, Brookville PA 15825, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to the Scripture Rocks Heritage Park (here, next to this marker); Clearcuts & Conservation (here, next to this marker); Birds (here, next to this marker); Park Geology (here, next to this marker); Veil-Lifting (here, next to this marker); House on the Rock (here, next to this marker); The Writing on the Wall (here, next to this marker); Courage Rock (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brookville.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 1, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 10, 2022, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 126 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 10, 2022, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 6. submitted on April 9, 2022, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.