Lacys-5In Cumbria, England, is Eden Valley, a quiet part of the UK with its traditional towns 1and pubs, beautiful hamlets and sandstone villages, some dating back to Viking times. A few miles north of the historic town of Penrith, is a small village called Little Salkeld. On the west side of the village is the Eden River. It was known to the Romans as the Itoun. This name derives from the Celtic word ituna, meaning water, or rushing. It winds its way north toward Carlisle.

The largest house in the village is the manor in Little Salkeld, confirmed by King Edward I. It is said to be the original home of the Salkeld family of landowners and Salkeld Hall built in the 16th century. The village has a vicarage with no church and Little Salkeld Watermill that was built in 1745 and is still operating. Little Salkeld is also known for Long Meg and Her Daughters, a Bronze Age stone circle consisting of 51 stones (of which 27 remain upright). The tallest stone is 3.7 meters high and stands outside the circle. It is made of local red sandstone, carved with a spiral, a cup and ring mark, and concentric circles. Poet William Wordsworth deemed them to be the country’s most notable relics after Stonehenge.

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In the city of Waterbury Connecticut, not far west of Holy Land, is a curious tract of Nearby Swamp - Village of Little Peopleland that is home to a local legend. Flanked by a major highway, private homes and business, this triangle of forest and swamp is not easily accessible. Hidden near its apex are the remains of what has been the inspiration for this lore. The popular name for this spot is The Little People Village but it has also been called The Daemon Village.

There are many different versions of this strange legend but I’ll try to summarize the most common facets of this odd tale.

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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.

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fountain of youth

founta1When traveling, we hear rumors of many possible sights that are worthy of our time to investigate. Every once in a while we hear of one that we feel deserves our immediate attention. When we were told a story about a Shaker Fountain of Youth in Harvard Massachusetts, our ears perked with excitement.  A Fountain of Youth in New England? Was Ponce De Leon searching in the wrong place?

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