Hickison Summit Petroglyphs

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Lander County

I haven't been able to find any extensive writings on these petroglyphs. They could date back as far as 10,000 years. They are said to be evidence of prehistoric hunting and dwelling sites. One interpretation of the indentations in the rock, are that the indentations represent hoof prints. Another interpretation is that they represent female genitalia. This theory claims that the site may have been an area of female puberty rituals, etc. However, I read that they don't have any records of females producing rock art based on these rituals. The area is named after a rancher named John Hickison (AKA: Hickerson). He was an area rancher. Many articles reference his name and association with the area, but not much is written about who he actually was. I went back and looked for him in old Nevada newspaper archives. He was very active in Eureka and Lander Counties starting in the 1890's. One 1893 article describes him and others driving cattle from Lovelock to the TS Ranch outside of Battle Mountain. Articles from the 1890's and early 1900's show that he was either living at or owned the Dean Ranch near Cortez. 1906 shows him serving as an election official for Beowawe, which is north of Cortez. During this same time frame, he also participated as a juror for the District Court and heard a couple of different cases. One included a stock and range dispute. Another was a 1908 stabbing case where Francisco Chavez and E. Ramirez stabbed a man named Moreno in March. In 1909, he assisted in bringing back the remains of a Chicago man named Frank Finkelmann who died while prospecting. Finkelmann had been called a swindler by his Chicago associates. His remains were found at a remote camp in Monitor Valley about 35 miles south of Austin. Hickison was listed in the article as "a ranchman, from Ackerman Canyon". This would likely be the ranch that associated him with Hickison Summit. As you approach Hickison Summit from the east, you take a road due north for a few miles to Ackerman Canyon. The Eureka Sentinel published a 1917 article about the new, Model 37, Six-Cylinder, Oldsmobile. The article stated that "John Hickerson, Lander County stockman, has taken delivery of one of these cars..." By 1919 and 1920, the articles spoke about how large his sheep herd had grown. One article stated that he was running as many as 6,000 head. From there, his name disappeared from the newspapers. There are several Hickisons that are buried in the Austin IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: I've driven over Hickison Summit at least a hundred times. It was an old work route. There isn't much to see on the summit itself. The petroglyph site is located north Highway 50. To actually see the petroglyphs, you will have to do a little hiking. I don't remember it being anything substantial though.