Thursday, December 12, 2019

INDIAN NAMES OF PLACES IN WORCESTER COUNTY MASSACHUSETTS (Nipmuc)


WITH INTERPRETATIONS OF SOME OF THEM

By LINCOLN N. KINNICUTT WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS 1905

      Mr. Peter Whitney, in his history of the County of Worcester, in 1793, writes:

     "At Little Asnaconcomick pond there is every appearance that once a stone wall was built, or building, in some places it is two feet and a half in height, as if laid up by the hands of men." It has "the appearance of a large stone wall thrown down."

     I believe the name was first applied to the place where these stones are, rather than to either Great or Little Asnaconcomiok ponds, as there is nothing in this name referring to water, which is almost always the case in Indian names for ponds. I would suggest from Hassun a stone, quon, komuck, long house or long enclosed place; 'a long place enclosed with stones.'
     Little Asnaconcomiok pond is now known as Moosehorn pond. 


Asnebumskit, Hasnebumskitt.

      A large hill in Paxton and Holden, and a pond in Paxton. The pond taking the name from the hill, probably derived from Hassun, a stone, and ompsk, a standing rock, with the locative suffix, at or near, signifying 'the place where a large rock rises from stony ground.' At a prominent place on the hill this is a striking feature.
     In some old deeds the name is spelled Hasnebumskeat and Hasnebumskeag. It is generally called by the inhabitants “Bumskit,” which is an acknowledged corruption.

   The Indian deed of the township of Towtaid (Leicester) recorded March 8, 1713-14, but made the 27th of January, 1686, mentions this hill as one of the boundaries.

Hon. Emory Washburn, in his history of Leicester, says "The northern line (boundary) is assumed to be known by its running into a great hill called Aspomsok, which is supposed to be the hill now called Hasnebumskit in Paxton.
     The meaning of the name may be the same as Aspanoch, which Trumbull says is “perhaps the equivalent of Sehonach in Southampton, L. I., from Sipunnah, ground nuts, Indian potatoes," and formerly these plants were found in abundance in this vicinity, but I believe it is another form of expressing the same meaning as Hasnebumskit, both being corruptions of the same word, Hassun, a stone, ompsh, a standing rock, with the locative suffix.
        (See Asnebumskit.)








Augutteback.


     A pond in the western part of Oxford.
In the division of thirty thousand acres of the original grant of Oxford among five individuals ' ' Augutteback ' ' pond was the only permanent bound mentioned. All the others were marked trees, heaps of stones or stakes. This deed, dated July 3, 1698, was found m London in 1872, and is now in possession of the New York Hist. Soc. Cox copy is in the library of the Am. Anticq. Soc. in Worcester, and also printed in full in Amidown's Historical Collections, 1-128. Mr. Whitney gives the name “Augootsback,” but I can find no authority.
    I believe that this name is a corruption of Ahkuhq-paug or Aueuck-pag, ' Kettle pond, ' from the fact that many soapstone pots have been found in this vicinity, and a ledge or deposit of soapstone is still in existence, where many signs of Indian work have been discovered. From Ohkuk (Narr. Aucuck) (Cotton. Ohkuke) 'a pot or vessel.'



 Hassanamiset, Hassanamesitt, Hassanamisco, Hassunnimesut.

     The name of Grafton, near Worcester. Was one of the most important of the villages of the praying Indians. Gookin, in his "Historical Collections of the Indians in New England," written in 1674, says: "The name signifies a place of small stones," probably derived from Hassun, a stone; Haseunemes, a little stone, with the locative aifix, et or it. Hutchinson wrote the name " Hassunimesut " (Hist., vol. 1, p. 156).
James, the Printer, who was distinguished for his assistance in printing the Indian Bible, being employed in setting up the type, was a native of Hassanamiset. “A school was established here where the Bible was read and studied in the Indian language. Young men were here educated and sent into the neighboring towns to preach the Gospel as Christian teachers." (Mrs. Freeland's History of Oxford.)

