Devils Tower, Wyoming, early 1920s
We stopped at Devils Tower on our summer road trip and found this old photograph from the early 1920s made into a postcard available at the visitor center. Devils Tower Monument was the first National Monument established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The photo on the card comes from the Devils Tower Natural History Association (www.devilstowerha.org) and was published by Shoshone Dist., Co., Box 8, Cody, WY 82414.
Devils Tower as seen from several miles away
Devils Tower is located above the Belle Fourche River in the Bear Lodge Mountains, part of the Black Hills, in northeastern Wyoming near Sundance and Hulett, Crook County. The butte rises 1,267 feet or 386 meters above the river and is 867 feet or 265 meters from the base to the summit. It is extremely impressive close up and can be seen for miles.
Near the Tower the Spearfish Formation of red rock is dramatic and interesting. The dark red color of the sandstone was caused by oxidation of iron minerals in the rocks. The colored hillsides reminded me of the Painted Hills in the John Day area of Oregon.
A placard explaining the origin theories about Devils Tower
Devils Tower from the trail
There are several Native American folklore stories about the Tower usually involving giant bears and children fleeing from them, asking the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground toward the heavens so that the bears could not reach them. The groves on the sides of the Tower are said to be the claw marks of the huge bears as they tried to climb the rock.
Sign asking visitors to respect the place
Small red ribbons tied to pine tree near the base of the Tower
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