() Patrick

McShane-, 1995

1he Gathering Stone









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TIle Gathering Stone



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The Gathering

Stone Narrative

A long time ago, beyond the memory of any living human being,
beyond the memory of the elders and grandfathers, beyond the time when the presence of the White Man was but a whisper on the wind, and beyond the memory of more than two hundred and fifty winters; an inter-tribal council was convened and recorded upon a basalt boulder along the banks of the Blackfoot River. Runners were sent to into the lands west of the Rocky Mountains [1] where the Wihinast (Western Shoshoni) lived in the Camas Prairie-Boise Basin regions [1 7]. Runners were also sent into the lands east of the Rocky Mountains [1] where the Washakeek (Eastern Shoshoni) lived between the Green and Wind Rivers at the headwaters of the great Missouri River [2]. The Messengers [18] summoned [19] representatives from these two great nations into the lands of the Bannacks, who were living near the headwaters of the Snake River [3]. The purpose for this gathering was to discuss hunting rights [6]. The Wihinast [16] were represented by a great warrior-chief [15]. The Washakeek were represented by a warrior-chief [8, 9] and four sub-chiefs [10, 11, 12, 13]. The Bannacks were represented by three warrior-chiefs [4, 14]. Under the protection of the Dragonfly Totem [4] of their Bannack hosts these warrior-chiefs sat in a circle and deliberated the futures of their people.[S]. The Wihinast wished to hunt the Buffalo in the lands owned by the Washakeek. The Washakeek wished to fish the waters of the mighty Snake River for giant salmon in the lands owned by the Wihinast. The Bannacks had a vested interest in this discussion because it was through their lands that each tribe would have to travel to gain access to the other's hunting grounds. The stone does not record how long this discussion took place nor does it record the particulars of the debate. It does, however, record that the Sacred Pipe [7] was smoked sealing the agreement. It can be assumed that since there are no signs for disharmony or war placed upon the stone that a peaceful solution to the discussions was achieved.

The Gathering Stone Data Sheet
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1) Moved from Island Park to Just-Reid Ranch on Sunday, September 23, 1995. 2) Located in the backyard of Wallace and Marlene Reid: Lat 043 Deg 15' 48" N Lon 112 Deg 06' 09" W UTM: 12 4790659 N 410533 E

3) JHO3 --->JHO4: 256 Deg (M) 2.83 Km (1.76 Miles) This represents the direction from and distance between the original position and the final placement of the stone as it is returned to the zone of origin.

4) Photos: [GS.OO- GS.09]taken on Saturday,September30, 1995 before cleaning. 5) Length: Width: Depth:
6) Weight: 110 Cm (43.31 In) 077 Cm (30.31 In) 046 Cm (18.11 In) 397 Kg (875 Lbs)

7) Composition: Basalt with heavy lichens damage. Some vandalism by children using a sharp instrument while boulder was located at Island Park. 8) Cleaning process took place on October 1, 1995 and was done by Patrick McShane, Matthew and KR Pancheri. There was an approximate 3% change in the intensity of the patina while we managed to remove approximately 93% of the unwanted materials which had rendered the Rock Writings nearly illegible.

9) Photos: [GS.10 - GS.25] taken on Sunday, October 1, 1995 after cleaning.
GS.26 and GS.27 are Before/After composites. ..........................................................

Data Compiled by:

Patrick McShane, Historian


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Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho October 4, 1926
An Indian Invitation to a Party The petroglyphs pictured on the rock above announce a hunting and fishing party to be held in the Snake River Basin, and a council in connection with it, for the purpose of settling disputes regarding the territorial rights of the tribes as to hunting and fishing. It refers to the watershed of the Teton country and says that all the people living on both sides of the big divide are invited to the party. According to Professor John Rees of Salmon, Idaho, historian and interpreter of Indian language and Indian petroglyphs engraved upon the rocks, there was at some distant date in the past, an invitation extended to many tribes to meet in the Snake River Basin for the same purposes that impelled the white men when they had the great peace ~eeting at Washington, D. C., and at Genoa recently and for nearly the same purposes as brought about the assembly that formed the league of nations at Versailles. For Peace and Efficiency. After agreeing upon the purposes of the meeting, the Red Men who extended the invitation, went forth with hammer and flint and chipped the solid rock until the message was spread where all might see, providing they passed over the trail that led along the Blackfoot River where it emerges from the rock canyon just below the mouth of the Wolverine. In the accepted language of the local tribes and with the emblems they recognized, the face of the rock proclaimed the momentous event designed to prevent the waste and agonies of war. It was broad in its scope, indicating first, the great watershed of the west, and that all peoples both east and west were included in the invitation to the council that was to be contemporaneous with a social event designed to cultivate good will and start the practice of peace and putting to greater usefulness the natural resources of their common country. A Primitive Poster. In those days~perhaps centuries ago, "the printed word," on the face of a rock, received more attention than it does now when there is so much printed. It is safe to assume that a traveler passing it would stop and study it, and then tell it to others wherever he went, and they in turn would tell it, so that in a short time all would know about it for hundreds of miles in every direction. The rock pictured above, lay by the side of the trail on the north bank of the Blackfoot River below the mouth of the Wolverine where many rocks had split off and fallen from the cliff above. A trail lay just below the rock, so the writing could be seen from the trail.