Hassunnek.
A name sometimes given to an overhanging rock on Stone house hill in Holden, from which the hill takes its name. This name was never used by the Indians for this locality, but although modern is a literal translation.
Assinech (Hassunnek, Eliot), 'ledge of rocks.' Eliot used this word for any cave or den. 

    Hobbamoco was the Indian god of Evil, or Devil. In Wood's N. E. Prospect he is called Ahamocho (pt. 2, chap. 8). In many Indian legends his name occurs. In West Millbury there is a large upright flat rock called Hobbamoco's quoit, which by Indian tradition Hobbamoco attempted to throw from Wachusett mountain into Manchaug pond, and failed by about half a mile. The hill near the pond in Westborough was supposed to be one of his dwelling places.

    “There is another pond in Westborough which was called Hobbamocke, from some supposed infernal influence, which a man was unhappily under nigh that pond, from morning till the sun set" (Mass. Hist. Soc.'s Collections, series 2, vol. 10, p. 84).


Magomiscock.  

     The highest hill in Milford. The Indians gave the name probably to the whole range of hills. Mr. Ballou, in his history of Milford, says : " The name may be rendered, 'ground affording a grand show.' Its compounds appear to be Magko, to afford, give, or grant, misse, affording a grand prospect of the surrounding country." swollen, large, showy, grand, and ohke, earth, ground or place, literally, a high swell of land.
      I would suggest, however, that the base word of this name may be "Ompsk " (standing or upright rock), var. msk-msq ms, etc., and the name might be translated, ' Great Rock Country,' ' a place of great rocks.' Adin Ballou in his history speaks of the primitive ledges and the superabundance of various sized rocky fragments, preventing the profitable tillage of a considerable portion of the high lands (page 22). At the present day the quarries of Milford are celebrated.

Ouassuck, Ouassink.

Now Lead Mine pond in the western part of Sturbridge, mentioned in letter of William Pynchon to Stephen Day in 1644, "that place of Quassuck. " I should suppose the name was applied first to Lead Mine brook from its termination, "suck," which signifies "a stream flowing out of a pond or lake." (Trumbull.)

Quas-suck, the largest outlet. Possibly derived from Qussuk, with a lost locative suffix, et or ut, signifying, 'at the rock.' This was the Black Lead Mine property of which John Winthrop, Jr., eldest son of Gov. John Winthrop, received a grant from the General Court in 1644. The existence of this lead was known as early as thirteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims. (See Tantiusques.')
Possibly ' Pine tree brook, ' Cowawsuch.


Wallamanumpscook.
Mentioned as a boundary in Indian deed of Rutland, Dec. 22, 1686 (Middlesex Reg. of Deeds, libro 16, page 511, Apr. 14, 1714).
     This name is very similar to Wullamanick with the addition of ' ' umps ' ' and possibly may have designated 'a place where a rock rose from red paint ground' (see Wullamanick) ; ompsk, "standing or upright rock,” ock, ' ground' or ' place. '


Babaquamshk, Windham County - "split rock".
Peskeompscut, Franklin County - "at the split rocks".
Petacomscot, Petacomscott Petaqumskocte
"At the cleft rock; split boulder place"

Tattahassun, Worcester County - "at the top of the shaking or rocking boulder".

Wasapskotock, Hampden County - "at the shining rock".
Cheapschaddock, Cheeapschaddock, New London County - "big rocks at boundary place".
Chickons, Hampden County - "burned place (burned so as to be clear) ready for planting".
 Pesuponck         Name found throughout the region        Hot house (Indian sweatlodge)
Quassakonkanuck: Stone fence boundary mark; place at the stone wall



Monday, December 09, 2019

Avanyu: Spirit of water in Pueblo life and art


By RoseMary Diaz       May 14, 2014
This is why all rivers now twist, turn and wind
 as they flow over the face of the earth.

