Approaching Chimney Rock along the North Platte River in Nebraska. William Henry Jackson, 1929.
ne of the great landmarks on the emigrant trail was Chimney Rock in Nebraska, so named because its slender pillar rising above the bluffs resembled a giant chimney. The rock was shown on all early maps, and the Mormon pioneers were anxious to see it, both because of it fame and because it would give them a chance to check the accuracy of their maps. On May 22, 1847, Porter Rockwell rode into camp with some exciting news. He said he climbed atop a high bluff a mile distant and had seen Chimney Rock. But the emigrants did not reach the rock until May 26-where Orson Pratt estimated the height of the shaft at 260 feet.