BROOKVILLE â âItâs kind of like âIndiana Jonesâ,â said Ken Burkett, the director of the Jefferson County History Center. âWeâve got the secret journal with the codes in it, and weâve got the rocks out there that weâve got to find. Itâs kind of a fun way of putting things together.â
He was referring to a locally-famous series of historical artifacts in Jefferson County â the Scripture Rocks. Carved in the early 1900s by Brookville resident Douglas Stahlman, some of them dedicated to God, the rocks are inscribed with scripture, philosophy, politics and a few personal notes related to their creator. Theyâve since become a popular piece of Brookville history.
Burkett delivered a presentation â âDouglas M. Stahlmanâs Dedicated Rocksâ â at the History Center last month. The presentation provided an update on the centerâs research, particularly that of North Fork Chapter 29 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, into the rocks and also told what is known of Stahlmanâs life story.
âThereâs a lot of fallacy out there about Scripture Rocks and about Doug Stahlman in particular,â Burkett said.
Much of the information known about him is derived from the rocks themselves, in addition to Stahlmanâs journals, of which the history center possesses eight of the known nine, as well as independent research.
âWe donât have the complete story,â Burkett said. âBut I think I know what part of that story is as of today.â
To learn the history of Stahlman's Scripture Rocks, pick up Friday's print edition of The Punxsutawney Spirit.