The evil spirit of drought had come and stayed too long! All of the people, the animals, the birds and the plants were in abject misery! As the days came and passed, the birds sang only sad songs; the plants drooped lower and lower; the animals walked slower and the people were haunted with despair! The earth’s rhythm was out of step!

The ancient people were ready to abandon the homes they had lived in all of their lives. The very old and sick ones were to stay but they were brave and were ready to accept their fate.

As a farewell to their ancestors, whose spirits were ever-present, the people performed a special ceremonial. Unusual preparation was required for this particular ceremony. They offered prayer sticks covered abundantly with every available bird feather. They were sprinkled heavily with sacred corn meal, and they endured great physical suffering to please the Great Spirit. When they finished their rituals and waited for answer, they gazed at the sky with prayers and hope in their hearts.
— Why Rivers Never Run Straight by Pablita Velarde, Santa Clara Pueblo, 1961

On a rainy, mist-veiled morning, just a few weeks before spring’s official arrival, a family of blue and grey serpentine clouds gathers overhead. Moving toward the high cliffs to the west of the Tewa villages, along the now dampened banks of the Rio Grande, where yucca blooms and eagles fly, it swirls and tosses about in the cool air. The shapes move into and out of and over and under each other, becoming more defined as they carry themselves across the sky. Reaching the edge of the Village Where Cottonwood Trees Grow, their movements slow and they descend just enough to touch the tops of the tallest trees. 

As the first drum sounds and the dancers emerge from the kiva in one long, slender line, a single beam of sunlight escapes from within the moving serpent shapes and brushes damp shadows onto the fine, sandy earth and across the smoothness of the kiva walls. The air sparkles and glistens all around and breezes from each direction push through the shadows and float toward the cactus-covered, obsidian-colored mesa just beyond the village, where the Rio Grande of Northern New Mexico swims fast and deep, and bright red snakes wind through the tall grasses of its banks in summer.
The dancers align themselves from south to north. Moving in perfect time with each other, every moccasin touching the earth and pushing back away from it in unison, they become one continuous collective motion, their speed and direction of step dictated by the drums, and their accompanying songs sung in voices that resonate through the morning and out into the first moments of the just-arriving day. The men’s kilts are adorned with horned serpent figures that twist and twine over the soft woolen monk’s cloth with each dancer’s movements. The gentle, writhing undulations of the serpents become almost three-dimensional within these movements as they swim from side to side over the soft ocean of textile beneath them.   

This is the Bow and Arrow dance: Avanyu is here

For more than a millennium, the horned or plumed serpent, known in the Tewa Pueblo language as Avanyu, has occupied a place of great importance within the culture and cosmology of the Puebloan Indians of the American Southwest. Symbolic both of earthly and supernatural phenomena — clouds, rain, lightning, bodies of water and the fusion of the terrestrial to the heavenly — its likeness has snaked itself across the steep desert rock faces and sheer cliff overhangs over thousands of miles of the temperamental desert terrain within the vast radius of what now constitutes the territories of Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.  

Earliest representations of the iconic serpent figure appear on the black-and-white painted surfaces of classic Mimbres pottery (A.D. 1000-1150), the precursor to the fine Pueblo clay work of today. Traveling north, with many intermittent visitations along the way, primarily in the Casas Grandes and Jornada Mogollon districts, where it was often included in the decorative motifs of ceramic works and kiva paintings dating back to between 1200 and 1450, it eventually wound its way into the upper Rio Grande regions of the Tewa and Tiwa tribes around 1325. There it retained its significance as a symbol of the various properties of water and, thus, as a sustainer of life itself. Often depicted wearing a neckband of a stylized shell design, further implicating its qualities as a water deity, the horned or plumed serpent is also used as a metaphorical reference to lightning, which bolts from its open mouth in an attempt to influence the celestial guardians to coax rain from the sky.   

