49 Years Ago: Medicine Wheel Becomes National Historic Landmark
Located at an elevation of 9462 feet in the Big Horn Mountains, with quite the trek to get to it, Medicine Wheel is an ancient landmark with unclear origins. The Crow say that the wheel was already there when they arrived in the land, having been built by "ancient ancestors," or "people without iron." Its impact on the land and sacred status among many tribes make it Wyoming's version of Stonehenge.
On August 29th, 1970, the site was given Historical Landmark status.
"The Wheel rests within the Crow homeland, an area that the Crow say was given to them by the Creator when No Vitals, the visionary Crow Leader (circa 1400-1600), had his vision of stars descending into tobacco blossoms while he fasted and prayed on the highest mountain in the Bighorns," according to Little Big Horn College's Migration Narrative.
The mysterious wheel still sits in the Big Horns and can be visited by tourists and locals alike, and due to its Historic Landmark status, will remain that way for generations to come.