The Original People Who Inhabited the Area of Indian Grinding Rock

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

Shut your eyes for a minute. Imagine you are traveling back through centuries - long before white man had the audacity to show up and begin shuffling around the New World. 

You look at your hands - they are brown.  They may be weathered; but perhaps not.  In your right hand is a long conical stone pestle - unless you are a lefty.  You are using this tool to grind acorns in mortars formed on a massive marbleized limestone rock outcropping with 1,185 mortar holes.  There are others in your group performing similar activity.  You know each other.  Some of them are your kin.  All of them are of your tribe.  You are a member of the Miwok Native American people.  And you are among the FIRST people of this land, which will later become known as California.

Meanwhile, back in today's world where reality can get into mischief, the 135 acre Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park exists as a testament to the original people of California, who lived in this area for many centuries, before being driven into less desirable land, by settlers, who arrived during the California Gold Rush.

Early today, my grandson, Baron and I spent time contemplating the existence of those early people of the land..  

A reconstructed Miwok village provides present-day descendants of the Miwok with an opportunity to preserve their heritage and traditions.  Several times during the year, local Native Americans hold ceremonies.  In September, Indian families gather at the park for the annual acorn gathering ceremonies.  Dancing, story-telling, and games are traditional activities.  But, there is no fixed schedule of events. 

The Northern Sierra Miwok established their villages alongside the rivers and streams of the Sierra Nevada - from the Cosumnes River on the north to the Mokelumne River on the south.  Other Miwok groups lived to the west as far as Mount Diablo and as far south as Yosemite National Park.

The park is located near the town of Pine Grove, approximately 8 miles east of Jackson on highway 88 (headed toward Lake Tahoe).  The distance is about 48 miles from Sacramento.

For more information about this fascinating place, you can visit the Indian Grinding Rock State Park website.

I take pictures for the purpose of remembering fond times.  I do not impose copyright restrictions on this photo, so you may feel free to use, or distribute as you wish.  However, should you need a Real Estate Professional in the Greater Sacramento area, I hope that you will contact me by email or by visiting my website - Thank You!


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  1. Roy Kelley 12/18/2018 01:00 AM
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indian grinding rock state park

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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

We have it so easy now and back then life was hard and the we took over the region and changed everything for them almost overnight.

Sep 30, 2018 02:57 PM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Myrl- I'm glad that you're sharing this with your grandson. I can close my eyes, but can only imagine what it must have been like to establish a new area, and then to have it taken away from you. 

Sep 30, 2018 03:05 PM #2
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Yes, they were here first and when the government wanted their land they sent them to Indian Territory which became Oklahoma.

Sep 30, 2018 03:29 PM #3
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

I love history especially when it comes to the American Indians. Your photos capture how they must have lived.  I often wonder what did they look like and what were they talking about while grinding. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 01, 2018 03:16 AM #4
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Myrl, for sharing this very educational post and your outstanding photographs.

Oct 01, 2018 09:26 AM #5
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

The thing that puzzles me, Myrl, is how did those people manage to sit down while grinding their acorns? Because there is not enough room for two butts to occupy adjoining spots.

So out by Jackson? Maybe I can drag my husband up there next weekend. Looks like an interesting place to visit, and we can use a trip out of Sacramento.

Oct 01, 2018 11:53 AM #6
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

How fascinating!  I have not heard of this park or this tribe of Native Americans.  It would be a great place to visit and see them actually engaged in grinding of acorns.

Oct 01, 2018 03:19 PM #7
Steven Nickens
Elite Pacific Properties Maui - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

I have a little American Indian in me, interesting the history of indians throughout America. Said what happen to them, they just got run over with the new world arrival.

Oct 01, 2018 06:01 PM #8
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I love to see an area with a history Myrl Jeffcoat....

Oct 01, 2018 08:56 PM #9
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Myrl Jeffcoat I love the way you write, you had me in palm of your hand imaging I was back in time grinding. So happy you and Baron was able to spend quality time making wonderful memories and thanks for sharing history.

Dec 18, 2018 01:31 AM #10
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Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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