Archaeologist Polly Schaafsma, Ph.D., is well acquainted with Avanyu, having dedicated many years of study to its mysterious and powerful presence throughout the Southwest. In an essay “Quetzalcoatl and the Horned and Feathered Serpent of the Southwest” (found in the book The Road To Aztlan: Art From A Mythic Homeland by Virginia M. Fields and Victor Zamudio-Taylor, 2001), she notes Avanyu’s “bewilderingly complex personality,” which, much like its Mexican counterpart, Quetzalcoatl, “is multifaceted and ambiguous, cosmic in scope, its roles in myth and ritual involving the unpredictable — endings and beginnings, change, transition, and transformation.”

Dr. Schaafsma writes, “The horned serpent continues to be revered as an important deity among the Pueblos and is known by various names among the different linguistic groups, including Kolowisi (Zuni), Paaloloqangw (Hopi), and Awanyu (Tewa). … The serpent may be associated with the four (or six) directions, the colors of which the snakes also assume. Nevertheless, the Pueblo horned serpent is primarily a water serpent, an ambiguous entity both feared and respected. … His home is in springs, ponds, rivers, and ultimately the oceans, all believed to be connected under the earth’s surface, and … may cause torrential rains and floods.”


Today Avanyu continues to wind around the smooth, hand-polished surfaces of the black, red and polychrome vessels made by some of Native America’s pre-eminent potters, including Judy Tafoya and Sharon Garcia of Santa Clara Pueblo and Russell Sanchez of San Ildefonso Pueblo; and across the canvases of its masters of two-dimensional works, including Hopi-Tewa artist Dan Namingha, and third-generation Tewa painter Margarete Bagshaw (Santa Clara Pueblo), who has engaged the Avanyu image in her dynamic and energetic large-scale paintings, as did her mother and grandmother, painter and printmaker Helen Hardin and the great painter Pablita Velarde, respectively, in their acrylics, caseins, watercolors and lithographs. All of these artists cite the inherent spiritual and cosmic references contained in the Avanyu form.

Though the iconic symbol of the plumed or horned serpent is still used extensively among contemporary Pueblo artists, the secrets of Avanyu remain closely guarded; many sources are reluctant to offer dialogue on the subject of Avanyu, and therefore, the discourse is limited.

Painter Margarete Bagshaw notes, “I have grown up seeing the Avanyu wrapped around the pots made by my aunt Legoria Tafoya, as well as other Santa Clara potters. The Avanyu is who I pray to, by painting, when our mountains have fire caused by severe drought. It appears in cloud formations, lightning, rivers and wind. I was taught by my grandma that it will either bless us with sustenance or punish us with flood or drought, for the way we as a society behave. The most important thing, she said, is to always show great respect when Avanyu appears. Be humble and hold it in high regard.”

When the final verse is sung and the last drumbeat marks the end of the dance, the single line of dancers disappears back into the silence of the kiva. The bows and arrows and kilts are put back in their proper places, where they will rest until Avanyu returns. The gathering of serpent-shaped clouds ascends again, now rising far above the treetops and wrapping the beam of sunlight inside itself, then drifting onward toward the distant canyons to the west, where wild roses grow and dragonflies flutter in springtime, toward formations in the landscape that suggest Avanyu’s very origin.

It moves quickly through the thin, cool air, then dips down into the horizon and travels far beyond view. Avanyu has gone home. For now.

Their sign came one bright night amid great excitement and fear! For from the sky fell a comet of fire, roaring, writing and winding as it fell to earth! The earth trembled, for Ava-yun-ne had found the Evil Spirit of drought. The combat was victorious for Ava-yun-ne! As he disappeared back to Si-pa-pu, the voice of Thunder sang in a loud voice, followed by the steady rhythm of raindrops. The rain continued until the arroyos were filled and became rivers, which flowed in the same winding pattern of the Ava-yun-ne.

