Origins of the Bowers Museum's Bell Rock and Maze Stone

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Photos by Joel Robinson
Bell Rock at Bowers Museum Courtyard
Have you ever been to the old courtyard in Bower's
Museum? If so, did you notice the
large granite boulders placed amongst the landscaping? If you look closely, you'll find that
one of the boulders is called the Bell Rock Its surface is strewn with cupules and the underside is curved like the palm of a hand. The other one, tucked away in some old cactus, is known as the Maze Stone, which has faint carvings of a maze-like pattern on its surface. Both boulders were relocated to Bowers from the Santa Ana Mountains in the 1930s--and this is where our story begins.

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Bell Rock sign at Bowers

I remember visiting this courtyard many times as a kid. I passed by the boulders, but never realized their significance until I was an adult. To this day, most museum visitors pass by the boulders in order to experience the various indoor exhibits from around the world. mazestone.jpg Joel Robinson Maze Stone at Bower's Museum I decided to make this documentary for the 2nd Annual Silverado Film Festival to shed some light on the origin of these boulders and their connection to indigenous people of Orange County. Enjoy!

An interpretive hiking tour to the original Maze Stone location in the Santa Ana Mountains will be on April 27th from 9AM-1PM. An interpretive hiking tour to the original Bell Rock location will be on May 11th from 9AM-1PM. Hiking tour details on Naturalist For You calendar.

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