Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lincoln National Forest: Shattuck Cemetery Hike

Hiking in Snow
I was really wanting to get out of the house today for a little adventure. Noelle was not feeling well and so this would be a solo adventure. I had recently read about an old, remote cemetery in the Lincoln National Forest outside of Queen and figured I would go and see if I could find it. I hit the road and got some gas in town before heading up Dark Canyon and into the Guadalupe Mountains. Soon there were patches of snow on the road. The snow and ice became more frequent when I turned onto New Mexico highway 137. By the time I got to the National Forest boundary the road was quite icy.

Hooper Canyon
I made my way through Queen and then turned onto Forest Highway 540. I followed the sometimes snowy, sometimes muddy road to Klondike Gap and then turned onto a rougher, steeper, muddier road. Soon I found myself at the intersection with the rough Forest Road 307 where I parked and then hit walked along the road. It was a bit slow going as there was more snow than I had anticipated. Where there wasn't snow there was plenty of mud. Hooper Canyon, which the road passes through is very interesting. There was a steep limestone wall there and  I scoured it looking for signs of pictographs. I found some graffiti and some very faded rock art.
Up-canyon there was an interesting rock shelter.
Looking out of Shelter

There were a lot of swallow nests attached to the ceiling of the shelter,
Swallow Nests
and a lot of dried animal dung cemented to the floor of the shelter. I suppose it was used as a corral at some time. There were also a few very faded pictographs inside the shelter.

Faded Ceiling Pictograph
After exploring for a bit I moved on. Soon I come to an unexpected for in the road. My map showed only one road. Had there not been snow on the ground I suppose it would have been easy to tell which road to follow, but I was unsure so I followed the road on the right. It took me up another canyon and to an interesting old rock wall.

Old Wall
Soon the road faded away with no trace and so I retraced my steps to the junction.

Three Graves
Once back at the fork, I followed the road to the left and soon found another road heading up a slope to my planned destination the Shattuck Cemetery. Inside the cemetery fence were buried Mariah H Lyon,
Mariah Lyon Grave
her sister Julia Shattuck,
Julia Shattuck Grave
And Julia's husband J.S. Shattuck.
Captain Shattuck grave
John Shattuck lived in California for some years, and when the Civil War broke out, left that state and going to Texas, became a Confederate soldier as a captain of calvary. John remained in Texas after the war, and subsequently came to New Mexico. Both Capt. John and his wife, Julia, taught school, and later Capt. John was elected the first County Superintendent of Schools for Eddy County after it was created out of Lincoln County 1890 in New Mexico. In the year of 1884  Capt Shattuck brought his family to settle near Dark Canyon, Eddy County, New Mexico

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Shattuck's and Lyon sister are my relatives
Darrell Witt grapeland@hotmail.com