This is why all rivers now twist, turn and wind as they flow over the face of the earth.

RoseMary Diaz (Tewa) is a freelance feature writer and an award-winning and anthologized poet who studied literature at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Naropa University and the University of California at Santa Cruz. RoseMary spent much of her childhood at her family’s home in Santa Clara Pueblo, where she participated in many traditional dances. She resides in Santa Fe.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

A Very Large Serpentine Statue


    “Years before the Field Museum's 1960-61 archaeological excavations of the Hooper Ranch Pueblo (Martin et al. 1961) a very large serpentine statue, embellished with a pair of carved eyes, nostrils, a "blow hole," and a slightly smiling mouth (Figure 12) was removed from the site (Knight 2012). The features of this massive ancient effigy are reminiscent of those found on effigies of the Great Water Serpent, Quetzalcoatl, in meso-America (Figure 13), and of the physical characteristics of the great North American water serpent god, called "Kolowisi" by theZuni people (Figure 14),
 and Palulukang by the Hopi, to which they directed their prayers for the blessings of rain and snow. For many years, this carved stone effigy was on public displayoutside of the Becker Mercantile Company in Springerville, Arizona (Figure 15). Certainly, the size of this statue indicates that it was very important to the ancient people who created it. However, its existence was either unknown or ignored by the archaeologists who excavated the Hooper Ranch Pueblo site, as they make no mention of it in their site reports… 

   ....Nearby lay a very large snake effigy, suggestive of the Hopi god Baloolookong and the Snake Dance prayer for water. The close physical association of these unique items, along with the Pueblo's wide array of pottery, and its purposeful orientation with the Sun Dagger Shine, indicates that this was no ordinary site…”





https://rockartblog.blogspot.com/2019/10/casa-malpais-serpent-effigy-large-stone.html?fbclid=IwAR08Yo4s1AyoUZdBXv0_PCnTdwsz2Ip86lp5e9kbTyWQ85X1pG1M0ahyLY8

"The Quetzalcoatl icon is shared throughout all the Americas and I think it is interesting to ponder whether it came from North America and traveled south, or vice versa, or from Central and moved out. Depending on what I read the answer seems different. I’m tending think that these ideas came uniformly from the West, over the seas, and hit the western coast of all of the Americas in waves, but I am not the oracle on such topics, I am a humble student trying to draw my own conclusions based on growing knowledge of this vast and complicated topic."
https://theancientsouthwest.com/2018/07/21/quetzalcoatl-in-north-american-pueblos/

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

CT STATISTICS OF FENCES IN THE UNITED STATES 1871 (As a Poem)


Stone is the material for one-third of the fences of Connecticut,
      New London having 70 per cent, of wall,
                                                                    Fairfield 50,
                          And other counties a smaller proportion.
Post and rail fence encloses three-tenths of the fields;
                     Worm-fence nearly one-fourth;
                                                Board-fence one-eighth;
                                                                                Height, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet.

In Middlesex, where a poor quality of stone is available,
        Walls 3 feet high are common,
                                             with stakes and rails above.

In New Haven similar fences are made, the wall 2 1/2 feet high.
 These walls are preferred to the regular stone-wall for sheep-pastures.


Six rails are said to make a legal worm-fence;
          Heavy rocks are often placed- under the corners ;
And a fence built with 1 1/2 to 2 feet of stone,
           With 3 rails above,
                                  Is deemed a Good Fence.



Monday, December 02, 2019

An Indigenous Stone Snake Effigy Composed of Smaller Stone Snake Effigies

       The Indigenous Spirit Being known as the Big Snake (Great Serpent, Horned Serpent and all those other names) is modeled after a Rattlesnake. A “stone wall-like” row of stones might begin with any of a variety of snake head-like artistic constructions – from a single boulder...

 ...to small stones stacked like scales or markings or as many combinations possible...


