Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teter Rock

Teter Rock is in Greenwood County nestled in the heart of the Flint Hills.

Around the late 1870s James Teter piled rocks as a marker to guide pioneers searching for the Cottonwood River. Eventually the rocks were removed and used for construction materials. In 1954 a 16-foot-tall slab of rock was erected on this hilltop in honor of Mr. Teter.

Though this jagged monolith that slices the clean Flint Hills air is marked up with grafitti, it's still an excellent Kansas landmark.

Teter Rock is 11 1/2 miles east of Cassoday and then about 1 mile south into a private pasture. Or, go 8 1/2 miles west of Burkett Corner which is several miles east of Hamilton. There is a little rustic sign at the turn into the pasture where you cross a cattle guard. The driveway is pretty rutted so drive slowly but it's well worth it once you reach The Rock. At times, you'll see more than a hundred horses in the pasture below (maybe wild mustangs?). Thanks to the landowners for letting us drive up to Teter Rock.

The view is vintage remote Flint Hills.

Teter Rock also marks the approximate vicinity of Teterville, an oil boom town of the 1920s. At one point there were more than 600 people in Teterville along with two general stores, a school, a post office, and shotgun houses for oil workers and their families. By the 1960s everyone and nearly everything was gone. Today, you really have to use your imagination to envision such a town. A few foundations are the only remnants. You can learn more about the town at the Greenwood County Historical Museum in Eureka, 120 W. 4th. 620.583.8177.

To "get" Kansas you sometime have to go out of your way to be in the realm of what was. Nice to have a big stone to give us a great reason to go there.

KE #2 Marci Penner


Unknown said...

Interesting stuff! I've had Teter Rock on my "Kansas Bucket List" for a long time without getting there, but had no idea there had been a town there. Amazing there are so few remnants for a place that was inhabited as late as the 60s.

Marva said...

Can't believe you got that close to our house and didn't drop by for a visit! The view of the Fall River valley is magnificent from Teter Rock. On a clear day, with binoculars, you can see all the way to Beaumont.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Nancy and I made it to Teter Rock last Thursday on the way to Walnut Valley Festival! It was wonderful to see, and the wildflowers were nothing short of incredible. I posted a couple of photos on flickr with links back to this blog: www.flickr.com/photos/kansasexplorer3128/3940289941/.

Unknown said...

One of my favorite places in the flint hills. Cool at sunset. Not sure what it looks like at sunrise! Been there a few times but my last trip was superb. The sunset colors were exceptional and I ended up with one of my favorite Kansas photos. Glad you made it Frank. The flowers are great.

Unknown said...

Should have added a link to the photo at sunset:



Anonymous said...

My mom describes Teterville in her book, My Flint Hills Childhood: Growing Up in 1930s Kansas.
Go to www.gailmartin.wordpress.com to read an excerpt from the book.

Rob Rupp said...

Just returned from a few days at Teter Rock. I had Gail Lee Martin's book "My Flint Hills Childhood: Growing Up in 1930s Kansas" with me.
In the book she talks about living near Teterville during the oil boom. Wild mustangs were visible for miles to the South. A beautiful place to visit.

Fritz said...

My grand father worked in the oil fields at Teterville when I was growing up and I remember that the family that owned the store-Post Office-gas station-etc. had the first TV in the area. They had it in the back of the store with couches around it for the people to set on and on Friday nights everyone and their kids would show up to see the three or four shows that they could get. The kids would set on the floor and stare at the Indian test simple and eat Cracker Jacks till the shows started and watch till the jet would fly and touch the face of God. Those were good days!