Spanish explorers called it "El Morro" meaning "The Headland". Later American settlers called it Inscription Rock.
El Morro was a visual landmark on the wagon trails and was a place where water was readily available. It became known as a safe camping ground for settlers and explorers.
Settlers and explorers carved their names into El Morro, alongside ancient petroglyphs.
The earliest dated inscription is from 1603, four years before Jamestown!
There is a deep pool of water at it's base- this is what drew people to the rocks...
This inscription was left by "Peachy" Breckinridge in 1857. Peachy was a soldier from Virginia who passed through the area with his regiment. He later returned to VA and was killed in 1863 in a battle of the Civil War.
The row of inscriptions on the bottom of this photo are ancient petroglyphs. The inscription above is from two Spanish Colonists to the New Mexico Territory who came to the territory in 1598. They left their inscription on El Morro in 1636. Unfortunately for them, they were implicated in a plot to assassinate the Colonial Governor and were beheaded in Santa Fe's plaza in 1643.
Inscriptions from railroad workers from the 1890's.
El Morro is a very interesting and very historic place! If you are ever close by Gallup, NM don't miss it!
- Posted by Jill Curtis from the Ranch