Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Upton Chamber

I went on a fieldtrip led by Cathy Taylor of the Upton Historical Commission, the current owners of the Upton Chamber. Although we started the fieldtrip with Pratt Hill and the large stone "mounds" up there and only saw the underground stone chamber later in the day, it makes more sense to tell you about the chamber and about what Mavor and Dix had to say about it in chapter 2 of their book Manitou. They say a person looking out from the chamber on a dark night could see stars rising or setting behind a distant hill called Pratt Hill, and that the Pleiades make their first appearance each year at the same spot on this horizon, at the exact location of some stone mounds on the hill. In the book, at one point when he is exploring the hill, Mavor walks north along the hilltop looking for another rock pile at around 500 yards, and when he gets that far along the hilltop - sure enough- there is a large rock pile where he hoped to find it, at exactly the northern extremity of the field of view from the chamber.

Anyway, the chamber was located very implausibly down in a sub-urban backyard (see previous video). Here is the entrance and the entrance passageway:
There was almost a foot of water in the tunnel but I was not to be deterred and I took my boots and socks off and went in for some interior shots. I should have taken more:
Here is the view outward:
I cannot begin to imagine sitting in here looking at that hilltop which is totally invisible from here today.

So in the next post I'll describe the piles on Pratt Hill

Update: If you want to visit this chamber please contact the Upton Historical Commission. Cathy Taylor (508)529-4073.

1 comment :

Norman said...

Malcolm Pearson, a long-time NEARA and ESRS member and expert photographer, showed me this chamber in the late 1970s. He had once owned it, as he did Mystery Hill in NH. Although he is in his 90s, he lives not far from the chamber in Sutton, on Route 146. You should interview him.