Category Archives: Indians

Connecticut River and New England Natives, ritualistic landscapes, sacred stones, old trails, you name it.

New Weir Information

I spoke too soon about ancient Indian weirs in the neighborhood. So, with new information in hand about the stone fishing structures, a follow-up’s in order. My last column questioned the curious (to me) design, and thus the functionality, of two extant, manmade, downstream-pointed weirs on the lower Westfield and uppermost Chicopee rivers. Little did […]

Indian Weir Dynamics: A New Twist

A long, winding path sat me in this bow-back Windsor chair this morning – seasoned-oak oozing warmth from the woodstove to stimulate thought about Indian weirs. My introduction to these manmade fish-catching structures occurred more than 30 years ago. Deerfield artist/illustrator Al Dray had been following my columns on salmon, shad, and ancient spring fishing […]

Punch Brook Revisited

One never knows what peripheral treasures will appear during deed research. This one focuses on new information about a brook I wrote about less than two years ago. First, a preface. The brook reference jumped off a deed last week while I was trying to figure out a fascinating Revolutionary War powder horn owned by […]

Sturgeon Survive, Native Fishing Camps Fade

Two recent meetings I chose to attend pulled my focus to Connecticut River Basin fisheries and, more specifically, those of our own Pioneer Valley – a topic I have explored in depth over the years, be it with books, scientific reports, fishing rods, shotguns, or paddles in hand. First came the January 17 meeting of […]

Mount Toby Visit Stirs Memories

These days, I find myself wandering back and forth between local history and prehistory, and although my current focus leans strongly toward the former, the latter is always within reach. I get a good dose of cutting-edge discovery about ancient human-proboscidean (mastodon and wooly mammoth) interactions from archaeologist friend Mike Gramly, who in recent years […]

Not Devil’s Throne, Please

Ten a.m., Sunday before Thanksgiving, rays of blinding sunlight penetrating naked hardwoods from the source low in a partly cloudy southeastern sky. I’m parked beside a strong metal gate barring the south end of a long-ago discontinued county road born as in Indian trail. There I had reluctantly agreed to meet three members of a […]

Colonial Diary Offers Clues About Scandinavian Cupboard

An impromptu weekend trip to a friend’s Lake George summer home, the fascinating mid-18th-century journal of a scholarly foreign traveler, and an interestingly carved and painted 1789 Scandinavian tabernacle or bonnet-top cupboard that had previously stirred my inquisitive juices. That’s what’s on my plate today, and what I’ll serve in soothing soapstone warmth wafting from […]

Lake George Oozes WMass Links

Midweek, early evening, front-yard burning bushes displaying a light, peaceful autumn crimson that’s brightening by the day. My wife Joey is watching local news in the west parlor when she hears the familiar audible alert for an incoming text. It’s longtime friend Debbie, from Cohasset. Debbie wonders if we’d like to join her for the […]

Fourth-Grade Photo Stirs Childhood Memories

A 60-year-old photo posted recently on Facebook by a former classmate really got my wheels spinning. Shot on the final day of school in June 1963, the black-and-white image appeared on Deerfield Now. It showed my fourth-grade class standing on the front granite stairs leading into the two-story, brick South Deerfield Elementary School that then […]

Hinsdale Houses Tell a Story

Seeking brief respite from a tangled maze of early South Deerfield deeds, I scheduled a short trip to the Granite State last week. There, on a summerlike spring morning, we found warm, welcoming guide Sharron Holmes Smith awaiting our visit at the historic Col. Ebenezer Hinsdale House in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Friend and neighbor Richard […]

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