Friday, April 4, 2014

Black Hand Gorge

It would be hard to begin writing a book about Perryton without regard for the people who lived in the area before the "first settlers".  Try as I might to begin the book with the Lemert family and their adventure getting to this area...I ponder about the folks who lived in Perryton prior to the Lemert family.  Certainly there were arrowheads and artifacts each spring when the local farmers plowed their fields.  I grew up with the legend of Black Hand Gorge, and my mother forbid us to go there as teenagers.  She knew it was a great spot to skip school, and do the things teenagers do.  I have been in this tunnel many times in spite of my mothers warnings.  I have swam in the gorge, in spite of the stories associated with swimming.  By the time I reached high school age urban legend made the place irresistible.
My mother claimed that she played with artifacts as a child, in a tunnel that was underneath this tunnel,  She grew up in Old Hanover, and I imagine was talking about a cave.  The famous Black Hand petroglyph is so much like other Native American hand petroglyphs and symbols that I believe it was an important message to all those passing through.  Perhaps the index finger pointed toward Flint Ridge like a road sign.  Without photos of the famous hand, we can never be sure.  Wikipedia describes the hand as fingers spread like a child would draw around their own hand in kindergarten.  Another source I am reading called The Story Of Hanover describes the finger as pointing to The Newark Earthworks.  I like to imagine the hand as being an ancient symbol of a weapons free Zone:)

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