Monday, November 05, 2007

Around Nagog Hill; eg a large monumental pile - Acton, MA

Nagog Hill in Acton has numerous rock piles on it. I thought it would be fun to go out and explore around some fringes areas I hadn't ever gotten to. In the end I saw things everywhere. Some "graves" in one place and some monumental platform cairns in another. Perhaps the most impressive thing and easily the largest rock pile, made from the largest rocks, of any I have seen on Nagog Hill was this one: facing southwest and built into a natural outcrop. This would be as good a southwestern view as you would be likely to get on Nagog Hill. I suspect Wachusett would be visible, if not for the trees. Here it is the pile from below: And from above: And from the side: This sized pile could be from field clearing. But the constituent rocks are rather consistently in size and there are no other little dumpings of smaller rocks nearby. So it does not have the right characteristics for field clearing. Also it is at a high point. It is more of the style of large piles from the Manoosnoc's and from the Moosehorn. It is definately not a common style for Acton.

Walking in different spots on the hill, I thought I found a recent stone fort built from what was perhaps a more ancient rock pile. And also I saw new "stacks" next to the trail and built on stone walls behind people's houses. It appears that eveyone builds rock piles on Nagog Hill. I'll show some more in further posts.


JimP said...

Found this reference to Nobscot in A Handbook of New England, 1916, Boston: Porter E. Sargeant, pg. 491.

"Nobscot Mountain (648 ft) to the north is the highest elevation between the Blue Hills and Mt. Wachusett. On the summit is an Indian cairn. Nobscot spring water is bottled near here and supplied to Boston and vicinity."

Ever see a cairn on Nobscot?

pwax said...

Hi Jim:
I went a couple of times to look and never saw anything. Curtis Hoffman says there is a cairn field up there somewhere, but I have felt it was not worth looking more. The place is badly "boy-scout'ed". Maybe I should re-consider and go look again. It is a big hill.

JimP said...

I've been told there is at least one very nice mortar stone somewhere on the BSA reservation. Someone there can tell you where to find that. I would think that alone would be worth seeing if you haven't.

pwax said...

Yes, although a weekend without rockpiles feels bad.

pwax said...

Northwest slope below the orchard