Wednesday, August 27, 2008


If you happen to drive by the entrance to Hammonasset Beach State Park (, you might want to take a look at this boulder and the stone rows that extend on either side of it...

I posted some rather poor quality pictures at "Waking Up", and will add here the link I couldn't yesterday, from an April Fool's Day article in the NY Times from 2007:

I just happened to run into a former co-worker, whose family just happened to be part owner's of the airport in the article. He just happened to tell me of all the artifacts he used to find there as a kid....

And I'd like to meet Dr. Rankin who is mentioned in the article: "Imagining how the landscape lent itself to use by an earlier civilization becomes easier after taking a tour led by Donald Rankin, a Madison resident and retired doctor, who teaches classes on Native-American culture in Hammonasset Beach State Park — named for a local tribe — which hugs the Griswold property...On a recent balmy March morning, Mr. Rankin, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and baseball cap, pumping his fists for emphasis, showed a spot in a field near the Meigs Point Nature Center where, in 2005, he found a white quartzite rock that had been fashioned into a scraper. He also pointed out a crater, 35 yards in diameter, in a ribbon of woods between a campground and Route 1. Production at this early 20th-century gravel pit, he said, was halted after workers stumbled upon artifacts. The site was brought to Mr. Rankin’s attention recently by workers building the Shoreline Greenway, a bike path that runs past it.
From a platform along the park’s eastern edge, where the forest meets a vast salt marsh, Mr. Rankin introduced Weir Rock, which slopes upward from green grasses. A narrow crevice that slices through its middle section would have been ideal for trapping salmon swimming upstream to spawn, he said.
Even if the Griswold dig reveals nothing significant — after all, it will target only a few areas, and nothing under the buildings or runway — Mr. Rankin remains a believer.
“Beyond a reasonable doubt, there are many burial sites here,” Mr. Rankin said, the roofs of hangars visible behind him. “To Native-Americans, the airport would be considered sacred land.”

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