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Lancaster County geology: Chiques Rock and the Bumblebee

Posted by Kathy Smyser on Mar 30, 2016 3:23:50 PM

Join PCA&D faculty member Jeff Howe for a geological talk “Chiques Rock and the Bumblebee” on Friday, April 1 at 10 am, in PCA&D's Atrium, as Howe looks for intersections of art and science in the area around Chiques Rock (sometimes spelled Chickies Rock) in western Lancaster County.  He will discuss the history, geography and geology of this beautiful ridge that overlooks the Susquehanna River. 

There was a time when Chiques Rock looked out over the unexplored and unknown.  Jeff will tell us about some of his own explorations and findings there. “In the spirit of the exhibit "Mountain and the Bumblebee" we will speculate on what John C. Fremont might have encountered had he been atop Chiques Rock at various times in the past," Howe said.

MBB_Heather_Green-1.jpg

Heather Green, 

from Mountain and the Bumblebee exhibit

According to the Lancaster County website, Chiques Rock is “a massive outcropping of quartzite rock towering 100 feet above the river. The vista offers impressive views of York County, the borough of Marietta, and farmlands of northwestern Lancaster County. Chickies Rock County Park is also a collection of historical treasures. The area once boasted seven iron furnaces and rolling mills, a canal and a local trolley line. Remnants of several furnaces, canal walls, and trolley-line grades are still visible.”

Chiques Rock is contained in Chickies Rock County Park is the county's second largest regional park exceeding 422 acres. The name is derived from the American Indian word Chiquesalunga meaning "place of the crayfish."

On the southwest edge of the park is an area known as Breezyview, a location that offers a panoramic view of Chiques Rock and the Susquehanna River.  The new Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, is a fourteen-mile, multi-use, public recreation trail adjacent to the Susquehanna River, runs through Chiques Rock County Park. Northwest Lancaster River Trail Guide & Furnace Road Trailhead Parking.

The Mountain and the Bumblebee, a group show featuring art and poetry, will be exhibited March 25 – April 22, 2016, in Pennsylvania College of Art & Design’s Main Gallery, 204 N Prince Street, Lancaster PA 17603.  Working in a variety of media including photography, sculpture, painting, digital media and poetic verse, featured artists maneuver the complex web of references contributing to the understanding of landscape. The exhibit is inspired by an entry from 1842 in the logbook of geologist and land surveyor John C Fremont, exploring the Rocky Mountain territory. According to exhibit curator Chris McGinnis, “Fremont records an unlikely high‐altitude encounter with a bumblebee where he imagines each of them to be the first of their species ever to brave such geological extremes.”

In addition to Howe’s talk Geological Talk “Chiques Rock and the Bumblebee,” other First Friday Lancaster activities surrounding the exhibition include a First Friday Reception, Friday, April 1, 5 – 8 pm, Gallery and Landscape Poetry Reading hosted by Linda King Brown, Friday, April 1 at 7 pm, Atrium.

Jeff L. Howe is a public geologist, historian and story teller. He has an undergraduate degree in zoology from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in geology from the University of Vermont. He been an adjunct instructor, teaching science, at PCA&D since 1999 and have been studying the early history and geology of Lancaster County for 10 years.

Register for the Open House

Topics: Gallery, LiberalArts, faculty