From Sarah Heki

I’m the daughter of Shari & Aaron Heki & lived in TRV from the late 70s to early 80s. It was life, it was the only life we as kids knew….rather secluded to the “real world”. An hour to town “Rock Springs” a trip we’d take twice a month, one direction….and a 1/2 hr the other way to school and church in “Wamsutter” was the world we lived in. It was as much enjoyable as challenging & I was very sad when we moved because living so closely with the same families we had some very dear friends….I have many many memories & wouldn’t trade it for any other upbringing.

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What Was Table Rock, Wyoming?

Table Rock Road coming up!If you happen to be traveling I-80 in southwestern Wyoming, take a moment to look southward as you pass Exit 150, where a sign reads, “Table Rock Road”. There’s an odd break in the prairie landscape there, where a few trees don’t appear to “belong”. You may also notice a large, lone, metal building, surrounded by a fence that appears to enclose more area than necessary. Soon that building, too, will be gone. The trees will remain, a testament to what was once Table Rock Village.

Tabe Rock housesOnce in a while, something special happens in a community that makes it worthy of remembrance. This was such a place. It won’t be in the history books. Its demise didn’t make national headlines. Nevertheless, this little “company camp” shaped the lives of an incredible number of people in a unique and special way. For a few decades, those few acres of the Red Desert were home to a group of modern pioneers. Those individuals carry the spirit of the community with them today and are passing it on to new generations.

This site and an upcoming book will tell the story of this unique community and the challenging, yet incredibly rewarding lifestyle of the residents. Table Rock Village was a vibrant, vital community and not only piqued the curiosity of travelers, but played an important role in Wyoming’s industrial development in the late 20th century. For that reason and many others, it deserves to be remembered.

The pages and blog archives on this site will give visitors an overview of the village, the reason it was there, and an idea of what made it special. We made Table Rock. It made us.

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Happy New Year! Changes Coming for 2013!

Well, the world survived another “milestone”. December 21, 2012 has come and gone and we’ve made it to 2013.

Unfortunately, Table Rock Village didn’t survive 2012. As recorded in earlier posts, the demolition of the remaining homes has been completed and little evidence remains that a comparatively small group of unique people once carved out a great life there. Soon, travelers across the Wyoming Red Desert won’t give this area a second glance. A few trees that clearly weren’t a part of the original landscape will be the only monument to what was once our home. Almost.

The real testament to the village lies in what those of us who lived there gained from the experience. I don’t need to explain that to Table Rockers or, for that matter, anyone who knows Table Rockers. As for the rest of you, I’m sorry that you will never know.

So, for myself, I hope that the restoration of that portion of the Red Desert to near its original state will be part of a new era of change. No more ghost town. No more squatters. Just the memories of what we had there and the knowledge that we’re better, stronger individuals for experiencing that lifestyle and sharing it with a select few. Let the pronghorn and prairie chickens raise their families there again. It was always their home; we just invaded it for a while.

Pronghorn Family

A young pronghorn family inspects the restoral project. Photo: Lori D. Maciel Crandell

2013 will bring changes to this site, as well. Obviously, some content changes will be needed, to go along with the changes in the landscape. I also plan to rework the membership and posting process, in the hope that more past residents will share some stories here.

That brings me to the final item in this post – the book about life at Table Rock that I’ve been promising to write. 2013 will be the year that this book is completed. How it’s completed will depend greatly on the response I receive to this final shout out to Table Rockers to share their experiences and thoughts, here, via email or via Facebook message to me.  I hope you’ll all help me create a fitting record of a place and a lifestyle that deserve to be remembered.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2013!

General

Merry Christmas from Table Rock

If the title of this post seems a little odd, because the Village is no longer standing, let me put it in perspective for you. The spirit that made Table Rock what it was lives on in the hearts of those who lived there. Table Rock was, and is, much more than a place, and Christmas was a special time there. So, on behalf of Table Rockers everywhere, I’d like to wish all who visit this site the joy that we knew there during this Holiday season.

For those Table Rockers that will be missing a family member this year, please take some solace in knowing that an entire community feels your loss and you will be in our thoughts. You will never be truly alone.

For the world, I know that I speak for my Table Rock family in saying that my Christmas wish this year is for the one thing that we need again more than any: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men”.

Merry Christmas and “God bless us, every one.”
Dana and Family

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Thankful for What Was

With Thanksgiving only a few hours away, Table Rock comes to mind again, as always. I’ll be forever thankful that I’m one of the few that can call themselves Table Rockers. To have had the opportunity to experience that unique community and lifestyle has given us all something not many are fortunate enough to have.

