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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sperryville in Rappahannock County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Rocks Older than Mankind

 
 
Rocks Older than Mankind Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
1. Rocks Older than Mankind Marker
Inscription. The only tunnel on the Skyline Drive passes for 700 feet through Mary's Rock Mountain. It was blasted out of granite-like rock. Only 1,300,000,000 years ago this rock was still molten magma.
 
Location. 38° 39.123′ N, 78° 18.69′ W. Marker is near Sperryville, Virginia, in Rappahannock County. Marker is on Skyline Drive, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located at the Tunnel Parking Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. Marker is in this post office area: Sperryville VA 22740, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Marys Rock Tunnel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Greatest Single Feature (approx. mile away); Rappahannock County / Page County (approx. mile away); Thornton Gap (approx. 0.8 miles away); William Randolph Barbee (approx. 0.8 miles away); Through the Gaps (approx. 2 miles away); Old Rag (approx. 2.1 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sperryville.
 
Categories. Natural FeaturesRoads & Vehicles
 
Rocks Older than Mankind Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
2. Rocks Older than Mankind Marker
With the slope of Mary's Rock Mountain as the backdrop.
Mary's Rock Tunnel image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
3. Mary's Rock Tunnel
The tunnel itself is cut through a section of what geologist call a Catoctin feeder dike, made from lava surging through a fissure in existing rock, over 1 billion years ago. The tunnels itself was blasted through the rock in 1932, then later lined with concrete to prevent ice formation. Sources vary as to the length of the tunnel. The marker states 700 feet. The map distance of the road is around 610 feet. The length of the rock cut is 690 feet. So take your pick for the length of the tunnel.
Thornton Gap image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
4. Thornton Gap
Looking east from the overlook. Thornton Gap was historically a significant crossing point over the Blue Ridge, used by Native Americans, explorers, settlers, Civil War armies, and today travelers on U.S. Highway 211.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 757 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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