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History of Palo Duro Canyon

History of Palo Duro Canyon. By Bernice Blasingame Palo Duro Canyon State Park Education Director/Park Interpreter. Geology of Palo Duro Canyon. Location Formation Layers. Location.

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History of Palo Duro Canyon

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  1. History of Palo Duro Canyon By Bernice Blasingame Palo Duro Canyon State Park Education Director/Park Interpreter

  2. Geology of Palo Duro Canyon • Location • Formation • Layers

  3. Location • Palo Duro Canyon is located in Armstrong and Randall counties; 12 miles east of Canyon in the Texas Panhandle.

  4. Formation • Formed by water and wind erosion • Prairie Dog Town Fork of Red River flows through the canyon • Floor of Palo Duro Canyon same age as rim of the Grand Canyon

  5. Layers • 4 geologic layers • Quartermaster—oldest layer(250 million years) at bottom; red in color with bands of satin spar gypsum and claystone running through it • Tecovas— ”Spanish Skirts”, (200 million years) contains lavender and gold colors • Trujillo-contains massive sandstone and mudstone; “layered boulders” (181 million years) • Ogallala-top layer containing water table of high plains; contains caliche; (2-10 million years) 20-40 feet thick but can be as much as 700 feet thick in other places

  6. History of Man • Native American Cultures • Paleoindian • Mesoindian • Neoindian • Historic

  7. Paleoindian Stage • Included both Clovis and Folsom cultures • Clovis people hunted mammoths with large fluted points • Folsom hunted giant bison with small fluted points • Both groups thoroughly familiar with Palo Duro Canyon as evidenced by artifacts found

  8. Mesoindian Stage • Used atlatl (spear thrower) for hunting • Moved in small groups of foragers and exploited seasonally-changing plant and animal resources • Rock art found in canyon suspected to be from this era

  9. Neoindian Stage • Hunters and gatherers who became increasingly dependent on gardening • Small temporary camps gradually replaced by large permanent villages • Tended to bury dead in crevices of canyon walls or rock shelters

  10. Historic Stage • Began with Coronado expedition in 1541; ended with MacKenzie campaign in 1874 • Region dominated by Apache until about 1700 when replaced by the Comanche who forced Apache southward • Described as large bands of bison-hunting foot-nomads • Used large dogs to transport few possessions from camp to camp • Later became more warlike horse-nomads

  11. Historic Stage continued Comanches entered panhandle and pushed Apaches out of plains and Palo Duro Canyon Became superb horsemen; dominated region for more than 150 years Culture based on hunting bison and raiding for horses and captives

  12. Comanche Culture

  13. Comanches

  14. Uses of Bison

  15. Battle of Palo Duro Canyon • Colonel Ranald MacKenzie • Kiowa Chief Lone Wolf (one of 5 chiefs at battle and last of Kiowas to turn himself and band in to Fort Sill in February 1875)

  16. Battle of Palo Duro Canyon • With the help of Tonkawa scouts, Colonel MacKenzie and troops descended the canyon on foot leading their horses down a steep and narrow path. The Indians were totally surprised and fled leaving nearly everything behind. They put up a brave fight but could not overcome the odds. Their horse herd was captured and later destroyed. The soldiers also destroyed lodges and food supplies. This left Indians without shelter or food. They eventually had to return to the reservation or face starvation during the winter.

  17. Ranching Era • Charles Goodnight entered canyon to begin JA Ranch, 1874 • Removed bison from canyon • Mary Ann Goodnight saved bison calves

  18. Civilian Conservation Corps • CCC began work on Palo Duro Canyon in 1930’s • Built road, cabins and trails • Made up of unemployed young men, many with no skills • Park opened July 4, 1934

  19. CCC

  20. Plants of Palo Duro Canyon

  21. Wildlife of Palo Duro Canyon

  22. The End

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