Friday, August 15, 2014

The Humpty Dumpty Situation Turtle


    The paper trail history of this old saltbox house I live only goes back to the "homelott" allotment of 1734. The origin of the house might go back to the first "deed' or the Nonnewaug Purchase of 1700, or possibly the confirmatory deed of 1710. Perhaps it is the frame of a house, recorded in an old local history, that was traded for another salt box not too far away, explaining how the Atwood family came to own it rather than the Minor family - just like that "Miller's House" down by the old bridge and mill ruins. I think this house my family lives in predates old early sawmill, framed on the spot from chestnut trees into timbers, a small wall showing it was built from a section of a single tree pit sawn and nailed with big hand made rosehead nails, the cambian edge still intact, placed bole end up and bole end down alternately for about five feet.
    I think the house was built over time, put here by the Pomperauge Plantation, regarded as John Minor's property perhaps, since he was the Indian Interpreter and Military leader of the group, keeping an eye on the Nonnewaug Wigwams, waiting to acquire those already cleared floodplain fields, waiting for the big move that I infer happened in that year of 1734, when Indigenous People began to gather together at Schaghticoke.
     The property has some stone features, furniture of the cultural landscape of the before 1700's that includes rows of stones and stone heaps. Much of the newer stone work around here has been borrowed from the older since it is very easy to do so and reused since around 1700, fancy work to fill and everything inbetween.  Such as a garden border or some cement steps. It would be an impossible Humpty Dumpty Situation to try to put anything back together, but I am in the habit of placing found stones of the same color together here and there on a stone wall or in my garden, although some of the really striking ones sit on a shelf or two inside. Sometimes they are found right together, as if picked up at the same time from one of the stone piles in the yard and put down together once again.
  Two interesting moments occurred just this week.

This bunch came from a former garden border; I had noticed a possible turtle shell and head resemblance - especially the back edge that could be said to greatly resemble a snapping turtle. A year or more later I thought I'd put the two other similar stones with it, as if to resemble forelegs:




The second was earlier in the week at some crumbling cement steps made in the 1960's, same sort of stone, oddly enough, but given the same sort of trial placement as testudinate:





     

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