Winkler County Texas - Blue Mountain

Winkler County

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Blue Mountain
Blue Mountain
Address:  From Kermit, take SH 302 East about 17 miles
Winkler County's highest point (3500 Ft.), Blue Mountain has long served as a lookout and landmark on the west Texas plains. Here Indians found fuel, sheltering caves, and water. They left artifacts in the caves and pictographs on the cave walls that boasted their prowess as horse wranglers, hunters, and fishermen. A directional sign told of a water hole nine days by trail to the northeast. Pictographs also told the story of a fight between two lizards. The pass is called Avary Gap for John Avary, who first settled the area in 1880.
BLUE MOUNTAIN (Winkler County). Blue Mountain is fourteen miles northeast of Kermit and forty-two miles northwest of Odessa in northeastern Winkler County. It is part of the southern escarpment of the Llano Estacado and the Caprock,qqv and its summit rises 3,392 feet above sea level. The mountain has a long history of human occupation. In 1938 an archeological study of two rockshelters there revealed numerous projectile points, some awls, beads, scrapers, and a knife, and some pottery thought to be of Pueblo origin. The study noted about thirty pictographs in the shelters and more than 100 rare boat-shaped mortar holes similar to those found in Garza and Coke counties. Archeologists have been unable to determine precisely the cultures that lived at Blue Mountain. According to Jim Cook, a former Comanche captive living in Odessa in 1932, the Blue Mountain rockshelters were occupied by Comanches in the nineteenth century. In the 1970s most of the pictographs at Blue Mountain were destroyed by smoke when people built fires in the rockshelters.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: William Curry Holden, "Blue Mountain Rock Shelter," Bulletin of the Texas Archeological and Paleontological Society 10 (1938). Odessa News-Times, September 9, 1932.
Contact:  Jane Colmenares
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