“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Devils Tower in Crook County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

Devils Tower

Devils Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, September 21, 2006
1. Devils Tower Marker
Devils Tower, an important landmark for Plains Indian tribes long before the white man reached Wyoming, was called Mateo Tepee, or Grizzly Bear Lodge, by the Sioux. A number of Indian legends describe the origin of Devils Tower. One legend tells about seven little girls chased onto a low rock to escape attacking bears. Their prayers for help were heeded. The rock carried them upward to safety as the claws of the leaping bears left furrowed columns in the sides of the ascending tower. Ultimately, the rock grew so high that the girls reached the sky where they were transformed into the constellation known as Pleiades.

Fur trappers may have visited Devils Tower, but they left no written evidence of having done so. The first documented visitors were several members of Captain W.F. Raynold's Yellowstone Expedition who arrived in 1859. Sixteen years later, Colonel Richard Dodge led a U.S. Geological Survey party to the massive rock formation and coined the name Devils Tower. Recognizing its unique characteristics, Congress designated the area a U.S. forest reserve in 1892 and in 1906 Devils Tower became the nation's first national
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Rising dramatically to a height of 1,280 feet above the Belle Fourche River, Devils Tower has become a rock climbing mecca. On July 4, 1893, local rancher William Rogers became the first person to complete the climb after constructing a ladder of wooden pegs driven into cracks in the rock face. Technical rock climbing techniques were first used to ascend the Tower in 1937 when Fritz Wiessner conquered the summit with a small party from the American Alpine Club. Today hundreds of climbers scale the sheer rock walls each summer. All climbers must register with a park ranger before and after attempting a climb.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: LandmarksNatural Features. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1850.
Location. 44° 33.616′ N, 104° 41.174′ W. Marker is near Devils Tower, Wyoming, in Crook County. Marker is on State Highway 24, 1.7 miles south of Devils Tower National Monument Road (State Highway 110), on the right when traveling north. Marker is at a pull-off approximately 2.2 miles south of the community of Devils Tower. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Devils Tower WY 82714, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Devils Tower (a few steps from this marker); Life Above and Below Ground (approx. 2.1 miles away); What Are Those Big Concrete Pyramids Down by the River?
Devils Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, September 21, 2006
2. Devils Tower
(approx. 2.2 miles away); Daredevil Stunt (approx. 2.4 miles away); Many Meanings for Many People (approx. 2.4 miles away); Reach for the Top (approx. 2˝ miles away); People of the Land (approx. 2˝ miles away); Bountiful Land (approx. 2˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Devils Tower.
Also see . . .
1. Devils Tower - Frequently Asked Questions. "Devils Tower is 867 feet from its base to the summit. It stands 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River and is 5,112 feet above sea level." (Submitted on December 17, 2007.) 

2. Devil's Tower. Religion on the American West website entry (Submitted on June 30, 2023, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Devils Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, September 21, 2006
3. Devils Tower
Devils Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, September 21, 2006
4. Devils Tower
Symmetrical Columns image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, September 21, 2006
5. Symmetrical Columns
Devils Tower is composed of symmetrical columns which are the tallest (some more than 600 feet) and widest (10 to 20 feet) in the world.
Walking Trail image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, September 21, 2006
6. Walking Trail
Pieces of columns lie toppled among the pine trees along the walking trail.
Devils Tower National Momument Sign image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, 1992
7. Devils Tower National Momument Sign
Devils Tower, A legend of Devil's Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Vintage postcard c.1992
8. Devils Tower, A legend of Devil's Tower
Legends are stories that are passed down over many generations that explain important events to a culture. Various legends are told about the origin of Devil's Tower. There are many Native American Groups who have many different legends about the Tower. This popular version was told at Visitors Center c. 1992:
One day, an Indian tribe was camped beside a river and seven small girls were playing at a distance. The region had a large bear population and a bear began to chase the girls. They ran back toward their village, but the bear was about to catch them. The girls jumped upon a rock about three feet high and began to pray to the rock, "Rock, take pity on us; Rock, save us." The rock heard the pleas of the young girls and began to elongate itself upwards, pushing them higher and higher out of reach of the bear. The bear clawed and jumped at the sides of the rock, and broke its claws and fell to the ground. The bear continued to jump at the rock until the girls were pushed up into the sky, where they are to this day in a group of seven little stars (the Pleides). The marks of the bear claws are there yet. As one looks upon the tower and contemplates its uniqueness, it isn't hard to imagine this legend as a fact.
See link : How is Devils Tower A Sacred Site to American Indians?
Credits. This page was last revised on June 30, 2023. It was originally submitted on December 17, 2007, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 7,218 times since then and 223 times this year. Last updated on August 15, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 17, 2007, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   7, 8. submitted on February 4, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2024