Invitation Appeals to Housekeeper. Mrs. Byrd Trego discovered the rock in 1924~got it photographed and interpreted by Professor Rees, and a copy of his interpretation designed for the Smithsonian Institution at Washington is herein given. The rock weighs 875 pounds and has been transported to Sagehurst where it is on exhibit at the northwest comer of the yard. At a later date the accompanying picture of the petroglyph with their interpretation on a printed sheet will be placed by it under protection of a rain proof glass case, but until that is done, persons desiring to study the rock might clip this article and use it in deciphering the message. Near the rock of the petroglyphs at Sagehurst is a bomb weighing 2050 pounds. It was shot out of erupting lava, probably by the same action that throws tiny clots of taffy from the.boiling syrup when it is getting thick and sputters. The clot is thrown up by the force of steam beneath the surface. As it revolves in its flight it takes the spheroidal form and cools by contact with the air. If the clot is very dense~not porous, it is apt to cool so fast on the surface that it cracks off in layers, leaving the appearance of having been carved with a curved blade. This bomb is egg-shaped and has been so affected, and shed one or more layers due to surface contraction in its flight. The Time of the Eruption. Professor Rees says these rocks belong to the lava flow of the Tertiary age. That was before the ice age. The ice age started before the forests began to grow to make the coal beds. The timber and verdure that made the coal beds did not start to grow until the extremes of temperature of the ice age prepared the soil. That seems to have started before the advent of man. This is the way it was done. The Ice Age. Something in the solar system slipped, and the northern hemisphere went into low temperatures. The snow piled up until the weight settled it and made ice. More snows and mQreice continued until Canada and our northern states were covered with ice thousands of feet deep. Central Europe was in the same condition, the deepest ice being about five thousand feet thick. That took a good while. The something slipped and they went into high temperatures. The ice melted and tropical climate followed, with dense forests and rank vegetation with abundant animal life. Eight times "that something" slipped and gave them the extremes of climate. Four times was the northern hemisphere covered with a world of ice. Three times did they have the tropical climate with an abundant growth of everything. Primitive man made his appearance; lived~loved~died and left his imprint or his record. Perhaps it was only his skeleton imprinted in silt that turned to rock. In some places it was his club or a hunting knife made of chipped stone. In other places it was a cave with clay pots~or pictures carved on the face of the rocks. The Order of Events. Now we point you back to the Tertiary age. The lava flowed southward to what we call the Blackfoot River. After that came the ice~and more ice. Then the hundreds of thousands of years, probably millions of years down to the Christian era. Geologists returning recently from the Craters of the Moon report that there have been several lava flows there in the last two thousand years---ten of them in five

