Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Eckville Terraces

By Geophile

Here is a series of photographs taken at the site I refer to as the Eckville Terraces. I am by no means certain that this site is related to the others on this blog. At the same time, it was an intriguing place and hard to get a handle on. The first picture (above) is of the place we unthinkingly chose when we wanted to sit down and have a snack and a drink of water. It is not a rock pile like any I've seen here. Maybe it is a natural formation or maybe it is a group of rocks thrown here when the area may have been cleared for some reason since colonial times. The rocks surrounded and helped to form an attractive comfortable-looking depression. We sat there and talked.

Below is a view of one of the terraces. Although we were on the side of a steep mountain, you can see how nearly level this is. This view is from somewhere below Owl's Head across to the Pinnacle Ridge, for those of you who may be familiar with Berks County, PA.

For those who are not, Eckville means village of the eck, and eck in German means corner. At this point, the Kittatinny Ridge, after running single and straight for a long distance, curves back on itself, forming a hook that ends in the Pinnacle, a high point and impressive rock outcropping that once had caves and who knows what else--even now, there's a rock pile there for people to add rocks to--and then runs off straight again in the same direction as before. Eckville is at the inside of the hook.

Here is a view of one of the rises between the terraces. I think some of the rises were higher, but none was more than twice this high. You can see another rise in the background.

This is just another view of a terrace, showing a sort of gully. The trees here are very young. I would say less than forty years, but that's a guess.

These are rocks that were a part of one of the rises. When I start to argue in my mind that these terraces were created in the last hundred years, the thick moss on that rock gives me pause. And does that rock group look a little . . . suspicious to you?

Another group of rocks that make up part of a rise. Attractive to the eyes of a rock head.
But what if the whole area was a place, for example, where wood was harvested and then burned for charcoal to be used in lime kilns or wherever they used it? Wouldn't they have had to pile the stones on the rises as they built the terraces? And leave the ones already at the rises in place?

But then there are these pesky lines of rocks. Even if this were Indian, it's possible they could be field clearing rows. Nice spot for a field of special ceremonial tobacco, up there near Hawk Mountain, Owl's Head and the Pinnacle, outcropping lookouts that are even spiritually impressive to a lot of us poor dumb white people today. From any of them, and even from these terraces if they were free of trees, you can see all the way across the Lehigh Valley to the Delaware River, I don't know how many miles--it's an hour's drive.

And below you see another thing that gave me pause. Trees rarely grow this way. It could be natural, but it contributed more question marks to the virtual balloon drawn above my head.

So my conclusion is--inconclusive. I tend toward colonial or post-colonial activity, but that, of course, does not preclude other activity. I post this whole thing partly to point out how gray some of these areas are. Sometimes admitting I don't know is the only way to keep from making false assumptions and erroneous statements. Comments are welcome.

I haven't posted it here, but I also have a great looking photo of a snake-head-like rock that may have been taken at the terraces. It is on a CD, right between pictures of here and those of another site, but the light and colors look more like these. Since I also have a picture of an interestingly-marked rock of uncertain provenance (d@#*!), I'll post them together one day soon.


Geophile said...

I now think that these terraces were probably made by charcoal colliers in the 1800s.

pwax said...

I think some of those charcoal makers were Indians. EG Norfolk CT.