Pieces of the Past
Artifacts, Documents, and Primary Sources
from Letchworth Park History


Letchworth State Park Rocks


If I were to tell you that there were not many rocks in Letchworth State Park you would no doubt look at me askance at such a suggestion. The place is not just full of rocks ,it's very foundation is rock! In the south end of the park the river the river bed is solid rock. Some of the park buildings are of rock as are the miles of stone walls and many stairways in the trail system.

By way of explanation I would have to say I refer to commemorative or memorial type rocks. How many can you name before reading any further?

At this point focus on the Glen Iris vicinity -- how many can you name?

The rock pedestal in front of Glen Iris has the plaque in honor of Mr Letchworth so you could count that even though it is not a " rock" per se. See the Glen Iris Plaque

One I would describe was placed beside the park road across from the Museum. This rock holds a plaque that honors the work of Wolcott J. Humphrey as Chairman of the first committee to manage the park : The Letchworth Park Committee of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. Later when the State of New York took over management with the Genesee State Park Commission Mr Humphrey was chairman of that body and worked tirelessly in that capacity until 1959 and I should note that it was a voluntary position. Later his son Wolcott J. Humphrey II also served on the Commission and also became chairman. The flowering tree seen behind the rock is planted in honor of Wolcott J Humphrey, II , better known as "Bud". At the present time Bud's son Peter Humphrey is Commission Chairman. The Humphrey family of Warsaw certainly has devoted a great deal of volunteer time and energy in the management of Letchworth Park.


The Humphrey Rock near the Museum

All the photographs on this page were taken by Tom Breslin


Near the Glen Iris circular drive is an Ohio Buckeye planted in September of 1993 and with it a rock with a plaque that honors Orin Lehman. Mr Lehman served as State Parks Commissioner from 1975 until 1993 and did a great deal to advance New York State Parks and make Historic Preservation a key motive in the agency and through out the State.


At the Lower Falls area you will find a collection of rocks that accent the statue representing a typical Civilian Conservation Corps member which honors the huge contribution to the park made by that group of young men during the "Great Depression" of the 1930's. `

Other "rocks" in the park have special significance to interpret an aspect of historical importance including one on the Parade Grounds to honor the civil war units that trained at Camp Williams. See Parade Grounds Boulder. The boulder near Inspiration Point with the verse from the poem composed by Sara Evans Letchworth that honors William Pryor Letchworth's preservation of the park area for his fellow man to share. See Inspiration Point Memorial Boulder. We then must go all the way to the north end to see the one at the Squawkie Hill overlook near the Mount Morris Entrance. This marker (shown below) has been in place since donated in 1964 serving to explain the existence of the Seneca Indian village that existed there many years ago and also identifies the area where Buffalo Tom's cabin stood until donated to the park and placed in protected storage by the park.

There are other rocks in the park that serve as decorative accents like the one at Middle Falls( or to embellish flower beds as at Glen Iris, or the shrub beds at Great Bend Overlook. In a few areas they are used to keep cars from driving into areas where they might cause damage or be damaged. These represent a recent trend in the landscaping of the park areas. 

Above: Decorative stone at Glen Iris; Right: Decorative boulder near the Middle Falls over look; Below left: Several different rock shapes are used at the Great Bend overlook; Below right: rocks serve a traffic control nearl the Council Grounds.



On your next visit to Letchworth look for these and other special Park rocks!

Tom Breslin


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