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Medicine Rock, double geoglyph on the Siletz river, Oregon
one of the two geo-glyphs only seen from the air in 1939.
Download VisualEditor:TestMedicine Rock is a Pillar in Lincoln County, Oregon listed in both the USGS and Geographic names of Oregon.  with an elevation of 463 feet, or 141 meters above sea level. , it has a double active fault that runs across its middle, the river, and up the mountain on the other side (South).  The Soil is Klickitat Soil, which is a flaky shale that breaks very easy. Makes good gravel but not sturdy foundation for a road.. 
There are two Geo-glyphs, a skull and kokopelli that could only be seen by air.The bald face of Medicine Rock looks like the face of a monkey or ape from the river. Wishing Rock is at the base of the bald face and legend is that if you leave a gift and make a wish it will be granted.......the legend says that Native Americans used to leave gifts and make wishes and appease a "Skookum Medicine man" who was said to live at Medicine Rock. In different Oregon tribes Skookum can mean powerful and/or a spirit.
In 1939 two divers from Toledo, Oregon dived at the base of Medicine Rock and according to various pioneers who were present at the time, claimed there are hieroglyphics on the rock at the base of Medicine Rock, called Wishing rock.

According a noted historian Ben Hur Lampman, there was once a tree that grew out of wishing rock which the natives decorated with gifts to ensure good fishing. A white settler cut it down and the natives found another tree in a secret place high on the mountain where they continued their tradition

Oregon Geographic Names page 400:

"Medicine Rock, Lincoln County. Medicine Rock is a well known point on the north or leftovers bank of Siletz River about five miles up from the mouth. In this locality the river flows Eastward. The geography of the location is shown on the Geological Survey map of the Euchre Mountain quadrangle. The rock was named for the Indian custom of leaving offerings at it's base. The rock was supposed to be the abode of a Skookum, or bad medicine man, whom the Indians propitiated by giving articles of food,pieces of cloth and sometimes native tools and fishhooks."

Pioneer History of North Lincoln County, Oregon

vol 1 Edited by Earl M. Nelson

Compiled and written by members of the North Lincoln Pioneer and Historical Association

(With a forward by Ben Hur Lampman)



(retold from stories by Ben Hur Lampman and other sources)

"The Indian legends of North Lincoln County would not be complete without that of the Wishing, or Medicine Rock.

Up the Siletz river some six or seven miles, on the right hand side of the bank, there is such a rock, known to the Indian tribes of the Siletz region and the early day settlers as Wishing rock.

It was the theological custom of the people of these tribes to come to the rock to honor it with tokens of worship for the Red Men believed that the rock had the power to grant a wish to those who so visited it. With their wishes they sought to bring back their health, quicken the run of the salmon or make their love life amicable.

The wish supposedly was to be made at the time when the rock was first seen, and only once could this invocation be made if it were to be fulfilled.

And the legend goes that there was a tree upon this rock, upon the branches of which gifts were placed, such as offering would be placed upon the altar of a church.

This was during the days when Red Men were far more numerous than were the white men. But there came a white man, an outsider, who was familiar with this theological custom of the Indians-familiar, yet not understanding. He was scornful of this belief, and of the “ignorance” which he thought prompted such offerings from a people whom he felt must bow, in time, to the superiority of his, the white man’s race.

The feeling within him grew for the tree was a thorn to his sense of pride. Day after day he plotted for its removal and finally he disposed of the source of his intolerance. With an ax he cut down the offending growth, disposing of the tree, if not the custom.

For there were other instances of wishing trees and wishing rocks.

Folk lore brings to light the fact that another wishing tree was established high on a bank above the Siletz river, up a steep mountain side making it exceedingly difficult to reach. The location was deliberate--whether as a result of the destruction of one of their altars by the white man, or of the rumors that thefts had been reported from the wishing tree and that the wampum, the beadwork or the stone blade that had been given as a token of a Red Man’s belief had been taken by humans for personal enrichment. Thus the location of the tree was to discourage those who could easily avail themselves of the offerings of the people of the Siletz tribes.

But the Wishing rock up the Siletz is a familiar land-mark to pioneer residents and others of this area interested in legends of the past. Fishermen of today and those desiring the generous hand of “lady luck” upon seeing that brown curving rock face still may honor its powers with a modern wish and perhaps a modern gift.”


Pioneer History of North Lincoln County, Oregon, vol 1 compiled and written by members of the North Lincoln Pioneer and Historical Association. With a forward by Been Hurt Lampman

External links[edit]

  • Pioneer History of North Lincoln County, Oregon, vol 1 compiled and written by members of the North Lincoln Pioneer and Historical Association. With a forward by Been Hurt Lampman