Fort Rock in Lake County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
A Path to the Past
10,000 Years of Homesteading
The history of the west is linked with the idea of finding a new home in a challenging land. We call it homesteading.
During the Pleistocene epoch, homesteaders in the Fort Rock Basin were mammoths, camels, horses, flamingos, and ocean-going fish. They settled in a land of lush forest with a huge lake that covered hundreds of square miles.
Approximately 10,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene, the lake began drying up and the forests receded. Animal homesteaders dependent upon that disappearing environment moved on or died, leaving behind their fossil remains.
Around this time, a new species appeared on the landscape, Homo sapiens, the first "native" Americans.
These earliest people left behind petroglyphs, weapon points, sagebrush sandals, and the mystery of where they came from and why they left.
During a long climatic transition period, many other peoples came and departed. It was only around 500 years ago that the Northern Paiute came to the Fort Rock Basin.
Modern European homesteaders came to the high desert in 1905. People arrived in substantial numbers to cultivate and dry farm the desert. But there was a harsh lesson to be learned about depending on the vagary of nature. Drought and failed crops drove most of these "new" homesteaders
They left behind the bleached remains of shattered homes and shattered dreams. These homesteaders all learned the lesson of millennia… to challenge nature is an ever-changing and never-ending struggle.
Location. 43° 21.351′ N, 121° 3.476′ W. Marker is in Fort Rock, Oregon, in Lake County. Marker is on Old Fort Rock Road (County Route 5-10) west of County Route 5-13, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the Fort Rock Homestead Museum, along the boardwalk overlooking historic building exhibits. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Rock OR 97735, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Claiming the Desert (a few steps from this marker); Home Sweet Home (a few steps from this marker); The First People of Fort Rock (approx. 1.3 miles away); Cowboy, Horseman, Philosopher (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Birth of a Tuff Ring (approx. 1.3 miles away); Fort Rock State Park (approx. 1.3 miles away); Fort Rock (approx. 1.3 miles away); Reuban A. "Reub" Long (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Rock.
Categories. • Anthropology • Native Americans • Paleontology • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.