Thursday, December 11, 2014

North Andover Country Club

I am often unsure how to describe a site, whether chronologically as I found it or in retrospect when the structure of the site has become clearer. Both have value because the chronological one explains the hunting process and the summary one notices characteristics and similarities. It sometimes matters what order you show the pictures in. Losing my PC obviates that problem - it's all text, except for the map from the Internet:
I got a tip from a former grounds worker at the North Andover Country Club that there were interesting things in the woods behind the golf course. So I went over there. 
Here is the chronological part: I didn't know this area and did not know if I should hunt for things "low" and near the water or "high" and on the hilltops. So, coming in from the south across the brook at a Beaver dam, I cut straight uphill towards the golf course. The ground is cut by ridges and valleys and, just before the top, I started seeing rock piles on the sides of the ridges. They turned out to be all down the side of the hill (so the hi/lo strategy wouldn't have mattered anyway) and were following a certain layout. 
There was a clear path, not exactly an old road, going from hilltop down between two of the ridges, with several different clusters of rock piles on the way down the hill. At the bottom was a stone wall with a opening into the wetland. 
Taking it from the other direction [this is the summary now], a path leads from the pond, through a well-made break in the wall (~10feet wide) up between the low ridges to the top of the hill. Clusters of rock piles appear on either side and also in adjacent valleys.
My informant said his boss told him the legend that the golf course was built on an "Indian burial ground." I can see how observant people might notice the piles and come up with that idea. But to me, the place had more the feel of a sacred pathway or perhaps a place for repeated individual ceremonies.
The only picture to survive was posted the other day here.

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