Somersett LogoDid you ever wonder why Somersett uses a distinctive leaf image as its logo? As it turns out, this symbol has a story steeped in the history of the area.

The art director who designed the logo was hiking and camping near the site one weekend when he discovered a petroglyph on a boulder. That image, which depicted a leaf, became the inspiration for the current logo.

Petroglyphs are images that were carved into stone, usually boulders or large rock faces. Most petroglyphs were made by Native Americans and date back thousands of years.

The age of the mark that inspired the logo has never been dated, so there is no way to tell its actual age.  Furthermore, the location of the petroglyph has never been revealed because of fears that it might come to harm.

But the fact that a petroglyph was found on or near Somersett should be no surprise. Most archaeologists agree that people have lived in Nevada for at least 10,000 to 12,000 years. In his essay Peavine, a Mountain of Memories, historian John C. Evanoff says that early man began living on Peavine’s slopes about 10,000 years ago, and petroglyphs and other artifacts from their time there still remain on the mountainside. (Parts of Somersett are located on the side of Peavine Mountain).

The oldest-known petroglyphs in all of North America are located just northeast of Reno on limestone boulders rising up from the dried-up bed of Winnemucca Lake, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in 2013. Paleoclimatologist Larry Benson was able to date the carvings there to between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago.

If you would like to see petroglyphs up close, consider a visit to Grimes Point Prehistoric Rock Art Site, off Highway 50 southeast of Fallon. The site has a parking lot, restrooms and a self-guided interpretive trail leading to boulders covered with petroglyphs. More information

And, keep your eyes peeled when hiking or biking on Peavine Mountain. You never know what you might discover!