Manuscript Releases, vol. 8 [Nos. 526-663]


MR No. 594—Ellen White's Description of Green River Formations

Scenery viewed on Friday while nearing Ogden: At Green River is the place where specimens of fossils, petrifications and general natural curiosities are seen. Shells and wood in a petrified state can be purchased for a trifle. There is a high projecting rock, in appearance like a tower, and there are twin rocks of gigantic proportions. The appearance of these rocks is as though some great temple once stood there and their massive pillars were left standing as witnesses of their former greatness. 8MR 246.1

There is a rock called Giant's Club, and in proportion it is a giant. It rises almost perpendicularly and it is impossible to climb up its steep sides. This is one of nature's curiosities. I was told that its composition bears evidence of its once having been located in the bottom of a lake. This rock has regular strata, all horizontal, containing fossils of plants and of fish and curiously shaped specimens of sea animals. The plants appear like our fruit and forest trees. There are ferns and palms. The fishes seem to be of a species now extinct. 8MR 246.2

A large flat stone was shown us in which were distinct specimens of fish and curious leaves. The proprietor told us, on a previous trip, that he brought these two large rocks on horseback eight miles.... In these split-off slabs of rock there were feathers of birds and other curiosities plainly to be seen. 8MR 246.3

We looked with curious interest upon rocks composed of sandstone in perfectly horizontal strata containing most interesting remains. These rocks assume most curious and fantastic shapes, as if chiseled out by the hand of art. These are in lofty domes and pinnacles and fluted columns. These rocks resemble some cathedral of ancient date standing in desolation. The imagination here has a fruitful field in which to range. In the vicinity of these rocks are moss agates. When standing at a distance from these wonderfully shaped rocks you may imagine some ruined city, bare and desolate, but bearing its silent witness to what once was. We passed on quite rapidly to Devil's Gate, a canyon worn through the granite by the action of water. The walls of the canyon are about three hundred feet high, and at its bottom a beautiful stream flows slowly and pleasantly, murmuring over the rocks. 8MR 246.4

We passed on while the mountaintops rose perpendicularly toward heaven. They are covered with perpetual snows, while other mountain tops, apparently horizontal, were seen. In passing we got some views of the beauty and grandeur of the scenery in groups of mountains dotted with pines. Soon we entered Echo Canyon. Here the rocks look as if formed by art and placed in position, so regularly are they laid. The average height of all the rocks in this canyon is from six to eight hundred feet. The scenery here is grand and beautiful. We saw great caves worn by storm and wind where the eagles build their nests. One is called the Eagle Nest Rock. Here the king of birds finds a safe habitation in which to rear its young, where the ruthless hand of man cannot disturb them. 8MR 247.1

Here we came to the thousand-mile tree on which hangs a sign giving the distance from Omaha, and a little further on we passed the wonderful rocks called the Devil's Slide. This is composed of two parallel walls of granite standing upon their edges with about fourteen feet of space between. They form a wall about eight hundred feet long running up the side of the mountain. This is a wonderful sight; but we reached Ogden, and night drew on.—Letter 6a, 1880, pp. 8, 9. (To Elizabeth Bangs, February 26, 1880.) 8MR 247.2

Released March 17, 1978.