Monday, April 11, 2011

Older Than the Hills

  • Tracing family genealogy
  • Writing down family tales & stories
  • Finding old homesteads & abandoned barns
  • Searching old documents & newspapers
  • Exploring forgotten tracks & hurts of the Civil War
  • Searching for past explorers & pioneers
  • Walking old wagon trails
  • Documenting the heritage of the American Indian nations & tribes
  • Looking at the beauty of the Ozark Hills

All these are small measures we use as benchmarks of time in the Ozarks.  
Every Day View From My Old Home in Ozark County, Missouri.   On T Highway.
My Old Home in Ozark County, Missouri.    Lick Creek Below.   On T Highway.

I love looking at the mountains & hills of this region and exploring the history we have tried to etch in its’ fa├žade. Even in a world scarred by sin, disaster, and hurt, the beauty of the Creator’s handiwork shouts out. Though we might find evidence of times & ages past, these are but temporary indicators that sometimes fade in the Grand Annuals of History. Yet, there is One who still holds it all in His hand and weigh man’s faith & actions as grains of sand. 

In looking at the grandeur of these Ozark Hills, the author of the following article, from 1904, eloquently expresses the stateliness of the Ozark Hills in comparison to other geographic features around the world.

I hope you enjoy a slice of our Ozarks’ History.

Palm of Antiquity Among Mountains
Given to the Ozarks.
Men are speaking- in wondering words of the beauty of Jura, of the grandeur of Everest, of the awe-inspiring canyons of the west, of the Andes and the Alps, but no man has ever looked upon a scene more incentive, to thought and profound meditative imagination than the rugged hills of the lower Ozarks.

He who climbs the Jura stands upon a peak 'of the modern world, but the man who stands upon the highlands of Ozark country: looks upon land so old that the brain becomes weary in attempting to measure its age, though measurement be made in epochs—not in thousands of years.

The Himalaya mountains have during some thousands or millions of years poured their deposits into that body of water which we know as the China sea, and by filling- the basin of that sea have deposited so much alluvium that the empire of China with its untold population, now occupies the space over which the water once flowed unrestrained.

Look at your maps and note how large the lowlands of China are; conjecture the depth of the alluvium in those lowlands and then comprehend, if you can, the ages, during which the Himalaya mountains have been busy filling up the basin of the sea and by wash of the tides and overflow of the rivers
building the land of China as we know it today.

The brain wearies of the effort. We are incapable of comprehending such almost infinite time, and yet we do know that the mountains of Asia are the youngest mountain ranges on earth, and that the lowlands of China belong to the last days.

If the Himalayas are the youngest the Ozarks are the oldest of all mountain ranges, and between the dates which gave them birth the Rocky mountains,  the Appalachians, -the Apennines, the Alps, the Andes, the Nevadas, the Circassians, the Caucasus,- the great mountain ranges of Australia, and Africa had birth.

Yet these were not reared suddenly by some continent creating explosion, but slowly, surely, tenderly, as becomes a mother earth to develop her giant children.

Thus, by analysis, we arrive at the age of the Ozarks, yet fail to comprehend, for we cannot measure their ancient height or picture the stormy world.

We can dimly imagine a huge ball hung in space, rapidly revolving, enveloped, in clouds, the rain in ceaseless torrents descending and the wide ocean rolling free and unbroken, save where the Ozarks breasted the waves and turned the tide back upon itself.

Work Cited:
"Missouri Oldest of All Land." Boston Daily Globe 65.129 (08 May, 1904) 1. Access Newspaper Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2010

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