Cody on the Concho: Paint Rock

Paint Rock, TX - Bill Campbell helps take care of the rocks. On the surface that may seem like an odd job, but when you look closer you see why it's such an important job. Native American tribes left a history lesson on the painted rocks for all to see.

"One of the main things they did in this area that you can still see are the paintings. And the paintings tell you a lot about their lives and was important to them." Says Bill Campbell.

The town Paint Rock very clearly derives it's name from the historic site. But, make no mistake, the rocks were here long before the town, or any of us.

"What we have here on these rocks goes back over a thousand years. And connects us to what was going on with this land before the Spanish got here." Says Campbell.

The Native Americans discovered a way to create paint that would last. For centuries the paint has stayed on those rocks.

"It was really a happy accident. Their favorite pigment was a red-ish pigment from an iron oxide called hematite. It binds really well with limestone and they used animal fat to make it an oil based paint." Says Campbell.

The bluff was perfect in the winter because the rocks shielded them from frigid winds. The Native Americans used the path along the bluff as a way to travel.

"You could go from Houston area to New Mexico. This was basically I-10 for the Native Americans." Says Campbell.

And each time a tribe came through, a piece of history was left behind. Now Bill and his family provide tours for folks who want to see the paintings. He says it's something he feels like needs to be done.

"This isn't about the family, this is about the Native Americans and what they painted. This why we're here and showing it." Says Campbell.

If you get the chance to see the painted rocks, it's worth it. Those who came before us left their mark on the world last long beyond your ancestors, and probably long beyond most of us.
History books painted right there for everyone to see.
Done centuries ago and standing the test of time.


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