thousand years. With this brief introduction as to the relative order of events, we now quote from Professor Rees' s report to the Smithsonian Institution. Professor Rees's Interpretation. Plate LXVII denotes a "peace" council between the eastern and western Shoshonis, held in the country of the Bannacks. Fig. 1 represents the "Rock Mountains" or the ridge dividing the Indians into an eastern and a western portion. Fig. 2 represents the "headwaters of two streams," the Green and Wind Rivers, the habitats of the eastern branch. They are depicted to represent the "Washakeek" condition designated by the Shoshonis where the waters are shooting and dropping. Fig. 3 is the "Snake River," the habitat of the Shoshonis represented by the sinuous line. Fig. 4 is the "dragon-fly" totem of the Bannacks representing the habitat of that tribe which is here depicted as being near the source of the Snake River. Fig. 5 represents a "council in session" which is denoted by men sitting in a circle and talking. Fig. 7 is a symbol representing a "pipe" the sign for which is made by holding out the right hand, back down, pointing forward with the index finger curled up. It was a council held by "warriors" as all of the principals or leaders are so represented by the hanging breech-clout. Fig. 8 is the leader of the eastern band. Fig. 9 is his "head dress" designating him a chief. Figs. 10, 11, 12 and 13 are "sub-chiefs" that are attending him at this function. The markers about the chief denote the "warriors" that are accompanying him upon this expedition to act as his body guard, there being about ten members of them. Fig. 14 represents three Bannack warriors that sit in this council, the "three lines" being markers or counters of the dragon-fly totem. Fig. 15 represents a Shoshoni warrior, shown by the "trailing queue." The circle above his head, Fig. 16 is the symbol for "all." Fig. 17 represents the "country" from which these Shoshonis came, showing it to be a large "basin," west of the Snake River, alluding to the Camas Prairie-Boise Basin regions which were ancient stamping grounds of the western or Wihinast Shoshonis. Fig. 18 represents a "herald" or "runner" who is announcing this event to the tribes. The sign for "messenger" is made with the right hand swung forward from the mouth, meaning handing out words. The invitation to this council was given by the Indians on the western side of the mountains and is represented by Fig. 19, which is a symbol for "come," the sign for which is made by a motion of the index finger of the right hand carried from arm's length in a curve to near the face, meaning come here. Two of these curves were made in this figure, one to the east and one to the west, inviting all to come. Fig. 6 represents what this council is all about. The circular part of this figure represents the "place" or country of the Shoshonis. The two "strokes" leading from this circle mean hunt, the sign for which is made with the index and middle fingers of the right hand, extended and separated brought near the eyes, pointing"forward in a position that one can look along the fingers; by wrist action the fingers are turned from side to side, meaning looking or searching for something. The entire symbol means that this council was held for the purpose of adjusting the hunting rights of this family over the country claimed by its various tribes, especially the right of the Shoshonis west of the mountains to go east and hunt the buffalo on the headwaters of the Missouri. However, the salmon fishing rights along the Snake River for the Indians east of the mountains would be almost as equally important a matter in such a council. The symbol includes all of these as it refers to "hunting rights."

After an Absence of 71 Years the 'Gathering Stone' Returns Home
by: Patrick McShane, Historian Dated: September 16, 1995

BLACKFOOT- 71 years after it had been removed from along the banks of the Blackfoot River an 875 pound basalt slab covered with Shoshoni rock writing, has come home. In 1924 Mrs. Susie Trego, whose husband Byrd Trego was the editor and publisher of the Idaho Republican, 'discovered' the stone while visiting with friends who farmed along the Blackfoot River. Susie had a keen interest in Indian culture and history. She contacted Professor John E. Rees of Salmon, Idaho. Prof. Rees was a well known authority on various aspects of Native American culture, especially the signs and symbols which they had pecked and abraded into stone. Prof. Rees arrived, camera in hand, photographed the boulder and then later interpreted the meaning of the petroglyphs for her. Susie became taken with the stone and asked if she might have it. Permission being granted she had the boulder removed and transported to 'Sagehurst', the name of their home in Blackfoot, where it remained on

display for 33 years.
In the October 4, 1926 issue of the Idaho Republican the Gathering Stone was featured in an article authored by Prof.Rees and the nomen;"An Indian

Invitation to a Party," was used to describe the petroglyph panel. The Gathering Stone was next presented to a statewide readership in the Twelfth BiennialReport of the Board of Trustees of the State Historical Society of Idaho, 1930, in an article titled; Indian Rock Writing in Idaho, authored by RichardP. Erwin. In addition to showing the photograph taken by Prof. Rees his lengthy interpretation of the stone, "Invitation to Party" also appeared. IN 1957 the"Gathering Stone fell under the auctioneers' gavel during the
estate sale of Byrd Trego who died on April 2, 1957. It was purchased by Orien S. (Chris) Christensen who, being a lover of rocks, moved it to his home at Island Park, Idaho. There it remained until recently. The significance of the Gathering Stone, as interpreted by Prof. Rees, lies in the fact that it announced a "peace council"between the Eastern and Western Shoshoni held in the country of the Bannacks. "The entire symbol means that this council was held for the purpose of adjusting the hunting rights of this family over the country claimed by its various tribes, especially the right of the Shoshonis west of the Rocky Mountains to go east and hunt the buffalo on the headwaters of the Missouri River. However, the salmon fishing rights along the Snake River for the Indians east of the mountains would be almost

