January 2022

Quanah Parker, Last Chief of the Comanches

Friday, January 21, 2022 0
Quanah Parker,  Last Chief of the Comanches
For three centuries the Comanches ruled as lords of the Southern Plains. With the coming of white settlers and the might of the US Army, the land was been rested from its Indian masters. The Comanches resented this appropriation of their ancestral home and say only one recourse, war. 

In 1836, during a Comanche raid on Fort Parker, Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was captured. She grew up among the Comanches, whom she learned to love dearly. Ultimately, she married famed Comanche chief Peta Nocona for whom she bore three children.

Who was Quanah Parker?

Quanah was born to the couple in 1845 and was the only one of the three children to survive. Sharp of mind and an intrepid warrior, Quanah emerged as a vigorous and enlightened protector of Comanche interest.

Quanah led Cheyennes, Arapahos, Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches in their last great surge against white encroachment known as Battle of Adobe Walls. A military strategist of the first order, he became one of the most feared Indians on the Southern Plains. But the white man was superior in weapons and numbers. The day came when Quanah knew that further resistance would only lead to annihilation of the Comanches. He counts this people to lay down their arms and to take the white men's rules.

On June 2nd, 1875, Quanah and his followers surrendered at Fort Sill. By an ironic twist of fate it was Quanah who led the Comanches in their final struggle against the encroachment of his mother's own people, the whites. And once the fighting was over it was he as last chief of the Comanches who would lead them up from the bitter ashes of defeat to walk the white man's road. Quanah dedicate himself to the strenuous task of guiding the Comanches into civilization. Courageous and strong-willed, he was also a natural diplomat. Traveling numerous times to Washington DC to represent the Comanches, he was a familiar figure in Congress. He became a successful farmer, a rancher, and a major stockholder in the Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway. 

He had vital interest in educating the young people and became president of his local school board in 1905. On a road in Theodore Roosevelt inaugural parade, in a special report to the president it was stated of Quanah, "if ever nature stamped a man with the seal of headship, she did it in his case. Quanah would have been a leader and a governor in any circle where fate may have cast him." 

Where is Quanah Parker buried?

On December 4, 1910, Quanah had his mother's remains exhumed and reburied near his home where, as he said, "I might lie beside her". At Quanah's request, Congress erected a monument at her gravesite. 

Three months after her reburial, Chief Quanah died on February 23, 1911. Quanah, who was responsible for the Comanche's transition onto the white man's road and who perhaps did more than any other man to reconcile these two great races was mourned by Whites and Indians alike. Approximately 1,500 people formed a funeral procession over two miles long. 

Although his remarkable adaptation to white ways brought him honor and wealth, he never did forsake his Comanche heritage. He loved his culture, he was proud of it and strove to preserve it. When he was buried beside his white mother, he was in the full regalia of a Comanche chief.

Quanah had seven Comanche wives and begat 24 children. Every year, the descendants of Quanah and the Parker relatives of Texas gather to honor the memory of Cynthia Ann and a remarkable son, Quanah Parker, Last Chief of the Comanches.

1800's Covered Wagon Tracks Still Exist - Oregon Trail Ruts

Thursday, January 13, 2022 0
1800's Covered Wagon Tracks Still Exist - Oregon Trail Ruts
Traveling through Wyoming now. Not stopping too many places but I wanted to stop here and show you this. This is a very interesting historical place. Where during the mid-1800s an estimated 500,000 people crossed this area on the famous Oregon Trail. They went through this sandstone, this rock. Those thousands of covered wagons crossed this area. They crossed over and eventually in through this sandstone rock, they created huge ruts. Some of the ruts are as deep as four feet.

Oregon Trail Ruts - Guernsey, Wyoming


I mean this is so interesting to me. This sandstone is a lot softer than other types of rock so those wagon wheels, slowly over the course of decades, cut into this. 

The Oregon Trail was about two thousand miles long and it took anywhere from four to six months for these pioneers, people in search of a better life out West, to cross and lots of danger lots of hardship. Lots of accidents and deaths. They were full on committed to making it out West.

So during the mid-1800s more than 500,000 pioneers journeyed West right through this area and the Oregon Trail was just a rocky, horrible, rocky rutted trail. It was never any nicer than that. The trail began in Missouri, crossing the plains before entering into here into Wyoming, along the North Platte River.

As they continued on the trail, travel became even more difficult and once they reached the Wyoming area, the terrain changed from wide open plains to rugged landscape typical of what's out here.

There's a plaque here that says the Oregon Trail was 2,000 miles and it's a tribute to the human spirit. The people from all walks of life sold most of their possessions, piled what was left in a wagon and journeyed West in search of a better life. Thousands of travelers struggled through this winding, rocky terrain before making camp just west of this point. Evidence of their passage is clearly visible at the crest of this hill where deep ruts cut by the wheels of countless wagons. Thousands of wagons are preserved in the soft sandstone.

Zimmerman's Covered Bridge - Pennsylvania's Covered Bridges

Wednesday, January 05, 2022 0
Zimmerman's Covered Bridge - Pennsylvania's Covered Bridges
So greetings from Pennsylvania once again and today we're up here in Schuylkill County and we've got a covered bridge behind us. 

