By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
I am an odd fellow when it comes to numbers and dates. I’ll find a coffee can from 1895, and think about how it was made the same year DD Palmer discovered chiropractic. I will see a stone marked 1897 on the front of a building, and be reminded that was the year Palmer Chiropractic College was founded in Davenport Iowa. A magazine from 1911 reminds me of the year a Chiropractic College was established in Los Angeles. So it was only natural, that while hiking in the middle of nowhere (actually among 865,000+ acres of Joshua Tree National Park land) I’d come across this rock, the rock of faith.
The rock reads (with spelling corrections)…
The Rock of Faith
Nature is God
The Key to Life is Contact
Evolution is the Mother and Father of Mankind
Without Them We Be Nothing
John Samuelson 1927
While photographing the rock, I noticed the 1927 date, and my selectively historic memory reminded me that it was the same year Stephensen’s Chiropractic Textbook was published. Philosophical chiropractors know the text I’m speaking of, it’s the one that talks about universal intelligence in all matter, and the maintenance of that matters existence.
Perhaps it’s just me, but had that statement been introduced as a chiropractic principle, I don’t think I would’ve questioned it. It seems as much a truth today as it was when chiseled into the granite back in 1927. Samuelson wasn’t a chiropractor, he was a miner from Sweden, working a gold claim (on behalf of William Keys) in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, now part of Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP).
Likely beginning in 1927, John chiseled the flat surfaces of eight rocks in total, on land he was attempting to homestead, in the Quail Springs valley (now also part of JTNP). Samuelsson had built a home on top of the rocks (he never did get deed to the land) but the wood and canvas structure burned to the ground sometime in the 1930s. Thanks to laws regarding artifacts, historical trash, and other items of interest, the rusted folding spring mattress frame still sits where the house once stood.
I can’t confirm that the folding mattress frame shown here is from the 1920s, but it’s more likely than the possibility that it was brought into the desert years later, since Joshua Tree became a national monument in the 1930s, and the house had already burned by then, and Samuelson was long gone.