The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Susan Wiggins
Mayor Pro Tempore 

Gossip Rock

A Page of History


I have a confession to make. Either I am getting old(er) or I have been writing this column way too long – or both!

When I began this venture, it did not occur to me that I should devise a plan to keep track of the materials from my mother, Marion Deaver, so that I would know whether I had written a column about it.

At the time I just figured I would remember – after all – I was "not that old" at the time. I guess I never envisioned that I would still be doing this after several years. Yet here I am still writing, and each time I dig through the files I wonder if I have written about that article before. Oh well, too late now!

This week I confidently present to you an article about a Kern Antelope Historical Society field trip taken in May, 1963 (of which I believe I have not written). The trip was taken with 65 members, traveling up the Caliente Canyon and Lorraine areas in a caravan of cars.

The first stop was a short distance from Caliente to view Native American potholes in a large rock formation.

My mother noted that the "weather was ideal" and the group enjoyed the many varieties of wildflowers present as they drove up the canyon. The canyon is still a good place to view wildflowers after a good winter of rain. My friend Bonnie Bennett and I drove up the canyon a few months ago to do just that. The creek was running and it was a nice drive.

The group then turned right at Lorraine and drove to the historic adobe home of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Ritter. The historical society members spread out a picnic lunch and later were treated to view the Ritter's collection of arrowheads and grinding stones.

Then following the Ritter couple further up the canyon, the group was able to see the Gossip Rock. The rock featured three deep holes where the Native American women had ground meal as they talked. The holes were deep, which probably accounted for much gossip among the women over many years.

The visitors drove east of Lorraine with the Ritter's to view Native American paintings, as my mother called them. A good arrowhead was found in a stream bed near the rock, and several grinding rocks were recovered by members exploring the area near the rocks.

The article noted that field trips would resume in the fall – much too hot in many locations in July and August for even the hardiest of explorers to endure.


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