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HISTORY LIVES: Ringing Rocks


Ringing Rocks. Ringing Rocks County Park is located about two miles west of Upper Black Eddy. Originally, the land was acquired by the Penn family from the Lenape (Delaware Nation) through the infamous 1737 Walking Purchase. Native American stories, passed through the generations to the first white settlers, suggested that the field possessed an eerie aura. Animals were said to steer clear of the rocks, and plant life was described as being completely absent from the surface. Over the years this unique field of countless ringing boulders in various shapes and sizes was recognized and was privately preserved until becoming a county park in the mid-20th century.

The park website says, “Bring your own hammer to strike the boulder field in the 123-acre park and hear the rocks ring like a bell.” Although many theories exist to help shed light on the science behind Ringing Rocks, no definitive conclusion has been reached, leaving a cloud of mystery over the park. Researchers still cannot explain why none of the rocks in the adjoining forest produce any such ringing sound. And still no animals inhabit the field and no plants grow there.

In 1890, Dr. J.J. Ott collected a number of rocks from the site and actually played several musical selections, accompanied by the Pleasant Valley brass ensemble, for the Buckwampum Historical Society. The tunes included “Home Sweet Home” and a composition of his own entitled “Sounds from the Ringing Rocks.” [The first rock concert?]

Source: If Rocks Could Sing: The Ringing Rocks of Bucks Co., by Michael T. Cianchetta, PSU Libraries

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