Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Little Sabattus Mountain Area Parts 1 and 2

Reader Rob Sirois writes:
Hello Everyone:
Sunday I had gone to Little Sabattus Mountain in Greene to see what I could find. Sabattus was the name of the Abenaki chief who lived in this area. I had intended for some time to check the area out and had time on Sunday to do so. I parked at a boat launch off the Hooper Pond Road in Greene. Little Sabattus Mountain was on the other side of Hooper Pond (also called Little Sabattus Pond). Some large rocks on the side of the hill across the road from the boat ramp had caught my attention, so I climbed that hill first. The rocks were an assemblage of erratics which seemed quite natural, yet also nifty. I explored the hill a bit more and came upon a cairn not far from the path. Not far from the cairn were two stone walls that were at right angles to each other and a 30 foot gap between them. There also appeared to be some smaller rock piles nearby, but the snow was just deep enough not to get a clear picture of them. Further down the trail I found one more cairn that was backed against a boulder. It wasn’t far from someone’s backyard. A bit more exploring on the hill produced nothing else, but I was in a hurry to get across the pond to see what was on Little Sabattus Mountain.

Sunday was chilly, but I didn’t feel it until I crossed that pond, the wind seemed to cut right through me. On the far side of the pond were some boulders and next to them was trail up the mountain. When the trail leveled off I spotted a rock in the woods with a nice tidy pile on top of it. A bit further in the woods beyond that was perched boulder that looked as if it would be quite at home in a Japanese Zen garden. It’s eight to nine feet tall and seems to be supported underneath by a few small rocks. Some animal had dug a hole under it and judging by the scat, it’s probably a porcupine. There may be some small rock piles nearby, but it’s hard to say for sure with the snow on the ground. I searched the top of the mountain and found little else but the remains of long lost farmsteads. I noted that an old road had once traversed the top. I circled back to the propped boulder and found some low stone mounds. The snow wasn’t deep, but it still coated everything evenly and was quite crusty. It would a good idea to revisit the area in the spring to check it out better. The good thing about this time of year is the ability to walk on water. Swamps are no longer an impediment. The other thing is that snowmobile clubs open up trails that would otherwise be posted to trespass.
This site is not posted, but you'll need a boat to get to it after March unless you find someone who doesn't mind you crossing their property to get to it. A canoe would add a little adventure to getting to the site.


pwax said...

Very pretty.

I was cold on Sunday too.

Anonymous said...

I was informed by Nancy Lecompte, who has the web site Ne-Do-Ba, that there never was a “Chief Sabattus”. This person was likely an invention by historians in the past; made up (perhaps unwittingly) from several people named Sabattus and given the title “Chief” to solidify the credibility of some shaky scholarship. Other people passed on this information, myself included, giving this information a life of its own. For my part, I wish to apologize.
Sabattus was once a common name amongst the Abenaki: it was their approximation of the French pronunciation of John the Baptist (say that three times fast).
Thank you.
Rob Sirois

Tim MacSweeney said...

Thank YOU, Rob!