Thursday, June 22, 2017

Above Above The Falls - Bolton

I wrote about "Above the Falls" before. The Ladies from Harvard also found it, and later Gail Coolidge found another site on the flat hilltop above. I think she called this place "Above Above the Falls". Gail and Sydney Blackwell took me there a couple weekends ago.


This site is one of the great ones in my opinion. It has a central boulder with rock pile, surrounded by large decrepit mounds - what I interpret as marker piles of an ancient type, and possibly a few burial mounds. There were also several small, newer-looking piles. Gail comments that it would be nice to see the place without trees. Boy would it! High up as it is, and flat, you would have been able to see Blue Hill, Wachusett, and Monadnock. As far as I am concerned, this is a "Stonehenge" that should be a highlight of any visit to Bolton Massachusetts. Today, with the trees it is a mysterious and moody spot, even perhaps a bit gloomy. Of course you have to ignore the lawnmower sounds in the background. Here is Sydney Blackwell and what I am calling the "central" boulder:
Here is a typical rectangle with hollows. Note the boulder in the background:
Then we examine a very messy linear feature ("wall") that leads from the suburban backyard,
though the site past the central boulder.
Passing things along the way. Here is a small pile with a white rock. The wall continues all the way across to the opposing suburban backyard. There is also a white rock in the wall.
The pile with white rock, looking in a different direction:
One of the larger mounds, that is more like a large marker pile than anything else:
Big, old, and triangular:
Not easy to photo, and you have to look close to see what I mean. I thought it looked triangular. Gail also thought it looked  "triangular". Another pile with a white rock:
Here is a different kind of rectangle with a hollow, made partially from soil:
Here is a nice combination:
This vertical sided pile looks to be from a completely different generation than the larger, more buried, ones.
The wall runs along past a number of things:
Again, note the boulder in the background. I did not notice it earlier but this is clearly a rectangular "U" quite similar to the one Sydney found, 3 pictures up.

(Another view:)
Here are 4-in-a-row:
It is why I am calling them "marker" piles. But they are more buried than any I have seen and at the larger end of the size range. More of the smaller newer-looking ones:
A last look at the central boulder:

I am impressed by:
 - the variety of different types of pile
 - the age of many of them, evidenced by the degree of degeneration and soil cover
 - the undisturbed nature of the layout
 - the complexity of the layout

This place begs to be surveyed and I bet there are alignments. The layout is similar to the original Above the Falls, with a central feature surrounded by marker piles. However, I never saw anything like burials at the original "Above the Falls" site and it is a lot "newer". I believe you can walk from one site to the other through the woods and it would be a spectacular park. Even more spectacular if you cleared the right trees.

Access is via a path on Warner Rd in Bolton. On the face of it, as we walked in, it was not at all the kind of place I was expecting rock piles. We were walking through completely flat, featureless, pine woods. There was one earthen bump to the left, but it was so out of place I assumed it was modern. Then we turned a corner, and I said to Gail "Are you going to pull a rabbit out of a hat?". She said "yes" and did.

8 comments :

Brian T said...


This Looks and sounds alot like my land in Minnesota. Is there any sign of a low boulder wall or rocks leading to the central rock?

BrianT said...



The more I look at it, the land pictured is pretty flat, My piles are on a ridge top. Is there water within view?

Matthew Howes said...

Very cool. Did you feel any gusts of wind around the central boulder cairn? just curious and thought I would ask.

pwax said...

Brian: Yes there is a wall ("linear feature").
Matt: No, no wind.

Brian T said...



Have any of the piles been scanned with any type of metal detector, or underground imaging equipment?

pwax said...

It might be interesting to know if there was metal there but there is no buried treasure. The piles that are visible are, in my opinion, what is most interesting about the place.

Brian T said...



I'm starting to realize that whatever culture made these piles, had the ability to isolate metal bearing rocks for tools and sculpting mediums. ( I.E "Rune Rock") Maybe the weight? Being partially metallic Seems to add to the individual Longevity of the piece protecting it from erosion and weathering. Either way these pieces tend to be at the top of the pile face down, placed under a flat rock

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