Friday, November 09, 2007

Cairns with standing Manitou Stones in Grafton, NY - from Norman Muller

Norman writes:

A month ago, I and three other had a tour of the Grafton, NY, area with Warren Broderick, an archivist with the NY State Museum. Warren is familar with some interesting lithic sites in and around Albany, and he took us to this beautiful area in a state park in Grafton. Most impressive were a number of large stone mounds or cairns, two of which had standing stones stuck in the middle. These mounds were near a beaver pond and at the base of a steep rocky ledge, on top of which was a stone seat and some indistinct stonework. I was most impressed by a stone on top of one of the mounds (shown with a friend of mine, John Waltz, to the right, and Mariann to the left). This stone looked much like the god stones that Ezra Stiles writes about. We had a gorgeous day for a visit, and the woods were beautiful early in October.
The photos I sent are more or less in order. Numbers 30-34 are of the cairn with a large standing stone, probably sandstone, placed in the middle.
This is similar to one I saw in Waldeboro, Maine, about five years ago (see above). This mound was also near a beaver pond, shown in the distance in one of the photos. Number 38 shows a mound with a notched standing stone, and No. 42 shows the unusual looking manitou stone. The last image in the series (actually the first), is a view through the woods.
No stonework, but just a beautiful sight.


theseventhgeneration said...

Nice photos! I like the stone seat. Could that be a niche at the base, near the gentleman's foot?

JimP said...

There have been similar types of cairns reported in Connecticut, although the standing stones in CT are bigger and exhibit more of a lean. Still, they are cairns with standing stones emanating from their centers.

One reference for this type of cairn in CT was historical (secondary) and was an illustration from an engraving depicting the alleged site of a great chief's grave. I'd have to dig a bit to remember the exact citation.

The other CT reference for this type of cairn was in a photograph taken in Pachaug State Forest, sent to me by the RI NEARA Chapter coordinator Jim Egan. The exact location of that cairn is unknown to me, but the photo was indeed impressive showing a great shaft of granite shooting out from the center of a nicely-built cairn. It also struck me that we were probably only seeing the very top of the cairn and there was probably more beneath the earth.