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Rain-Rock Club Good For


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I have many interests, one of which is prehistoric art. Sometimes numismatics and archaeology overlap and I can enjoy both interests as is the case with this Fort Jones token:

 

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The Gottville Boulder (as it is properly known) was uncovered in 1947 by the California Department of Transportation while building a road near Fort Jones. The unusual rock was transported to Fort Jones and is still displayed outside the local museum. The following image is an early photograph of the boulder outside the museum (the large boulder with all the pits):

 

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Rocks such as this are found throughout Northern California, generally near rapids along the major salmon streams and rivers. They were used in rain making ceremonies (rain prompts the salmon to move upstream in spawning season). The Karok people who claim the boulder as their own explained that it should have been left where it was and left covered. The region did experience serious rain and flooding after the boulder was exposed and moved. The rain stopped only after the boulder was covered with a tarp. For some years, the tarp was removed and people experienced unseasonable rain and snow storms. I think things have quieted down by now and the rock seems to have lost its power after having been removed from its sacred location, but its fame gave rise to at least one drinking establishment, perhaps an attempt to quench one's personal drought?

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