Truckee’s Rocking Stone

When I was a kid, I remember my father taking my brother and I to see one of the big tourist sites of the Sierra Nevada town of Truckee: the famed Rocking Stone. If you visit Truckee’s Rocking Stone today, you are most likely to have the stone to yourself (sharing it with the local pigeons). The Rocking Stone was a much bigger attraction when it actually rocked. The once perfectly balanced rock stopped rocking, according to the E Clampus Vitus plaque: “The perfectly balanced stone, until recently would rock at the touch of a finger.” The plaque was dedicated on July 15, 1967! It’s hard to tell when “recently” really was.

The 17 ton Rocking Stone sits atop a much larger stone is believed to be a glacial erratic. Once the glacier retreated, the stone was left perfectly balanced, until recently.

I have always loved such historical roadside oddities; Especially when they are often times so underwhelming. The Rocking Stone proclaims that something once, very amazing, happened here. (Please use your imagination).

An early entrepreneur, C.F. McGlashan, built a tower around the rock in 1865. Also displayed with the stone were some artifacts from the Donner Party, and McGlashan’s own butterfly collection. Oh to have a time machine! This is site was also an overnight stop for the Olympic Torch during the winter games in 1960.

McGlashan’s nearby house and 1895 pavilion have since burned down.

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