 – may well be a Big Snake Effigy and may well be composed of smaller stone effigies including turtles and other animals as well as other snakes.


      Building an Indigenous Stone Snake Effigy Composed of Smaller Stone Snake (and other) Effigies could have been inspired by the fact that: “Although many kinds of snakes and other reptiles are oviparous (lay eggs), rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous (give birth to live young after carrying eggs inside). The female produces the ova ("eggs") in her ovaries, after which they pass through the body cavity and into one of her two oviducts…” 

     Building an Indigenous Stone Snake Effigy Composed of Smaller Stone Snake (and other) Effigies could have been inspired by observation of rattlesnake “denning” or Brumation: “In the colder winter months, some rattlesnake species enter a period of brumation, which is dormancy similar to hibernation. They often gather together for brumation in large numbers (sometimes over 1,000 snakes), huddling together inside underground "rattlesnake dens" or hibernacula. Rattlesnakes regularly share their winter burrows with a wide variety of other species (such as turtles, small mammals, invertebrates, and other types of snakes).”

Rattlesnakes often return to the same den, year after year, sometimes traveling several miles to get there. It is not known exactly how the rattlesnakes find their way back to the dens each year, but may use a combination of pheromone trails and visual cues (e.g., topography, celestial navigation, and solar orientation).

Species with long periods of brumation tend to have much lower reproductive rates than those with shorter brumation periods, or those that do not brumate all. Female timber rattlesnakes in high peaks in the Appalachian Mountains of New England reproduce every three years on average; the lance-headed rattlesnake (C. polystictus), native to the warm climate of Mexico, reproduces annually…

Spirituality


Stone sculptures of feathered serpents on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City

Indigenous Americans

Aztec paintings, Central American temples, and the great burial mounds in the southeastern United States are frequently adorned with depictions of rattlesnakes, often within the symbols and emblems of the most powerful deities.[87]
The Feathered Serpent of Mesoamerican religion was depicted as having the combined features of the quetzal and rattlesnake.[88] The Ancient Maya considered the rattlesnake to be a "vision serpent" that acted as a conduit to the "otherworld".[89]
Rattlesnakes are a key element in Aztec mythology and were widely represented in Aztec art, including sculptures, jewelry, and architectural elements.



(And in other media, Wikipedia!)


     When you are out and about, looking at those big boulders that resemble snake heads, linked by stone wall-like rows of stones, keep in mind that not only are the wall-like structures great rattlesnake habitats and hunting grounds but those big boulders, warmed by the sun and storing that heat, “traditional sites” perhaps, as Mr. Cancalosi relates in what you could call a sixteen year case study:
“When I reach my sacred, lichen covered, sandstone snake slab, a fluid, organic, natural tranquility and focus overtakes me. That is unless it’s a bad year and not many snakes are there or I’m too late and they have already departed for their winter denning sites. On a good year, such as this year, I am greeted by a dozen or more adults and dozens of newborn babies, intertwined at times, like a huge plate of serpentine spaghetti. The females, which are somewhat related, arrive at these traditional sites after they emerge from their winter dens, which are usually not too far away. They spend the summer lounging around and basking in the sun. By so doing they are heating up their bodies. The young which are developing inside are thereby cooking faster and will be born alive by summer’s end. The snakes are not always out. If it is too cold, they stay sheltered under the slab, which has many nooks and crannies underground. Conversely, when it is too hot and sunny they also go to ground. The trick for photography is to be there when the right conditions for the rattlesnakes and for photography coincide, which isn’t all that often. The rattlers will often share these sites with other snakes including copperheads, black rat snakes and garter snakes. At “my” site, I have photographed rattlers intimately intertwined with eastern garter snakes, their heads resting next to each other for hours of peaceful repose. I only recently read that timber rattlesnakes have been known to eat other snakes, especially garter snakes. I assume that the interspecific rapport that I have observed can only be explained by the fact that gravid rattlers generally don’t feed while gestating...”




