Mystery of Standing Rock - Steedman, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 42.486 W 091° 47.922
15S E 604450 N 4285069
Quick Description: An isolated boulder records all the major floods in the Missouri River history. Since the marker was erected two floods since have also been marked on the boulder.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 5:52:53 AM
Waymark Code: WM557C
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member rogueblack
Views: 44

Long Description:

Standing Rock is in Callaway County.
Marker Erected by:Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks.
Location of Standing Rock: ½ mile E. Steedman Farm Rd., on Katy ½rail, just off MO-94, 1 mile E. of Steedman.

marker Text:
Standing Rock looks like an isolated boulder that fell from above, but it is actually a remnant of the bluff that has resisted erosion. The rock is a fine-grained sandstone that may have formed when sand filled a sinkhole or joined within the older dolomite, the primary rock of these river bluffs. But like similar "mystery sandstones" in the Ozarks, its origin is unclear. Geology is not the only mystery surrounding Standing Rock: the identity of those who marked flood levels throughout the previous century on it face is also unknown.

Standing Rock records water levels for at least seven floods: 1903, 1923, 1935, 1943, 1944, 1947, and 1993. The earliest record in 1903 marks a major June flood, one of Kansas City's greatest natural disasters. Other notations on the rock are difficult to read. Although the trail here is more than a mile and a half from the river, it is still in the floodplain and vulnerable to the powerful Missouri.

Why would the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (Known as MKT or Katy) choose a location for its line that was so prone to flooding? A line with no grades and the fewest curves represents railroad perfection, and the Katy's 165-mile-long Machens to Boonville section approaches that ideal.

The decision was risky, as flooding was a constant threat. During a flood, railroad workers were mobilized for near-continuous hard duty to save the tracks.

Remarkably, the 1935 flood took place during the a long drought on the Great Plains, known as the Dust Bowl. In 1935, heavy rains across the central Plains sent large volumes of water into every major river in Kansas, which then poured into the Missouri via the Kansas River. Between 6 inches and 6 feet of water covered virtually the entire MKT track along the river.

Written higher on Standing Rock is "1943". In that year, flooding hit after a sudden snowmelt upriver. Katy trains detoured from St. Louis to Moberly to avoid inundated track. Fifty families were evacuated from Mokane with help from state guardsmen and volunteers. Stating in 1943, when the demands of World War II required efficient service, the Katy suffered three floods in five years.

The flood of 1947 was one of the worst in more than a century. The railroad stopped the shipment of all livestock and perishables between Sedalia and St. Charles. Half of Mokane's 550 homes flooded, and the townspeople were evacuated. One account said "ballast was washed away like sand. Rail was pulled from ties, and the ties themselves floated down the stream."

The economic impact of flooding was a leading cause of the demise of the MKT, which folded operations in 1986 when a large flood did extensive damage to the tracks. Yet the tradition of recording the great floods on the 20th century on Standing Rock continued. Someone returned to mark the last major flood in Missouri, the flood of 1993.

Additional Requirement?:
You can park, pulling over, on the Steedman farm driveway and walk the Katy Trail 1/2 mile east and find the boulder and the DNR marker.


What's the Real Story?:
The truth is no one know who does the markings. They have been tested by the surveying companies and they are accurate. This boulder could not be approached during the flood to mark the water level. And how would someone know where to mark after the water has gone away?


Website Source: Not listed

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Visit the location. If an action is required, test the action. Post a story and photograph of what happened. Do your best to keep your GPSr out of the photos.
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R-L-P visited Mystery of Standing Rock - Steedman, MO 5/13/2010 R-L-P visited it