Looking Back: One pioneer remembrance in granite

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MEEKER — There are sights throughout every community that most people take for granted but when newcomers ask about its origin, not many people seem to know the real story. The courthouse rock is one of those objects. It was placed there more than 59 years ago on July 7, 1949, to honor the original founders. The plaque commemorating the town’s originators garners more shoe prints than fingerprints, as the younger segment of the local population delight in scaling its sides to climb up and gain a bird’s-eye view of Main Street.
What is it about a huge rock that seems fitting to honor one’s ancestors? Moving a native stone from one place to another in the name of the local forefathers is not unusual, communities all over the country seem to have mammoth boulders in front of city and county government offices in the name of the one or two of the most prominent pioneers.
Moved into town from its upper White River resting place across the river from the mouth of Elk Creek, the rock commemorates the settling of this community. An article in the Meeker Herald noted that the boulder dated back to the glacial period of the ice age. There was reported to be no other granite formation within a number of miles, which apparently made it all the more fitting to move to the center of town for a tribute to the pioneers who persisted in surviving here against all odds.
The newspaper article reported, “the original rock mover, Mr. C.W. Grove said it was one of the hardest rocks he ever worked on.” Using a pneumatic hammer provided by the crew, he was able to “dull the seat for the plaque” that was placed on the rock. Written reminiscences about the huge rock are hard to find although it would appear from the heavy use it gets from lots of juvenile rock climbers that it is part of many local children’s fond courthouse lawn memories. Things such as the fourth of July broken arm from a fall from the rock are sure to crop up in the conversational walk down memory lane. A sure sign of spring is the sight of children shinnying up the side to sit atop the giant boulder.