Indian God Rock is found along the banks of the Allegheny River in Western Pennsylvania. The rock has been an eminent landmark for centuries to those who have voyaged the Allegheny. Ancient petroglyphs found on its surface have given it a lasting notoriety. The symbols found on the rock were carved hundreds of years ago. They could date back as far as 1200 A.D. It is still unknown who put them there or exactly when.
The hard sandstone rock is about 20 feet long and 14 feet wide. It is situated on about a 45° angle. The figures drawn on the rock represent different animals, man and there are some bows & arrows which probably typify hunting. The inscriptions on the rock have been worn down over the years due to annual high water and ice jams but they are still readable. Some ethnologists believe they are Algonquin in origin. The Algonquin were a tribe whose territory included this area long ago. They say it is not the work of the Seneca tribe who occupied the area later.
Early settlers noticed that the local Indians had much reverence for the rock and thus named it "Indian God Rock". Ironically, American Indians worshipped no idols or images other than the Great Spirit.
There is evidence that it was known before whites settled in the area.
In 1749 de Celeron of France buried several lead plates claiming the Allegheny and surrounding area for the kingdom of France. One of the plates was buried near Indian God Rock. He described the location as a large rock with many crude figures engraved on it. He placed the rock "four leagues" below the French Creek tributary of the Allegheny River. The rock is about 7 miles south of French Creek which flows into the Allegheny in Franklin, PA.
Extensive excavations of the area around the rock have been done but the lead plate was never found. It may have washed away or been stolen. There was a plan to relocate the rock to a nearby park in Franklin but that didn't happen. It was feared the rock might be damaged. The only access to the rock today is by boat or bike.
Several years ago, a paved bike trail was put down over an abandoned railroad bed. An observation platform was built next to the trail overlooking Indian God Rock. In 1984 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Franklin Indian God Rock (http://www.roots.com/~pavenang/indiangodrock1.html)