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Guide to the Painted Rock Pictograph Collection
MS 041  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Provenance
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Guide to the Painted Rock Pictograph Collection,
    Date (inclusive): circa 1870s,
    Date (inclusive): circa 1900s,
    Date (inclusive): circa 1950s
    Collection number: MS 041
    Creator: Noyes, Mary Brumley, 1857-1886
    Extent: 1 box
    Languages:

    English
    Repository: Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library
    California Polytechnic State University
    San Luis Obispo, California 93407
    Abstract: This collection contains four India ink drawings from tracings made of the original pictographs found on the formation known as the Painted Rock (La Piedra Pintada; also called the Carisa Rock), located on the Carrizo Plain in eastern San Luis Obispo County, California. Native Americans—primarily Chumash Indians—drew the original drawings on the sacred, ceremonial site. The pictographs were sketched in the 1870s by pioneer Carrizo Plain resident Mary Brumley Noyes, who spent part of her youth on the nearby El Saucito Rancho with her family. Painted Rock is a local landmark, rising dramatically from the surrounding flat plains. In the intervening years since her sketches were made, the rock art has been vandalized and has deteriorated due to human use and weather conditions. The collection was donated by her descendents in 1990. An additional donation to the collection is a short, unpublished radio script depicting the Brumley family's life on the Carrizo Plain, circa 1950s. Nothing is known about its author, L. Munson of Los Angeles. An additional donation traces the family's history and includes vintage prints of Painted Rock.
    Abbreviations Used:
    c.: circa
    n.p.: no publisher

    Provenance

    Donated by descendents in 1990, 1994, 2009.

    Restrictions on Access

    Collection is open to qualified researchers by appointment only. For more information on access policies and to obtain a copy of the Researcher Registration form, please visit the Special Collections Access page. Collection stored remotely. Advance notice for use required.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    In order to reproduce, publish, broadcast, exhibit, and/or quote from this material, researchers must submit a written request and obtain formal permission from Special Collections, Cal Poly, as the owner of the physical collection.
    Photocopying of material is permitted at staff discretion and provided on a fee basis. Photocopies are not to be used for any purpose other than for private study, scholarship, or research. Special Collections staff reserves the right to limit photocopying and deny access or reproduction in cases when, in the opinion of staff, the original materials would be harmed.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item]. Painted Rock Pictograph Collection, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

