Friday, November 27, 2015


On the northeast side of our majestically scenic town stand two rock pillars commonly known as the Navajo Twins. Perched on a slight promontory rising above town, these geologic masterpieces are named for the mythical Hero Twins of Navajo legend, Monster Slayer and Born for Water. Sculpted by wind and water over many millennia, the towers have stood guard over numerous civilizations, the earliest established in approximately 650 A.D. These silent sentinels presently watch over the approximately 225 modern day pioneers who call Bluff home.

Inspired by an alternative name for the spires, in 1989 Twin Rocks Trading Post was established at the base of these natural monuments. From that day forward Barry, Priscilla and I have “manned" the sales counter. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, we “entertain" visitors to Bluff with stories of local lore and cultural complexities. Anyone interested, or foolish, enough to ask is regaled with mostly true stories of our experiences buying, selling and trading turquoise jewelry, Navajo rugs and woven basketry. Despite notable gaps in our expertise, we do not hesitate to also expound on the history of the community and the Paleo-Indian, Anasazi, Navajo, Paiute and Mormon people who populated this region from the earliest times.
Read description below $500 for more info on how to WIN!

While there are a great many stories we have read, been told or simply made up regarding the establishment of this village, there is one mystery that continues to confound Barry and me. I was reminded of the issue about three months ago as I wandered through Twin Rocks Cafe sipping my morning mug of coffee laced with honey and cream. “Hey Steve”, one of our buddies from Blanding said, “what about the story that the twins were once triplets?” The question relates to the often cited lore that there were three sandstone siblings standing when the Mormon pioneers arrived in this river valley in April of 1880, and that one was blasted down to build the Victorian homes constructed during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Of the many elegant rock homes built during that era, only a handful remain. These include the residences of Lemuel Hardison Redd Jr., Platte D. Lyman, Frederick Joseph Adams, Hyrum Perkins, Jens Nielson and John Albert Scorup. These individuals are legendary in the annals of San Juan County, and their extraordinary homes stand as testaments to their faith and tenacity. Jens Nielson became the first bishop of Bluff, L.H. Redd and John Scorup established cattle and sheep ranches of vast scope, and together these men planted the seeds of family trees that have matured into an ever expanding forest.

The historical record as we know it, however, is devoid of information documenting the third sandstone offspring. For years Barry and I have examined oral histories, perused historic photographs and interrogated old-timers, looking for information that might help resolve this riddle. Despite our diligence, we have come up entirely empty. Not long after our friend put the bite on me, I sat in Barry’s office lamenting our inability to solve this topographic teaser. “Well”, Barry pointed out, “you never were good at that sort of thing anyway. Why don’t you just offer a reward?” “A reward”, I shot back, a bit too defensively, “aren’t those for outlaws, miscreants and persons gone missing?” “Sure”, he said, “but there’s no reason you can’t use one to locate the mislaid monolith." Despite my belief he had underestimated my critical thinking skills, I wondered whether he might be on to something and went to discuss the problem with Priscilla. Priscilla’s grandmother had always referred to the twins as her babies, so I concluded she might have some valuable insight.

Priscilla agreed we should use our limited resources to resolve this quandary once and for all. As a result, Barry and I have pooled our pesos and determined to issue a bounty on the truant. Therefore, the first person providing verifiable evidence of the existence of the third sibling will receive a $500.00 cash reward. The offer stands so long as Barry and I are standing. Let the hunt begin.

With warm regards from Steve Simpson and the team;
Barry, Priscilla and Danny.

1 comment:

WJohnstun said...

My Dad has a photo taken in 1875 that proves there was only two during that time. Not exactly what you are looking for but interesting. I think your $500 is safe!! :)

Wendy Johnstun