The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Looking for answers, Part II: Who was Tom Cosnah?


October 7, 2020

Mark Burkhartsmeyer poses above two initials, "K P," atop a small hill on his family's ranch south of Chinook. It's believed sheepherders used glacial erraticas (random rocks carried and dropped by glaciers) to do rock writings. Some sheepherder markers were likely used to indicate trails, boundaries or water sources, while others, like these initials, were likely built as a distraction from a lonely job.

This is a new appeal to alert readers for information about another local folk art mystery. Several weeks ago Mark Burkhartsmeyer asked me by phone, "Are you the paper's expert on local history?" I said I was interested in local history, was no expert but enjoyed unraveling local historical mysteries.

He shared information about some rock writing on the Burkhartsmeyer's ranch south of Chinook. He described rock writing as letters and words spelled out using random rocks found in the area. Of particular interest was the complete name, spelled out with rocks, of Tom Cosnah. Mark said, "I susp...

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