Pulpit Rock, a Lenape Manitou Stone, Warwick, NY
From Local Historian, Sue Gardner
What is a Manitou Stone
The Energy of Stones
What to Do??
Repatriate Pulpit Rock Field to the Lenape?
Do what they did in Rockland County, Turn it into a cute mall
Other Reminders of the Lenape:
Ball Rock Shelter, Warwick
Churt in Rocks, Lewis Woodlands
Cairns and Stone Lithics, Fitgerald Falls area, Lakes Rd, Monroe/GL area
Churt Quarries along the Appalachian Trail, Rt 94S
Minisink Rock Shelter, Minisink, NY.
The Lands of the Lenape from Wikipedia
Who Speaks for the Rocks? from DIRT Magazine March, 2020
Lookout Mountain, in Goshen, is the location of eight caves, called the Dutchess Quarry Cave Site. Excavated in the 1960’s, they yielded objects and tools dating back12,000 years indicating use as a paleolithic seasonal hunting camp. The caves are unique and now on the National Register of Historic Places which required protective 13-acre buffer area. Like many archeological sites, the caves are fragile, They are not accessible to the public.
The area is also rich in dolomitic limestone, a mineral used in roadbeds and asphalt. The whole site is owned by Orange County and has been leased to quarry companies for fifty years. In October, the County Legislature, voted (16-5) to consider selling 31-acres near the caves which contain an estimated 4 million tons of dolomite. The land was deemed “unnecessary for public use”. One big concern was to limit County liability when the mining is done and the quarry fills with water. Selling the property would do this. The County is presently preparing a document to invite offers to purchase that land. Legislator Barry Cheney, chairman of Physical Space Committee, expects there will be offers in this calendar year. Local archeologists and citizens are very concerned that the caves may be in danger.
Pulpit Rock, is a 15-foot limestone monolith, very visible, in an empty farm field on the edge of the Village of Warwick. It is rises out of rocky soil considered too poor for farming. The parcel was sold to a developer who wants to build a 100-room Pulpit Rock Inn on the site and is asking for special planning board approval. The current plan has cottages surrounding the rock and making it accessible to visit. There is strong, vocal, public pushback about safety, environmental and open land issues. This process, too, will unfold over the next year.
What these two properties share is the difficult issue of competing use. Whose vision of Land, Rocks, Water, Nature guides the uses of land? In both these cases, there are unpredictable geological and water table consequences of the required blasting, mining and construction. Is the risk of damaging these ancient icons worth it? In both cases there has been talk about developing the sites for “Heritage Tourism”, places which offer a a unique experience with the past and the land, a pleasant complement to Woodbury Commons, Wineries, Breweries and Legoland.