Monday, December 25, 2006

Robbins Hill, Chelmsford MA

The tallest hill in Chelmsford is Robbins Hill and it's southwestern slope is covered with old broken down rock piles. Most seem to be made with burnt rock, suggesting to me there were lots of fire up here sometime in the past. Why make this site public? Well it is old and already badly broken down. Some kind of paintball/scout activity has re-used the piles for little jumps and little fireplaces so I cannot see much hard in mentioning it. I do not think these are burials, for several reasons, and the worst that could happen is somebody could go up there and kick some of the rocks around.

There are small piles which, in some cases, are lined up with each other - three in a row along a line. They look like this:
Note the quartz in front of this last one.

There are also some larger "platform" piles:Consider these features:
  • ground piles in lines
  • occasional use of quartz
  • some larger platforms
  • signs of burnt rock
  • on a slope
These types of characteristics are what I call "marker pile" site characteristics. So, if you live nearby and want to see what I mean, go drive up Summit Rd, up the dirt part to where the road tops out and forks. Park there and walk south downhill.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

When Chelmsford was first founded in 1655, the Robbins Hill area was set aside for the Native Americans, who had improved the area by creating crop fields there. The Massachusetts Bay Colony planned to permit the Native Americans to continue to use this land until other land could be improved by felling the trees and breaking the ground and creating crop fields elsewhere.

This was evidently done at some time, and the land became common land to the town. In 1697, three men, Cap Bowers, Ephrem Hildreth, and Samuel Foster, were selected to devise a plan for keeping a flock of sheep in a public way upon Robbins Hill.

As far as i know, this land remains in the ownership of the Town of Chelmsford to this day, as there is a water tower on top of the hill.