Queen Esther’s Bloody Rock
(block between Seventh & Eighth Streets)
Perhaps the most gruesome “wonder” that I have visited is located on a quiet residential street in Wyoming, Pennsylvania. In between two trim suburban houses is a fenced-in area which encloses Queen Esther’s Bloody Rock. A steel “cage” further protects the artifact from theft and vandalism.
The Bloody Rock is named for Queen Esther Montour Quebec (a decendant of “mixed” Native American and European heritage). The memorial marks the spot where, if the legend is accurate, Queen Esther caused at least 14 captured colonists (some sources indicate an even higher number) to be gathered around the rock following the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Wyoming in 1778. Supposedly in grief and anger over the recent death of her son, she personally smashed the head of each of the colonists against the rock with her maul.
After doing some research when I returned home, the true story behind the rock became increasingly hard to discern.
Various sources provide an array of facts and figures that sometimes agree with … and sometimes contradict … each other. There are several links at the end of this post that might be helpful if you want to learn more about Queen Esther and North East Pennsylvania’s roll in the American Revolutionary War.
The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution purchased the small parcel of land around the rock and installed this plaque in 1895 (or 1897 depending upon whom you consult).
This is the original marker: