Thursday, October 02, 2014

Rocky Pond Brook - Hollis NH

I have been up to Hollis NH before, with lots of finds around Dunklee Pond but disappointing results at Rocky Pond Brook.  
This is essentially the same woods as before and I probably should not have gone back. But I followed a different trajectory - starting at A going north and circling around the back side of the brook and back along a old road to B.Through most I my walk there was little except an occasional stone wall and I was happy to see signs of the "hand of man" and followed them. I didn't see much. 
Just before stepping out of the woods I did a bit of hunting that I am proud of. There is a historic period homestead right at the road and, approaching from the north, there were numerous stone walls along the road. Thinking "don't stop looking just cuz this is the end of the walk" and I was craning my neck to see into the woods. Then there was a slightly different, wider, stone wall going left (east) down into a brush covered area. Thinking "I wouldn't have passed up that invitation earlier, especially heading down into a wet spot". 
So I went and looked closer, getting down into the bushes to a seasonal stream bed. Here a fallen tree reveals a well that presumably belonged to the homestead.
I continued through to the other  side where the bushes thinned and there was a ridge in front of me. Thinking "wait, go look in the bushes along this side of the brook" and I found this mound, tucked in there:
According to some people, the presence of a nearby historic period homestead and walls make it unlikely this is a Native American mound. By contrast, I think it simply adds to the possibility the homestead was occupied by an Indian family. Let's take a closer look:
A piece of white glassware here.
A saucepan there. 
Thinking "what does this mean?". Since these (colonial?) artifacts are superficial, they could have been added later, not necessarily built in the original pile. But I also think it's significant that someone felt connected enough to this mound that they had a ceremony here. Original builders or not, the suggestion of a connection between historic times and mound building cultures is important. Real or not, I believe the connection existed in the mind of the person leaving the glass and saucepan.
Some other views:
Looking back from a few steps away one sees there is more to the pile. I did not chase it any further into the bushes. After that, I walked over to the ridge and saw a familiar structure, which I have photo'd before somewhere:

More hints of recent ceremony. The connection to the mound, at least in in someones mind, is most interesting. A last look:


Tim MacSweeney said...

That new book of Lucianne Lavin's - there's a place it where's she talked about post contact Indigenous People's ownership and use of European porcelain and pottery.And continued returns to boulders and stone piles.
Is that quartz with a rind of something else around it in that little piece of stacked stones between the boulders?

pwax said...

Which picture?

Tim MacSweeney said...

The second photo of the " familiar structure, which I have photo'd before somewhere." I looked for the old post to see if it was in those, but it wasn't visible...