I’m also thankful that the decision was made to leave the trees when the Village was demolished. It’s a fitting reminder for those of us who knew how much life could exist out there in the middle of nowhere, and the thought that people will wonder, one day,  how those trees came to be there makes me smile.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Table Rock friends and family!

 

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Remembering Christmas at The Rock

There hasn’t been a Christmas since 1987 that hasn’t made me a little nostalgic for Table Rock. The memories are perhaps a bit more poignant this year, knowing that the village is gone. On the other hand, it has been a real blessing to reconnect with so many Table Rockers. It’s been especially fun to hear from those of you that were kids with my kids there, now that you’ve all grown into such outstanding individuals and fine parents, passing on the values that life at The Rock taught.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Table Rockers everywhere. Thanks for keeping the memories alive!

General

Demolition Photos

The demolition of the remaining homes at the village was completed just before 9/1/11. Although this is very sad for most of us to see, I think it’s important to document this part of the Village history, too. I’d like to thank my friends Kevin Conner Hardesty and Janet Tarpley for providing the first of these photos.

Hopefully, there will be additions to this gallery as more pictures come in. I’ve enabled comments, so click on a thumbnail to post your thoughts.

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The Beginning of the End

Table Rock House Demolition

Original Photo: Kevin Conner Hardesty

Well, it’s started – the demolition of our little oasis in the Red Desert has begun. I know I share a whole bag of mixed emotions with my fellow Table Rockers to know this is taking place. I hope to hear from some of them here, but in the meantime, I’ll try to sort out a few of my own feelings enough to put them into words:

Obviously, it saddens me to see the destruction of something that left such an indelible mark on me and my children. Much of what I am I owe to the people I knew there and the demands of the lifestyle.  So many of us grew there in ways that will never be understood by those who didn’t share in the experience. To know that such a unique place will soon cease to exist is a difficult pill to swallow.

On the other hand, watching the village slowly deteriorate due to vandalism, neglect and the harshness of the environment we adapted to there has been harder. Better a relatively quick, honorable exit than the agonizing death throes of a ghost town. So, I find some solace in knowing that this inevitable destruction will be handled, at least partly, by some of our own, cleanly, and with restoration of the original environment in mind.

There were some suggestions made for a marker or monument of some sort to commemorate what took place there – and oh, so much took place there – but I know from my years with CIG that the contracts involved in leasing government land for purposes like this are strict in their restoration clauses and there are valid reasons for those clauses. So, while I have suspicions that something Table Rockers will recognize may survive, there will be few future passersby that will look twice at an area that was once a genuine curiosity and is an important part of Wyoming’s history. In that respect, it feels as if our lives there are being shredded and buried with the buildings.

I know, however, that the same determination that we learned there will keep the memory of Table Rock alive in the heart of each person that lived and/or worked there and many who simply spent time there. Table Rockers, like the village and its environment,  are not the type to go down without a fight or be forgotten easily. Personally, I look forward to sharing accounts of my experiences there with anyone who will take the time to read them. I hope to bring the experiences of others who spent time there to light, as well.

There are many more emotional conflicts for me in remembering what Table Rock was, but the final feeling I’d like to share here is not at all in conflict. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m grateful for having known each and every one of the individuals who shared that strange and oddly wonderful lifestyle with me and my family. Some of you I knew for a moment; some became permanently embedded in my life. Each friend, neighbor, co-worker, casual acquaintance and yes, even foe, that I encountered in my seven years there taught me something. Many of those lessons weren’t realized until later in life, but they were, nevertheless, important and I thank you all.

I’m grateful, too, for the recent opportunity to reconnect with so many of you through Kevin’s Facebook group. It’s been interesting, fun and often heartwarming to see where so many of us are today and the people we’ve become, especially those of you who were children when I was there. Table Rock created some truly awesome individuals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

General, News

In Memoriam- Tom Henry

Loved Friend, Father, Grandfather

Feel free to share your memories.

In Memoriam

Need Posts…

Hey, Table Rockers! I want to be sure you know that this is YOUR blog. Every Table Rocker that registers will be given at least Author privileges. That means that when you log in, you can manage your own posts and comments without waiting for moderation.

We need some more additions to the In Memoriam category and I know there must be hundreds of stories to be shared in other categories. Don’t be shy and don’t be concerned about people’s comments. I have spam control in place and there are a few well-trusted editors to help out, too.

Consider this your chance to find your inner journalist. 🙂 Let’s make sure people know what Table Rock was. You’ll find the Register and Log In links at the bottom of the right sidebar.

General, News