Monday, April 07, 2014

Stone Layers Along Quassapaug Trail/Road


The modern Quassapaug Road (above) got its name from the Old Indian Trail to Lake Quassapaug. The stones along the road tell a story of sorts, from the oldest remnants of the Indigenous zigzag rows of stone that bordered the ancient trail to the most modern of stones, the pile just recently imported and dumped at the end of a driveway plus all that ended up where they are in the years in between.
Where the stones are completely gone is also part of the story. There’s perhaps many places the old stones could have gone, re-used for something somewhere or maybe they are buried right there.

Or perhaps they ended up across the street on the opposite (west) side of this four corners, the road just south of Hamilton Ave. and Middle Road Turnpike. Maybe the stones were used constructing the culvert. Just a step or two away, however, there’s a small segment of stones in the zigzag pattern, not so much like thrown stones up against a wooden Snake Fence, but something stacked more carefully, often a large boulder at the points of the zigzag, sometimes effigy-like stones chosen and placed “just so:”


A retaining wall and what looks like a whole bunch of tossed or dumped field clearing stones. 

On the opposite side of the road, I can tell you a little bit of a story. The house was a project by a local Technical/Vocational School a friend of mine attended in the early 1970’s.
This was formerly a field, part of a nearby farm. The old farm house is right around the corner, now a nursery, I believe. Under all those stones, tossed on the edge of the field, there may be a buried stone construction, possibly zigzag...
Maybe the old rows of stones are buried under stones and brush and fill…
Farther down the road is much the same:
Except for one segment of zigzag projecting out from under all the newer layers:
(This segment of row appeared here before: http://rockpiles.blogspot.com/2014/01/zigzag-in-snow.html )

The opposite side of the road does show some evidence of one time having zigzag rows present:

Above: “point” stones – large boulders about ten feet apart and some remaining cobbles. Below: a single segment of zigzag stone row remains, cobbles between “point” boulders… 


Moving farther north on the opposite side of the road shows some some signs of possibly the tendency to straighten out those low zigzags rows of stones into a more "proper" New England stone wall. A break in styles, most likely shows a later attempt on the left, while on the right there are a few more possibilities. The Indigenous row may have been a linear sort of row of stones... 


Often, around here, a zigzag row of stone turns into a more linear sort of construction, just as it does further down the road, on the opposite side of the former trail:
The longer existing linear segment has a little short segment that reaches out toward the former trail at a right angle, ending in a large boulder. There’s a good sized cobble on top of that boulder:


      Perhaps that cobble is a effigy as are possibly a few more a little farther back on that little jog, and some interestingly shaped and placed stones on the longer row as well:

The above photo is surprisingly reminiscent of a detail in  a “rock wall” from a “High Place” near Mount Shasta in Northern California in an Alyssa Alexandria photo below:

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