Skip to main content

High Rock Carving

    One of the strangest carved rocks is the High Rock petroglph. The strange symbols and carvings found on this large boulder have never been understood. And they are unlike any other carvings in the region. The rock was discovered under a small rock shelter near High Rock on the south fork of the Red River in Kentucky. Most of the Swift silver mine searches over the decades have been concentrated on the north fork of the the Red River and some on the middle  fork. To give perspective, the Red River is comprised of three different forks and watersheds. The north fork is the famous Red River Gorge area with many of the features and landmarks that I have written about in this blog.  The middle fork flows by the famous Natural Bridge State Park. The south fork is rarely mentioned but in the 1970's was the location for this unique carved rock.
    Many, of course, have speculated as to who produced the carvings ranging from the Adena culture "doodling" on a rock to pass away time, to some secret map, perhaps leading or describing the Swift mines. Interestingly in the early 80's         a Mr. Tipton (Wearing helmet in photograph) believed he had found the Swift mines within only hundreds of yards of the strangely carved rock. Mr. Tipton had studied his versions of the Swift journals and came to the conclusion the sliver treasure lay buried underneath a layer of top soil and rock. Whether Mr. Tipton ever connected any relation to the carved rock found near-by we do not know. This location is on the south fork of the Red River and not as famous search area. Even farther south into Estill and Jackson Counties, are search areas for the mines. 
    The unusual carved rock is now housed in the Red River Museum located at Clay City, Kentucky and is on prominent display. 


  1. I need to go there and see the rock in person.

  2. Matt, Here is a link with some information about the museum and a photo of the rock at its present location in the Red River Museum:


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Flint Types of Eastern Kentucky

For those folks interested in archaeology and/or geology you no doubt have considered the flint (called chert by geologists) that all those arrowheads you've seen or in your collection are made from.  The colors, textures and behavior of the amazing substance various greatly and for many years, in fact up until the early 70's only the major identified primitive quarries type of flint were recognized in archaeological research. Little effort or attention was paid toward the raw material of those beautiful and finely crafted tools. Geologist performed little better simply noting in their field work that some beds of lime stones contained chert though sometimes the chert was described in detail.
    That all changed in the early 70's as the result of pioneering work on flint classification for sources found in the eastern part of Kentucky. This undertaking was done by Larry Meadows, Garland Dever and Ed Henson. Yes, yours truly was fortunate enough to know these two very …

The High Rock Petroglyph

What do you think the strange symbols carved on this sandstone boulder represent? The High Rock Carving is certainly one of the most mysterious antiquity found in the Red River Gorge country.  We did a previous post  about this strange rock in August, 2012. Discovered underneath a small rock shelter near the High Rock fire tower, the carvings were discovered on one loose boulder in the shelter. In the late 70's the boulder was removed from the rock shelter by the Red River Museum and Historical Society placed at the museum in Clay City, Kentucky. It was felt that vandals and artifact collectors would soon end up destroying the unusual carved stone. In fact some of the surface appears to have been chipped away, perhaps portions already removed by vandals.    The carvings have many varied, curved shapes including concentric circles and shapes that may represent animals. Additionally, there are numerous holes and other features. Some of the rock has been lost likely by the weathering …

Broke Leg Falls

For sure one old landmark in eastern Menifee County Kentucky is Broke Leg Falls. The Falls has been a tourist stop along US Hwy 460 since the 1940's and before. It was a place for picnics and adventures into the rough rocky terrain the likes of the Red River Gorge. It's location on once a major highway along with the pristine beauty of the box canyon that the stream formed no doubt contributed to the popularity of the Falls.
    The Falls is about 80 feet in height but much of the year has a small water flow. But over eons of time the Falls and stream have carved out a magnificent canyon retreating nearly to the crest of the ridge.
    Located in Menifee County Kentucky, Broke Leg Falls has been a popular tourist spot for travelers of the US Highway which is located only a few yards from the falls. A popular landmark since the 1940's, the Falls was privately owned. Visitors could pay a dime and get to hike the short distance down into the box canyon to view the Falls…