City of Rocks in Idaho Unveils New Interpretive Panels
The Waysides Project, funded by NPS’s Trails to Parks Historic Trails Program, consisted of adding 12 (6 new and 6 replacement) wayside display signs along the trails, each illuminating ancient histories and cultural exploration in the area.
“We coordinated with the Original Territories and Historical Research Program of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall for the theme of the waysides and the text writing. Five of the panels have original artwork (oil on canvas) created by Derek No-Sun Brown that we commissioned specifically for the project,” shares Assistant Park Manager, Tara McClure-Cannon.
She continues, “The theme we came up with through working with the tribe was “The Trail Connects Us All” – in the waysides, we tie into that theme by explaining that geology created the valleys and passageways used by animals. Then the Shoshoneans followed the animals creating trails, then Mountain Men learned the trails from the Shoshoneans and then the emigrants on the California Trail also followed these same routes. And now, these are also the routes that people today use through the park.”
Park Manager and Superintendent Wallace Keck is excited to see this project come to fruition. Honoring a partnership with the Shoshone-Bannock tribes, the waysides will give park visitors a better glimpse into the past and bring about a greater sense of appreciation and understanding.
“For many years, we recognized the need to tell a more balanced account of the overland emigration along the California Trail. We did not quite know how to tell the story of the indigenous people. At times we were reminded it was not ours to tell. It took a great deal of trust (which we had yet to earn) for the keepers of those histories to help us understand more broadly that time period, and its affects on the Shoshonean people up to this very day,” Keck explains. “I hope that the thousands of visitors that come to City of Rocks each year will encounter the interpretive wayside exhibits and discover a much richer history and deeper appreciation for the land.”
View and all twelve of the interpretive panels here.