Full Steam Ahead for Scripture Rocks Park Efforts
(Photos by Kyle Yates Photography.)
Volunteers are needed to help clear rocks and build trails in the four-acre park near Port Barnett from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The park encompasses 61 rocks that hold inscriptions and dedications created between 1911 ad 1913 by Douglas Stahlman.
The project to preserve Stahlman’s work began in 2009 when the Jefferson County Historical Society partnered with the North Fork Chapter 29 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. The two groups began to relocate, map, and record the Scripture Rocks in the Port Barnett area.
Ideas to create a park surfaced in 2011 when the Pennsylvania Historic & Museum Commission provided a Keystone Preservation Grant to fund detailed GIS Mapping of the Port Barnett site and its cultural resources. The mapping included a prospectus for the development of a possible public park that would tell the story of Stahlman and the inscribed rocks.
The creation of a public park became a reality last year when long-term land use agreement was provided to the Jefferson County Historical Society by the Humphrey Trust.
Volunteers began working late last fall to clear undergrowth and lay out formal trails so visitors can move freely through the site. Plans for the park include identifying markers and interpretive signage for each rock, trail signs, and information about forest ecology, wildlife, lumber history, and Native American rockshelter in the area.
Organizers hope to be able to add a small public pavilion and benches through future public donations and grant funding.
Other construction projects include the creation of an entrance, a parking lot, and an access trail by the Winner Global Corporation. The company has donated property for those purposes on Route 28 and construction is scheduled to begin this spring.
The Scripture Rocks Heritage Park is being designed as a free public access site operating on donations, fees received from interpretative site booklets or rental of an onsite pavilion.
Organizers are currently planning on a Summer 2015 opening for the park.
Those interested in volunteering on April 25 are asked to contact Ken Burkett at the Jefferson County History Center at 814-849-0077.
For additional information, visit www.scripturerocks.com.