Strange New England - Lost Cave of Monroe

1858 Map of MonroeRumors of a lost cave in Monroe Connecticut have circulated for a long time. It has most likely been the inspiration for many young boys to explore the deep forest during those warm summer days. Tradition says that an adventuresome man named sharp stumbled onto a treasure hidden in a hillside of Monroe Connecticut. The story goes on to say that with 400’ of rope, Sharp explored the cave as far as safety would permit. What exactly he saw would remain a mystery. In the 1820s the cave was mined for Silver and limestone, but the ore acquired from it proved to be very poor quality. Eventually the mining ceased.


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Strange New England - Lost Glacial Park

Glacial Park Brochure - HistoryNew Hampshire has always had a warm place in my heart. My family and I use to vacation in cottages along Lake Winnipesauke every summer. Places like the Polar Caves, Lost River, and The Flume were some of my favorite stops in the Granite State. Little did I realize that hidden within the deep forest and steep mountains there were similar places waiting to be revealed or rediscovered. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a lead on a place called Glacial Park. My friend Super ‘D’ had suggest we head up to Thornton NH for an adventure weekend. His cousin Bryon is the owner and caretaker of Shamrock motel in Thornton NH and also was an avid explorer. Byron enjoyed hiking the NH forest with his kids and knew of several other interesting sites we could visit. Once the seed was planted in Bryon’s ear, he invited my Super ‘D’ and I to stay up at his motel for the weekend. He promised give us a tour of some of the forgotten sites in NH that he felt would make a great addition to the website.


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Strange New England - Eldon French's CaveThe 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 Beautiful Farm Land Near Eldon French's Home - Caveof 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.


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Strange New England - Purgatory Caves

pcaves6The 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.


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Strange New England - The Mummies

When most people think of mummies, images of deserts and pyramids come to mind. On a recent trip to NH, Bryon the owner of the Shamrock Motel mentioned that there were mummies in No. Woodstock NH. Memories of a story concerning mummies that were reburied in New England came to mind. Byron claimed no knowledge of real mummies in NH but that he knew of a curious rock formation from long ago. He explained that ‘The Mummies’ was an outcropping of bedrock that  Crooked Brook carved into what resembled mummies. Though not as admired as ‘The Old Man in the Mountain’, it once was a popular roadside stop for tourists and locals.


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Strange New England - Swallow Cave- Folklore

Swallow Cave Print - LegendsNear 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.


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Strange New England - Pirate Cave

WKidd3For 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.


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