Saturday, May 16, 2009

AKA "The Lodge"

Ezra Stiles writes, "I have defcribed their firft refidence in the Cave on the Rock. Mr. Sperry told me of two others, one about two miles north, and the third at the Lodge and Fort, fo called, about four miles north-weft in the wil- dernefs. Thefe I afterwards vifited.
The fecond refidence is a little more dubious than , the firft and lair, which are unqueftionably certain. It waf about two miles and a half north of the firfr, on the weft bank of a rivulet running along at the foot of the weft fide of the Weft Rock, and about half a mile north of the houfe of Thomas Darling, Efq. This gentleman was a man of literature and folid judgment, and the moil inapt to credulity, efpecially ot fables, of any man. Retiring from town many years ago, he fettled on a paternal eftate at the upper end of Sperry's houfe. He had been converfant with the Sperrys and, their traditions for many years, and was fully convinced that this place was one of the refidences of the Judges. In Auguft 1785, he went with me and fhe,ved me the fpot of their little domicile, when fome of the wall or ftone ruins were then remaining. I examined it with clofe attention, and made a drawing of it on the fpot, one of the Sperrys being with us, and affirming the immemorial tradition, and herein concurring with Mr. Jofeph Sperry, who referred me to the fame fpot...The third place of their abode in the vicinity of New- Haven, was at a place called to this day, The Lodge. It was fmiated at a fpring in a valley, or excavation in a declivity, about three miles weft, or a little northweft, from the laft mentioned refidence. A little northward of it was an eminence called the Fart to this day, from whence there was an extenfive and commanding prof- peel:, and a full view of New-Haven harbor to the *. £. feven miles off. From this they could fee tha vefTels paffing in and out of the harbor. When they came to this abode is uncertain ; it was in the fummer. And they left it and removed to Milford Auguft 1661 ; after having refided in and about New-Haven for near half a year, from 7th of March to i9th of Aug. 1661. During this time they had two other occafional lodgments in the woods ; one at the houfs of Mr. Riggs, newly fet up in, the wildernefs, at Paugaffet or Derby ; another between that and Milford. They were fbme times alfo at Totoket or Braaford. Thus they fhifted about, fecretly changing their reclufes...Weft of this, and about one hundred rods north of the great'or convenient lodgment, on deacon Peck's farm, lies another hillock or eminence, called to this day, and in the records Ib early as 1675, " Providence Hill:" between which and Fort Rocks hill is a valley and brook. Between thc-fe two hills runs the dividend line of the towns of Milford and New-Haven. Milford tradition is that it acquired that name rims : While the Judges refided at the lodge on the fouthern hill...walking upon the tops of hills, and the Indians always burned rings or tracts on thofe fummits, to give a clear view for hunting deer : fuppofmg themfelves difcovered they took to the bufii, and to deceive their purfuers ranged a north courfe between the hills, and giving .them a falfe fcent, turned off to the wettward, and came round the hill to their old place in fecurity. On account of this deliverance they called this northweftem hill Providence Hill. It is faid there are ftill the remains of another Cave at the fouth-eaft declivity of Fort Rocks, fuppofed and traditioned to have alfo been one of the Judges' burrows. However, all thefe feveral lodgments hereabouts, may be properly comprehended under the general name, " the Lodge."
Thefe, with one at PaugafTet or Derby, and another in the woods half way between Derby and Milford, give, I believe, all their lodgments at and about New- Haven : and thefe inclufive of one at Totoket and Guilford, give all their lodgments in Connecticut, for three years and an half, and until their final removal and abforption in Hadley, where they ended their days."

