Field Trip: Mendon Town Forest

It was a crystal clear November morning. We gathered to explore Mendon’s Town Forest. A motley crew, but full of spirit.  Our fearless leader, Paul, is on the right.

(All of the pictures are thumbnails, click for a full sized image.)

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The Motley Crew

The first stop was what Paul called “Anchor Rock”. A large submerged boulder at the base of the remains of a house foundation.

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Surrounding Anchor Rock

Jane was an umpire in a former life.

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Umpire Jane

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Anchor Stone Inspection

Evidence of carving in the large rock. There was obviously carvings on the rock, but they are difficult to make them out.

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Faint Carvings

Until someone had the bright idea to highlight the carving with chalk.

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With Chalk

The symbol below the date represents the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (also known as “The Three Link Fraternity”, the links represent Friendship, Love and Truth). “F”, “L”, “T” are carved in each of the three links. This carving is over 130 years old.

This area has been in use much longer than that. Records show that the town approved a road be laid in 1726. For the arithmetically impaired, that’s nearly 300 years ago.  We suspect this similar carving was done later.

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Later Carving?

We suspect that this was carved later than the first.

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A. I. Alexander

Anyone know who A.I. Alexander was? None of us have a clue what meaning the anchor has.

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More Anchor

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Entire Anchor

So that’s why Paul called this the Anchor Rock.

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Another View

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One Last View

The Anchor Rock sits in front of the remains of a house (the stone foundations survives). The remnants of the house’s well can still be seen.

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First Well

Down the road a piece was a second house.

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Another Foundation

Apparently, the house was held together with nails. Square ones, made by blacksmiths.

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Nailed

The remains of a mill stone.

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Remains of a mill stone 

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Closeup of the mill stone

One of the more interesting things we discovered was this house’s well. It was completely intact, including water!

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Well buried under debris

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Nice knees!

Inside…

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First peek inside

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Water!

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Note the spiderweb.

We continued our walk to “Stone Bridge”

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Stone Bridge

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Another view of the stone bridge

The stream lead us to the most interesting find of the day. Paul explained that it’s most likely a dam and the foundation for a waterwheel.

UPDATE: I’ve been told that this is a “Mill Race”

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Water wheel foundation

The stream is actually behind this stone wall and seeps through the wall.

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Wet wall

Looking downstream from the dam, the waterwheel would have sat between these two walls.

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Water wheel location

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Finally, we head up to Wigwam Hill, one of the highest points in Worcester County. Today it’s used as a fire spotting tower.

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Paul educates us.

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Fire Tower

It appears one of us has some sort of A.D.D.  From here it was back to Paul and Patrice’s place for home-made soup.

 

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