Friday, January 20, 2012


The Gungywamp Society - Main Page :

I’ve occasionally taken a look at various photos and information (and mis-information) about the Gungywump site. I’ve had many people ask me what I knew about it or thought about it, and having never visited the place, I never had much to say. Well, I came upon this just this morning, something I hadn’t seen before, a fine bit of Historical Era Archeology/Anthropology, which states:

“Much of the colonial and Early American structures in the Gungywamp indicate that the area was used for sheep farming. Ms. Susan Sutherland wrote an article about another sheep farm about five miles away from the Gungywamp complex which has similar stone structures as are found in the Gungywamp. Ms. Sutherland's article is entitled Colonial History: The Sheep Farm, Early Edgecomb Family and Fort Hill Brook Industrial Sites.”

If you comb through the article, you will find many references to the Indian Fort, Indian Corn barns,” zigzag stone rows, a “sumac mill,” and “heaps of stones.” It also mentioned that “Given the extensive stone walls and gravel mounds on Fort Hill Brook, it would not be surprising if slave labor had been used to build these and to do other tasks.”

I’ll say this: Ignoring the fact that just before the Historic Period, there was a great number of Native People living in the area, close to the sea, actively making use of resources maintained by the use of fire, just might have used stone rows to contain and control those fires, might not be “good science.”

This photo below made me think of a stone row near my house, (detailed in the post

Text from the article says, “The dividing line between the property of one of the private landowners and the former YMCA property is a very old colonial rock boundary wall. This rock boundary wall was crossed earlier in the tour just before the small ledge shelter that was excavated in 2007 and 2008. It is one the longest continuous rock walls found in the Gungywamp area. It continues from the former YMCA property to the west and runs roughly straight through the Gungywamp area, across North Gungywamp Road (a dirt road off of Gungywamp Road) and proceeds into woods onto private property. A number of the rock walls in the Gungywamp area zigzag and some were clearly used for livestock enclosures, but this very old colonial rock wall, thickly covered in moss, runs straight.

In Camp Whiting, off of the Litchfield Turnpike in Woodbridge CT is another I was also reminded of:

As the tour guest walks the loop trail, "the main highway," and crosses through the gap in this very old rock wall, the tour guest will notice on the right that the rock wall continues up a steep incline. The construction of this rock wall was clearly built with stability in mind. Instead of placing the rocks to slope with the steep incline, which would make the rock wall unstable, the rock wall builders dug into the steep incline so that the rocks could be placed horizontally, thereby causing the rock wall to form a sort of "stair step" design up the steep incline…”

Gungywamp: A Virtual Tour

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