Letter from Dr. Carrington:
"Milford, September I/?, 1794.
" Reverend and dear Sir,
" I find by examining the town records of Milford, i that the place called the Lodge is the high lands a little to the weiiward of Captain Enoch Newton's houfe, the now farm of deacon Peck. near an hundred years ago this land is defcribed to be at a place called the Lodge, above the head of Mill River, and is fo defcribed eve; lince in the deeds of transfer. To the northward of this about a mile, and on the north fide of the road to Oxford, is an hili at this day called Providence Hill. 'Squire Strong, who is now above eighty years old', teils me that full iixty years ago he was on this hill in company with a Mr. George Clarke, then an old man, and who then lived a little eaft of the hill; he told them that was Providence Hill, and that it had its name from the Judges retiding there. He adds, this Mr. Clarke was ah intelligent man -—And in a deed executed by this Mr. Clarke in 1716, of land on the hill below, to his fon, he defcribes it as being at a place railed the Lodge, or Morocco. Betwixt thcfe two hills there is a brook of water running weftward, called now Bladen's Brook, and was fo by the records, as early as 1700, but from what it had its name I cannot learn. A iittle eaftof Providence Hill, on the New-Haven fide, is in hill which is commonly called the Fort, and I think iifed to be called the Lodge too, when I was a lad.— There is a tract of land lying on Milford fide, beginning as far north as Amity meeting-houfe, and running fouth three or four miles, which has always been called the Race. I find in the records, that in perambulating the lines betwixt New-Haven and Milford, early in Governor Law's day, they fay they fixed bounds on Hornes's race: that they went northward and fet up another on the Lodge ; and further on, and fixed ann- ther at Bladen's Brook, at the mouth of Station Brook, a fmall run of water coming out from Homer's Fort, Why thefe are called Homes's Race and Fort, cannot leain. 'Squire Strong fays he always fuppofed it wa's from the Judges afliiming that name ; but does not recollect he ever heard fo. There never was any perfon in this town of that name as I can find. I have enclo" fed you a plan reprefenting thofe places, which may make them more intelligible to you. The "Lodge is juft twelve miles from Milford, and I judge about fe- ven from New-Haven. Deacon Peck, who has lived on the Lodge about fifty years, and has heard many things from his anceflors on this fubjeic, particularly from the aforefaid Mr. Clarke, his father in law ; but tlees notfeem now to recolleil much about them ;- but ihis he feems to fully recollect, that while the Judges lived lie re they had their proviiions from one Sperry's houfe, in Sperry's farm, laft Richard Sperry's houfe, now Mr. Darling's land. Hutcbinfon fays they left New-Haven, and lodged in a mill; this mill v.:as pro- ' Hbably at the Beaver Ponds ; thence they went into the woods, met Sperry, &c. who condu&ed them to Hatchet-Harbor. This Hatchet-Harbor was, I believe, the fame with the Lodge. I hear a Mr. Clarke, now 80 ^pears old, fon to George, and lives near the Lodge, lays it was fo called from the cirCumftance of their finding a hatchet there the firft night they came there ; but I have not feen him to make the enquiry myfelf.— 'Squire Strong tells me he has heard his mother tell of their living in Tomkins's flone cellar ; that a number ot girls a fpinning above, fung a royal fong, counting on the regicides, not knowing they were below and heard them—the place called George's cellar. 'Squire Strong tells me the tradition is, that a perfon by the name of George Alfop once lived there, but who he was, or from whence he eame, there is none can give any account. The old people in this town have heard their anceftors tell about the Judges, .but feem not to recollect any thing particular about them, except they all agree of their living at Tomkins's houfe."

Your moft humble fervanf,
Edward Carrington.

(to)Reverend Dofior Stiles.

" P. S. There is a tradition of a very curious fe- pulehre found many years ago, about two miles north- . weft of the Lodge ; that it was in the fide of fome rocks, that it was made of ftones laid by hands in a very regular manner ; and when opened a corpfe was found in it, at kaft the bones of a man fuppofed to be fix feet and a half high. It was accidently found by removing the ftones for a building."


  1. Hi, Tim. Very interesting post! I live here in Woodbridge, not too far from this property. I posted a story on my own blog a while back about the Milford-New Haven boundary line that's mentioned above -- thought you might enjoy reading it: