World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

Article Id: WHEBN0002573507
Reproduction Date:

Title: Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve, Miwok, Stateline Wilderness, South Carlsbad State Beach, Twin Lakes State Beach
Collection: 1962 Establishments in California, Archaeological Sites on the National Register of Historic Places in California, California Historical Landmarks, California State Historic Parks, Miwok, Museums in Amador County, California, National Register of Historic Places in Amador County, California, Native American Archeology, Native American History of California, Native American Museums in California, Parks in Amador County, California, Protected Areas Established in 1962, Protected Areas of the Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Rock outcrop with mortar holes
Map showing the location of Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Map showing the location of Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Location Amador County, California, USA
Nearest city Pine Grove, California
Area 135 acres (54.6 ha)
Established 1962
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation
Indian Grinding Rock
Area 264 acres (106.8 ha)
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation
NRHP Reference # 71000133[1]
Added to NRHP May 06, 1971

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is a state park unit of California, United States, preserving an outcropping of marbleized limestone with some 1,185 mortar holes—the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America. It is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, 8 miles (13 km) east of Jackson. The park is nestled in a little valley 2,400 feet (732 m) above sea level, with open meadows and large specimens of valley oak that once provided the Miwok peoples of this area with an ample supply of acorns.[2] The 135-acre (55 ha) park was established in 1962[3] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

The native name for the site is "Chaw’se" which is the Miwok word for "grinding rock". Upon this rock they ground acorns and other seeds into meal, slowly forming the cup-shaped depressions in the stone, which can still be seen today. Along with the mortar holes, the main grinding rock within the park also features a number of petroglyphs: circles, spoked wheels, animal and human tracks, wavy lines, etc. Some of these carvings are thought to be as much as two or three thousand years old and are now becoming difficult to discern in the rocks. This association of rock art and bedrock mortar pits is unique in California. Except for one other small site, Chaw'se has the only known occurrence of mortars intentionally decorated with petroglyphs.[4]


  • Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum 1
  • Wildlife 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum

This museum, within the park grounds, features a variety of exhibits and a vast collection of Sierra Nevada Indian artifacts. A Miwok village complete with a ceremonial roundhouse has been reconstructed in the middle of the small valley. The roundhouse is registered as California Historical Landmark #1001.[5] The museum has been designed to reflect the architecture of the traditional roundhouse. Exhibited in this two-story museum are examples of the technology and crafts of the Miwok and other Sierra Nevada Native American groups. As a regional Indian museum, the collection at Chaw'se includes exhibits on various tribal groups, including: the Northern, Central and Southern Miwok, Maidu, Konkow, Monache, Nisenan, Tubatulabal, Washoe, and Foothill Yokuts.


Bird life varies depending on the season, but many species are seen year-round, including turkey vultures, western scrub and Steller's jays, California quail, acorn and hairy woodpeckers, northern flickers, hermit thrushes, wild turkeys (non-native), and California thrashers. In summer the bright colors of the western tanager, northern oriole, calliope and Anna's hummingbirds can be seen in the woods around the meadow.[2]

Animal life in and around the park includes deer, fox, gray and California ground squirrels, black-tailed jackrabbits, bobcats, bats, and occasionally a mountain lion or black bear. Coyote calls can be heard on quiet summer nights.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ a b c "Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park". California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  3. ^ "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10". California State Parks. p. 18. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  4. ^ Fullwood, Janet (1998-05-03). "Miwoks' less-than-golden fate recalled at park". Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.). Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  5. ^ "California Historical Landmarks: Amador County". Office of Historical Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 

External links

  • websiteIndian Grinding Rock State Historic ParkOfficial

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.