“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Broadwater in Morrill County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Imaginary Characters….

Indian Lookout Point

Imaginary Characters…. Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2014
1. Imaginary Characters…. Marker
Caption: As Mormon emigrants traveled west, many climbed Frog’s Head Bluff to see the formation they mistook as Chimney Rock, Twenty miles to the west is the formation Court and Jail Rocks. Chimney Rock is closer to 40 miles from this location.
Inscription.  Mormon emigrants traveling west along the north sided of the North Platte River saw many topographical features that were not visible from the south side of the river. These features served as landmarks that guided the Latter-day Saints along their route to the Utah Territory.
Thirty-one miles west of Ash Hollow a line of bluffs called Cobble Hills began to transform the landscape from sand to gravely limestone. At these bluffs on May 22, 1847, Orrin Porter Rockwell, a guide with the vanguard Mormon Pioneer Company, returned to camp stating he “…had been on the high bluff about a mile northwest and has seen a rock called Chimney Rock.
William Clayton was concerned about the correctness of the distance on the Fremont-Pruess map that they were using as a guide. After hearing that Rockwell had glimpsed Chimney Rock, Clayton decided to see for himself. Although footsore and weary he took his telescope and climbed to the top of the highest bluff to see the famous landmark. He ascertained that at a distance of 20 miles he could see Chimney Rock very plainly with the naked eye. His journal entry states that while he
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was looking around at the scenery, which he called “romantic,: he was “…struck at the appearance of a large rock projecting from one corner, which very much resembled a frog’s head of immense size with its mouth parts open. The thought was, those bluffs (ought) to be named and what name more appropriate than Frog’s Head Bluff…

Side bar, lower right:
William Clayton: “Crab Creek, 20 feet wide, very shoal… Two miles further will see some high bluffs on the right. By ascending one of the highest you will see Chimney Rock to the west.”
Thomas Bullock, Saturday, May 22, 1847 - “…About 11:50 o’clock crossed another shallow creek about 25 or 30 feet wide, then traveled within a forth of a mile & called this site Crab Creek. Camped near a bold Bluff…”
Howard Eagan, Saturday, May 22, 1847 - “…The stream crossed was named Crab Creek, as some of the brethren has seen a very large crab in it. While we were stopped Brother Clayton went up on the bluffs, which were very high and romantic in their appearance. He said he could see Chimney Rock with the naked eye very plain.”
Thomas Bullock, July 11, 1848 - “Ascended bold Bluff by Crab Creek and sighted Chimney Rock…”
Catharine Wooley, July 12, 1848 - “Passed Cable’s Hill (Cobble
Imaginary Characters…. Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2014
2. Imaginary Characters…. Marker
Hills). Climbed a bold Bluff with Aunt Minnie to see Chimney Rock… way to then.”
Erected by Mormon Trail Heritage Foundation & National Park Service.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Mormon Pioneer Trail series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 22, 1847.
Location. 41° 30.964′ N, 102° 39.128′ W. Marker is near Broadwater, Nebraska, in Morrill County. Marker is on U.S. 26 near Road 151, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Broadwater NE 69125, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Mormon Pioneer Trail (approx. 2.1 miles away); Narcissa Whitman (approx. 5 miles away).
Additional keywords. Mormon Trail
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 5, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 591 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 5, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 1, 2023