Thursday, March 25, 2010

Site by the Turtle Rock - NY

by theseventhgeneration
The lure of this site was explained to me as a cellar hole (no roof), a V shaped opening facing a stone wall (to the south), a very wet floor, and a neat shelf built into the back wall. How could I resist?

Walking along and looking for it, I bypassed a few rock piles and the "turtle rock", realizing I would have to go back and explore, but I wanted to find that cellar hole first. When I found this cellar hole, I was not impressed. The opening faces south, so I was leery that I had found what I was looking for.A short walk, maybe 75 feet, further to the south yielded the find. It is exactly as described, but for one wall of the V entryway having collapsed. This shot is looking north, through what is left of the entryway, toward the shelf.Looking at it, I wonder if it was built as a V or has time taken its toll? The drystone construction to the left in the photo above is thick, maybe 3 to 4 feet, so the construction could be intentional.

Close up of the cool shelf.There are 2 wet spots in the floor. This is the larger of the two. The smaller one is right in front of the shelf.So I have to ask myself, is this a cellar hole for a cold storage building or something else? This is not a wet area and there is no obvious spring coming up out of the ground around this hole, except for in the hole. All the spring houses I've seen around here are over a year-round flowing spring. So, what is this? And what is the relationship of the two small cellar holes so close to each other, one wet and one dry, both with south facing entrances? Practicality tells me a cold storage facility should have a north facing entrance, but maybe that's just me.

The turtle rock is to the north and west of the cellar holes. Continuing west, this shot is looking to the south. An obvious rock pile and a large rock on rock in the background.Then, this really large rock pile right next to the stone wall has me stumped. There are two rock piles in the hay field across the stone wall, and they line up with the far end starting point of this large rock pile. I should mention that there is a small bit of farm debris on one of the rock piles in this area, as well as on the cellar hole with the shelf.Descending on the northwest side from that stone wall, this wedged, or propped rock (I am not certain that it is a split-wedge). Now, looking back at my photo, I should have paid attention to the separation between the base rock and the middle rock. I didn't move that branch out of the way for a better shot.Even further downhill and to the north, there are about 4 rock piles in a break-out zone. I have never before seen such a nicely formed rock pile in a break-out zone.


James Gage said...

Cold storage facilities have a dual purpose of keeping the stored product cold as well as keeping it from freezing. Most cold storage structures like root cellars face east or south to take advantage of sun's warmth in the cold winter months to keep the structure just above freezing. Facing it to the north runs the risk of the root cellar dropping below freezing because of the cold prevailing winds.

theseventhgeneration said...

Thank you! The shelf seems to make sense as a cold storage facility but I was not aware of the south facing entrance explanation.

pwax said...

Nice report and photos. Looking at the "V" I agree that it may be the result of the passage of time.

Presumably this structure was roofed? Looking at that long entrance I am wondering what purpose that would serve in a cold-storage structure?

theseventhgeneration said...

Yes, I would think there was either a wood roof or possibly a wood structure on top. It is not a symmetrical structure, which adds to the intrigue. As you're facing the entrance, the left side of the structure has very thick stonework and is squared off. The right side (now collapsed) looks like it was shaped like an L (turned 90 degrees clockwise). There is a corner of the foundation on the right side still intact, but it does not line up with the corner on the left side. It is set back so that it's in line with the back of the entryway.

I have a video but it's a bit long at 4 minutes. I'll see if I can trim it and post it.

sumathi kalpana said...

Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

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