So, I'm starting one of my new series on the different covered bridges here in Pennsylvania and we're going to start here at the Zimmerman covered bridge

So, this idea has been in my head for quite some time to do all the covered bridges here in Pennsylvania. I have filmed some videos on cover bridges already but never turned into like a series. Never made it a concerted effort to get to all of them. There are quite a few left here in Pennsylvania. Some counties have none. Like Lebanon County, which is not too far from here, has no covered bridges. Here in Schuylkill County there's just two. But down in Lancaster County there's a whole ton of them. So it varies from county to county.

Zimmerman Covered Bridge

We'll talk a little bit just why what the purpose of a covered bridge is and then we'll take a look at this one here, the Zimmerman covered bridge. I'll tell you a little bit of history about it oh yeah we're going to talk about the architecture. You know, as I make these videos I learn stuff too because I'm studying all these bridges. They're made different ways, different architecture. Like this one is called a Burr Truss or Burr Arch Truss and we'll go inside.

But let me tell you where I'm at. First, this is Covered Bridge Road appropriately. Just across the bridge is Route 895. We're not too far from the town of Rock. But if you go west it'll take you to Pine Grove. So that's kind of where we are and because we'll walk through the bridge. There's a little trail down below we can get a view of the bridge from down below too.

So what's the purpose? Why have a covered bridge? What's the purpose of that? Why not just have a regular open bridge like they do today these days? 

I want to mention what the purpose of covered bridges is. Obviously the bridge is there to cover like a creek or stream or the body of water. I've heard different reasons why there's sides to them. Sometimes the sides, like these go back you know to the 1800s. The sides were on the bridges so the horses couldn't see over the edge and be scared or something like that. I heard that explained once but the reason they're covered is because they're made of wood, because they have a roof and roofing materials to prevent the wood from getting wet.

Wooden bridges that were uncovered only lasted about 20 years. Obviously because the wood would rot. But, if you put a cover on it, a roof like what's on these covered bridges, they could last 100 years or so. So that's why it's one of the main reasons why they're covered. Same with your house. You know if your house didn't have a roof it wouldn't last that long. But once you have a good solid roof on top of your house it can last you know hundreds of years. So, that's why they're covered. 

Alright, so let's go take a walk through. Because I think at the end of this video we'll actually drive through too. Yeah, so depending on what website you read, I've heard different ages for Zimmerman's covered bridge. 1875 or 1880. I'm gonna go with 1875. That's what I heard the most. See the arch everybody mentioned? The name of that is a Burr Arch Truss. It's called that because a man named Theodore Burr patented that design I think in 1817. And the truss refers to these posts. This is called a king post truss. It's got the one big post and the two angles. That's a king post right there. One up in the two angled ones and it's there's multiple ones of those it's a multiple king post truss and then this is the burr the burr arch. So Burr Arch Truss design is what this is.

This bridge is about 50 feet long too. I think it was redone a bit in 1996. They lifted it off its abutments and kind of did some work on it, refurbished it a bit, and there's looking at it from this way. One of the shorter cover bridges I've seen because the second one here that's in Schuylkill County, which is actually just down the road, maybe several miles, the Rock Covered Bridge that one's even shorter I believe.

Effigy Mounds National Monument: Sacred Lands & Waters

Sunday, January 02, 2022 0
Effigy Mounds National Monument: Sacred Lands & Waters
Lakota cultural resource manager Albert Lebeau is our guide to this exploration of Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa.

Effigy Mounds National Monument

I feel, when you come to Effigy Mounds, you feel it. A lot of people don't understand it but there is something you feel. There is a sacredness here. Effigy Mounds National Monument is a cemetery. We figured about 90% of the mounds are probably burial mounds or contain human remains of some sort.

My name is Albert Lebeau. I am the Cultural Resource Manager for Effigy Mounds National Monument.

There's different mounds being built throughout the country. We have Hopewellian Mounds, which are further east. We have Mississippian mounds, which are east and south of here. And then, we have our mounds, the Effigy Mounds.

The Effigy Mounds in southern Wisconsin is unique in whereas we have a lot of effigies.

What's right behind me is a mound that's known as "Little Bear." And the reason he's called Little Bear is because there's a bigger Bear not too far from where we're at right now. So he's the Little Bear.

Basically all "effigies" means is that they're made to look like something. As an archeologist, I can't say for sure that this is a bear. I can say that it resembles a terrestrial land animal that has four legs and it's being represented by this particular effigy.

In our south unit we have our jewel, which we call the "Marching Bears." Marching Bears is a very special place and when you go up there, you'll feel it. It is a very special place.

We know that this area has been used and continues to be used by tribal folks, through time immemorial. The Native people who continue to use this, it's their site and they're able, you know, I'm just managing it, I'm just making sure that they can still use it, they still have access to it, and making sure that no other harm has been done to it.

Stories from different tribes throughout the country, refer back to the Mississippi River. I feel a connection here, but the connection is more of a distant connection. Because, my ancestors, my recent ancestors, used scaffold and bundle burials. We didn't build mounds. So, this whole area, even known to the Lakotas, who where a Plains tribe, knew about this place, and knew that we can't fight here.

The Ho-Chunk say the same thing, Sauk and Fox, the Ioway, the Missouria. All these different tribal groups all say the exact same thing. That this place was a neutral zone to meet and pray.


More Information can be found at: https://www.nps.gov/efmo/index.htm and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effigy_Mounds_National_Monument

Katelyn Nicole Davis ? Forever Missed