     Looters of Sacred Sites should be aware that rattlesnakes were thought of as observers of human behavior by some Indigenous Peoples and might be keeping an eye on persons who don’t respect Indigenous Traditions, such as messing around with Sacred Stones of all kinds – and almost every kind of Ceremonial Stone Landscape feature makes a great place to find where these rattlesnakes live. Wikipedia notes that “In more heavily populated and trafficked areas, reports have been increasing of rattlesnakes that do not rattle. This phenomenon is commonly attributed to selective pressure by humans, who often kill the snakes when they are discovered. Non-rattling snakes are more likely to go unnoticed, so survive to reproduce offspring that, like themselves, are less likely to rattle.”

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Wood and Wire


     Here in what has become known as New England, we just say stone wall because that’s what everybody says describing a wide variety of stone constructions.

     “Look at this stone wall!” people say to me all the time – and in my younger days I might have responded “That’s a stone fence – a wall is something between a floor and a ceiling!”

      And I’d make an exception in the case of a retaining wall – sort of a “segment of stones between two floors” and as anyone familiar with the works of Paul Simon knows, “One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.”

     These days, I’m more likely to say “Interesting Row of Stones” before making an assumption that I’m looking at a human made construction composed of stones - boulders and cobbles of various sizes, composed of certain types of rock, sometimes as found, sometimes enhanced a little (or a lot) by human hands using a variety of tools – that is someone’s idea of a stone fence,  “a barrier, railing, or other upright structure… enclosing an area of ground to mark a boundary, control access, or prevent escape,” as my first result of a Google Search tells me.
     I did cut out the phrase “typically of wood or wire” in that definition since that doesn’t describe the  material used to create a stone fence at all but does convey the idea that wooden fences and wire fences are the more easily constructed barriers, far less trouble than gathering stones, stacking and fitting stones in a way that will make your intended boundary last for at least a little while as you control access and prevent escapees from escaping an enclosed area of ground – either a floor or someone else’s ceiling, especially  if you are Paul Simon’s downstairs neighbor.
Making Charcoal without any stones in CT 

    “Typically of wood or wire” also supposedly brackets the time frame between when the dire need of New Englanders to enter a time consuming and labor intensive “Golden Age of Stone Wall Building” began because of Post-Revolutionary War deforestation and ended with the invention of barbed wire in the 1870s.
Making fences without any stones or barbed wire in CT

    In what has become known as New England (and New York), there were at one time an estimated 250,000 miles of stone walls, according to an 1870 survey by the Department of Agriculture, assumed to have been built by Post Contact Settler Colonists, many from Great Britain, over a time period that gets stretched out to 250 years.
    I don’t know how reliable that quarter million miles number is, much less the assumption about the builders.
    I also don’t know how reliable this statement is: “In Great Britain, 70,000 miles of stonewalls were built over a time period of 5,000 years.”
    The number pops up here (as well as in a video by Kevin Gardner, a stone mason who lectures about the stone fences we call stone walls while he builds miniature stone fences that we call miniature stone walls):  https://www.conservationhandbooks.com/dry-stone-walls-why/


If these Europeans were so slow in the Old World, then how did they get so fast in the New World??

Motivated by Merino Sheep maybe an important factor: "The majority of New England’s stone walls were built within a 30- year period from 1810-40..." https://www.concordmonitor.com/The-History-and-Ecology-of-Stone-Walls-7163910


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Big Eye Small Snake Effigy (Morris CT)

Doug Poger photo 2019


Sunlight spoils the photo of brush covered row of stones above,
an overlay of just as dubious quality,
a smaller segment of stone that connects to larger structures...







...Mr. Dangermon and I walked back to the car, walking thru a brush covered entrance along the more massive and unusual undulating and curved row of stones which shows quite distinctly
in the LiDar image above:


Where 3 Rows meet:
Before and After Repaired Causeway:
Before photo from: