Montgomery Stahlman's Scripture Rocks; A Testiment By Nicole Park
Back in the woods of Port Barnett, down the Sandy and North Fork Creeks you'll find the locally known "Scripture Rocks." The Scripture Rocks are a part of a larger project called the "Dedication Rocks."
Douglas Monroe Stahlman with the aid of two other local men carved inscriptures into 160 rocks. One of the men who helped was identified as J.S. Brown. The other man is unknown.
Stahlman also dedicated at least 500 rocks. His "mission" was unknown and still a mystery. Stahlman defended his work in six linen writing tablets totaling 200 pages. "Now the dedication of these rocks is just a little different application of the principle which Solomon followed in dedicating their places of worship," wrote Stahlman. "There are over 500 rocks dedicated, and with comparatively few exceptions, every one stands for some Bible truth. For example there are rocks of Faith, Hope, Love, Obedience, Salvation, Holiness, Peace, Quietness," etc.
He also dedicated a rock and named it the "Chapel Rock." He started holding regular services there. He put seats in front of the rock and 70 people came to the service. Then he dedicated the "Altar Rock." There were five open air chapels in all. One chapel stood on Tunnel Hill, on Shawmut Railroad bridge across Little Mill Creek, and the other in McConnell's Grove.
Stahlman was a mysterious man and not much was known about him. His obituary appeared in the Brookville newspaper in September of 1942.
He was born in Kirkman, Jefferson County on August 17, 1861. He was the son of Gabriel and Esther (Keck) Stahlman. He graduated from the Erie Commercial School and lived in Valpraiso, Indiana, for 15 years.
The newspapers stated that Stahlman was never married, but he mentions his wife and children in his writings. He blames his wife for his later problems. It is unknown if the couple was previously divorced.
In 1907, Stahlman came to Brookville from Punxsutawney. He got a room at the Heber House and began compiling Bible work in 3 leaflets and 12 cards. He distributed his work free to 1,500 people.
In the winter of 1911 and 1912, Stahlman began spending all his time at Altar Rock. In March of 1912 Stahlman removed himself from civilization and began the life of a hermit among the rocks.
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