    Biography

    Mary Brumley (also spelled Bromley) Noyes was born in New York in 1857, the daughter of Chester Rude Brumley and Margaret Humphrey Brumley. She moved to San Francisco, California, with her family in the 1860s as her father pursued new business opportunities in the West.
    In the early 1870s, the family (father, mother, and their youngest three children, Chester J., Mary, and Helen) relocated to the extremely isolated Carrizo Plain in eastern San Luis Obispo County, nearly 300 miles to the southeast of San Francisco. They left their oldest daughter Margaret, a teacher, behind in the cosmopolitan Bay Area as they headed out to pioneer on the remote El Saucito Ranch southwest of Soda Lake, where Mr. Brumley ran cattle on his own land. In addition, he served as an employee for San Francisco investors James and Richard McDonald, supervising sheep-grazing leases on their large tracts of the plain. The McDonalds were one of several large land speculators who owned much of the acreage in the region at that time.
    As a teen and a young woman, Mary spent several years living on the El Saucito Rancho with her family, where they built one of the first permanent houses on the isolated plain. Nearby was the Painted Rock, a local landmark, rising dramatically from the surrounding flat plains of the Carrizo. Native Americans—primarily Chumash Indians—drew the original drawings on the sacred, ceremonial site. The Brumley children explored the valley and played near the Painted Rock. These drawings of the rock art were sketched by Mary Brumley Noyes in the 1870s. In the intervening years since Brumley's sketches were made, the rock art has been vandalized and has deteriorated due to human use and weather conditions.
    Mary married the bookkeeper for their family's ranch, Frederick R. Noyes, on 17 May 1881; they had three children. Mary died soon after giving birth to the last child in 1886. After her death, the sketches had been kept in the family of her younger sister, Helen Brumley Latimer. Helen married the owner of a drugstore in San Luis Obispo, Benjamin G. Latimer, and unlike her older sister, lived a long life.
    Today the Painted Rock and surrounding area is included in the 250,000 acre Carrizo Plain National Monument, designated on January 17, 2001, in an effort to promote the long-term conservation of the vanishing San Joaquin Valley flora and fauna found in this relatively undisturbed locale.
    Sources
    Angel, Myron. The Painted Rock of California: La Piedra Pintada, a Legend. San Luis Obispo, CA: Padre Productions, 1979.
    Angel, Myron. Facsimile Reprint of History of San Luis Obispo County, California: with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Fresno, CA: Valley Publishers, 1979. [Reprint of the 1883 ed. published by Thompson & West, Oakland, Calif., with introd. and index added.]
    California Death Index: 1940-1997, ancestry.com
    Carrizo Plain National Monument http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/carrizo/mission_statement.html
    Eichel, Marijean H. The Carrizo Plain: a geographic study of settlement, land use and change; a thesis presented to the Faculty of the Department of Geography, San Jose State College. [San Jose, CA]: no publisher, 1971.
    Family correspondence, 1990, 1994.
    Tognazzini, Wilmar N. 100 Years Ago: Excerpts from the San Luis Obispo Morning Tribune: 1891. [San Luis Obispo, CA]: no publisher, 1988.
    Tognazzini, Wilmar N. 100 Years Ago: Excerpts from the San Luis Obispo Morning Tribune: 1892. [San Luis Obispo, CA]: no publisher, 1988.
    "An Undeveloped Region." San Luis Obispo Tribune. 26 Dec. 1884: 6.
    U. S. Census, 1870-1930, ancestry.com

    Scope and Content Note

    Painted Rock Pictograph Collection contains four India ink drawings from tracings made of the original pictographs found on the formation known as the Painted Rock (La Piedra Pintada; also called the Carisa Rock), Carrizo Plain, eastern San Luis Obispo County, California. Sketched by pioneer Carrizo Plain resident, Mary Brumley Noyes, in the 1870s.
    Photographs and negatives of the original sketches were made by family members at a later but undetermined date.
    The Painted Rock Pictograph Collection is housed in 1 box and is divided into two series:
    Series 1. Painted Rock Pictographs, 1870s
    Series 2. Additional Donations, circa 1900s, circa 1950s
    There are two additional donations. The first is a radio script entitled "Something to Remember", circa 1950s. Donated by a Noyes family descendant, it depicts the young Helen Brumley and her family's life in the remote Carrizo Plains. Nothing is known about its author. The second includes vintage photographic prints of Painted Rock and Brumley family history research, donated by the great granddaughter of Chester Jerome Brumley.
    Where possible, the provenance, or original organization, of the papers has been preserved. However, in order to simplify access to the collection for researchers, some materials in specific formats and topics were reorganized and refoldered to more accurately reflect their contents.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Noyes, Mary Brumley, 1857-1886
    Latimer, Helen Brumley, 1864-1960
    Chumash Indians -- California -- San Luis Obispo County -- Art.
    Rock paintings -- California -- San Luis Obispo County.
    Salinan Indians -- California -- San Luis Obispo County -- Art.
    Yokuts Indians -- California -- San Luis Obispo County -- Art.
    Indians of North America -- California -- San Luis Obispo County -- Art.
    Painted Rock Site (Calif.)
    Carrizo Plain National Monument (Calif.)

    Genre and Forms of Materials

    Drawings
    Photographs
    Radio script

    Related Material

    Materials Cataloged Separately
    Angel, Myron. The Painted Rock of California: La Piedra Pintada, a Legend. San Luis Obispo, CA: Padre Productions, 1979.