Queen Esther’s Bloody Rock

click image to enlarge

Queen Esther’s Bloody Rock
Susquehanna Avenue
(block between Seventh & Eighth Streets)
 Wyoming, Pennsylvania

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:

I don’t know if this is a new, or old, custom; but if you look closely – you’ll see a number of coins that have been tossed into the cage. I wonder if Queen Esther grants good wishes or bad?






10 thoughts on “Queen Esther’s Bloody Rock

  1. As a child in the late 40’s I and my cousins played on Queen Esters Rock. It was in our side yard and of course not protected at that time.
    Property belonged to the Carpenter family.

  2. Re Queen Esther: My great grandmother told me any times the story of her great grandmother Charlotte Pancake Crevous (her husband Sebastian Crevous had been previously captured and killed/died) who was warned by Queen Esther that the Indians were going to kill all the white settlers in the area. Charlotte took her baby and their cow and rafted by herself down the Susquehanna River to Harris’s Ferry, escaping the Wyoming Massacre. Later she married John King of Harrisburg, and their child was the first non-Indian child born in that town. This is an oral history passed down through seven generations of my maternal line. Who knows how much of this is factual, but it’s a wonderful family story.

    1. Wow, Barrie! Sounds like your (6 times) Grandmother Charlotte and an epic escape! Can you imagine how terrified she was for her baby and herself … yet, she had to be practical about the cow too! Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *