The story of Eldon French’s discovery of a beautiful cave reads like a young boy’s fantasy. It reminded me of those moments in my own childhood where I would read about pirates secreting treasure on some lonely shoreline or the discovery of ancient ruins. I would be out exploring the forests the next day in the hopes of making my own discovery. Eldon was one of the few whose love for exploration and keen sense of observation paid off. He had discovered what is still considered one of the longest caves in New England. Though my own childhood adventures more often met with great disappointment, this would be my chance to revisit those fantasies of my youth while living vicariously through Eldon’s story.
Posted in Cave, Historical, Natural Wonders, Subterranean and tagged adventure, cave, discovery, Eldon, Eldon French, marble, strange new englandwith no comments yet.
Over 10 years ago, when we had just begun to delve into the stranger side of New England , a unique site that was top on our list was called the Upton Chamber. We stumbled across it in a book I had purchased from a used book store in Providence, R.I..
Upton chamber is one of the largest underground stone chambers in New England . A six foot high fourteen foot long tunnel leads into the mammoth chamber. The chamber is twelve feet in diameter and twelve feet high and beehive in shape, like a large stone igloo. Upton chamber is an amazing work of dry masonry with a cap stone weighing several tons. Archeologists believe it is just a colonial root cellar built in the 1700’s but there are those that recognized it similarity to early Irish and Iberic stone chambers and believe it was constructed over a thousand years earlier. Most archeologists feel this is fanciful thinking since there has been no evidence of Pre-colonial foreign visitors other than the Norse at Newfoundland in 1000 AD.
Posted in Ancient New England, Cave, Legends & Folklore, Subterranean and tagged ancient, cave, Chamber, Folklore of New England, Legends of New England, monk, monks cave, new england folklore, strange new england, Upton, Upton Chamberwith no comments yet.
The late 1980’s was when I first heard of a places in Newport, Rhode Island, called Purgatory Chasm. While chatting with a woman I met at a coffee shop in Providence, I was about to learn the true research value of talking with the locals. It was springtime and we were talking about fun things we planned to do over the summer. I mentioned how I was planning on going to Purgatory Chasm that afternoon, and she told me she had been there before. She got my attention, and I listened closely as she told me all about the reservation. As the conversation continued, something didn’t sound right. We soon realized we were talking about two different Purgatory Chasms. I was speaking of the Chasm in Newport and she was speaking of the Chasm in Sutton, Massachusetts. Now even more interested, I grilled her for as much information as I could get. I thanked her for the lead, and was on my way. Months later, I made it up to Sutton to experience its Chasm, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
Posted in Cave, Natural Wonders, Subterranean and tagged brave, cave, chasm, explore, hell, purgatory, Purgatory Caves, secret, strange new englandwith no comments yet.
Near a small Massachusetts village called Nahant, is a cave that few people are aware of. It’s roughly 24 yards deep with a ceiling over six feet high. I had stumbled upon an old print of the cave while researching caves of New England. Intrigued by my discovery, I spent some time following up on it. It was difficult to find anything written about the cave. Eventually, I discovered a short description that mentioned a witch haunted it. That was more than enough to put it on the top of my to-do list. I scanned through topographical and nautical maps and found its location. Spending a few more hours digging through the archives, I uncovered the story behind Swallow Cave.
Posted in Cave, Historical, Legends & Folklore, Natural Wonders and tagged cave, nahant, new england, ocean, strange new england, swallow, Swallow Cave, witchwith no comments yet.
Recently I was digging through the cold cases and decide to pull out the Smallpox den file. I had known of the den for over ten years. Though it was a fantastic story, all I was left with was the name of the town and brook it lies near. The brook stretched for miles through fields and forest. Without more clues it would be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. I thought I’d review the material to see if I could find something I might have missed.
Posted in Archaeological, Cave, Mysterious Landmarks, Weird Destinations and tagged cave, Den, Israel allen, Small Pox, strange new englandwith no comments yet.
Many places of questionable history and lore are hidden across New England. Few people are aware of their locations, and they wish to keep it that way. These sites consist of stone chambers and monuments of various styles and sizes. Some historians say they are only ‘root cellars’ that were built by colonists. Others entertain the idea that these lithic sites were constructed by much earlier visitors. The fact that many of them seem to be align with astronomical should give one pause. Archaeo-astronomer Byron Dix has determined that New England is chock-full of underground chambers. According to Mr. Dix, there are 105 astronomically aligned chambers in Massachusetts, 51 in New Hampshire, 41 in Vermont, 62 in Connecticut, 12 in Rhode Island, and 4 in Maine. The Early Sites Research Society which has been studying the chambers for over three decades, claims to have documented over 400 chambers in New England. Mystery Hill, and Gungywamp are the only sites that are commercially available to the public, while the rest remain hidden on private land or from public knowledge.
Posted in Ancient New England, Cave, Legends & Folklore, Ruins, Subterranean and tagged Chamber, monk cave, root cellar, stone, strange new england, Uptonwith no comments yet.
For over a year I had been on a search for the Pirate Cave connected to the most famous pirate of all, Captain Kidd. According to most of the stories, it was located somewhere on the coast of Jamestown RI. During my hunt for this cave lost to history, I had stumbled across the mention of a pirate cave in Newport also. This only made my hunt more confusing and difficult. Eventually I did rediscover the Jamestown Pirate Cave. It was an exciting moment but at the same time, I could feel the other pirate cave snickering at me from across the bay. Much like the with the Jamestown cave, it was very difficult to find anything telling me where its exact location was.
Posted in Cave, Legends & Folklore, Natural Wonders, Pirates and tagged brenton, cave, newport, Pirate, Pirate Cave, Pirates cave, strange new englandwith no comments yet.