as equally important a matter in such a council. The symbol includes all of
these as it refers to 'hunting rights.'" Originally positioned along a well-used Native American trail beside the Blackfoot River where it could be seen by all who passed by, this monument

to time and human compromise, appeared as a Treaty in Stone. For a number of years Wallace and Marlene Reid, patriarchs of the Just-Reid Homestead along the Blackfoot River, have been actively involved in efforts to return the Gathering Stone to its rightful place. It is a well publicized fact that several petroglyphic panel sites are located near the old homestead and the Gathering Stone had been removed from one of these sites. Under the study and stewardship of Marlene Reid these rock writings have remained preserved and protected.

Once Marlene had learned the whereabouts of the Gathering Stone, she

contacted Andrew (Andy) Christensen,son of the late "Chris"Christensen,
and discussed the return of the artifact. It wasn't until after the death of
Andy Christe~sen on March 17, 1995, that final arrangements were made with his wife Shirley and the Gathering Stone began its journey home.

The Gathering Stone will come home to the Reid Ranch, not far from where it began its journey 71 years ago. MarleneReid plans to make it available for viewing to various visiting groups, especially school children and scouts, who wish to learn more about the early history of our area. The Gathering Stone shall now become the center of a 'gathering place'...a place to teach future generations. Thanks to the efforts of MarleneReid, the message of the Gathering Stone, silenced for so many years, will once again
instruct and inform those who 'pass by' as the original authors had intended.



Blackfoot, Idaho, Saturday, Oct. 7, 1995- 3A

BY LOIS BATES News correspondent

Indian petroglyphs return to Reid ranch
Rees, Salmon, to inspect the
petroglyphs on the rock. Patrick

easternbranchand the SnakeRiver his cabin in Island Park where it
the habitat of western

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It had been 71 years since "the rock" left its home. And ifs no ordinary rock, it's an 875-pound basalt stone coveredwith Shoshoni rockwriting. The big rock had left its home along the BlackfootRiver in 1924 whenSusieBoiceTregodiscovered it while visiting a friend, Agnes Just Reid It was in a positionalong a well-used Indian trail where all whopassedby couldsee. Susie invited ProfessorJohn E.

McShane,Wapello, a historian on the art of rock writing said. "Rees was a well-known authority on various aspects of petroglyphs." Professor Rees photographed the rockand interpretedthe meaningof therockas an invitationto a party. The Indian signs were depicted as a peace council between the easternand westernShoshonito be held in the BannockCountry.There are mountainsreferringto division andtwo streamsshowingthe Green River and Wind River of the

Shoshoni. There are Bannock and Shoshoni warriors and a symbol inviting everyone to come and discuss hunting and fIShingrights so there can be peace. McShane referredto the rock as a "treaty in stone." This is not the fust time this particularrock has been featuredin the paper. Blackfoot's Idaho Republican,told the story, Oct 4, 1926. It was an article written by Professor Rees. It also was
presented to a statewide readership


remained until this fall, when Wallace and Marlene Reid brought it home Sept 24. Coming home to the Reid ranch after seven decades, the "gathering stone" will live up to its name as Marlene plans to make it available to visiting groups, especially school children and scouts.

McShane has researched and studied petroglyphs and gathered
materials for the past five years. He cleaned lichens from the rock very ~fully as photographs proved it had deteriorated over the years. "The Gathering Stone shall now become the center of a 'gathering place' to teach future generations," stated McShane. "Thanks to the efforts of Marlene Reid, the message of the gathering stone, silenced for so many years, will once again instruct and inform those who pass by as the original authors had intended." Marlene is selling T-shirts and stationary with the petroglyph symbols to help compensate the expense of restoring "the rock."


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in the 12th BiennialReport of the boardof trusteesof the IdahoState Historical Society during 1930 in the article entitled, "Indian Rock Writing In Idaho," by Richard P. Erwin.
Susie had the rock transported to her beloved Sagehurst at 20 Court Street, where it remained for 33 years. Following the death of both Susie and her husband Byrd, the rock, dubbed, "the gathering stone" was sold at an estate auction to O.S. (Chris) Christensen. He took it to


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Digitally signed by Patrick McShane DN: cn=Patrick McShane, o=PCS Centers for Enhanced Learning, ou=Headmaster, email=mcshane.patric k9@gmail.com, c=US Date: 2009.03.04 07:04:40 -07'00'

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