Images Of Worcester, Massachusetts

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Historical Backgrounds Of Massachsuetts Place Names

Night Shift 1911

Images From Greenwood, Maine

Recently I moved from the busy metropolis of Auburn to the sleepy village of Greenwood City. A town that has even crossed paths with legendary figure L.L. Bean. Here are some images from my first shoot there. A place to be proud to call home.

Maine Lost Towns

I have spent 2 years so far reaching into the remotest areas of Western Maine to find towns that not just anybody travels through. These places offer great intrigue to me from their historical value. I put together a gallery of some of my work so far.

The Mahoosuc Mountains Of Maine

Grafton Notch State Park – A Wild To Be Enjoyed By All

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During the past weekend I had the pleasure of taking a trip up north in my home state of Maine to almost the Canadian border. Here lies a true natural hideaway that not everyone knows about, Grafton Notch State Park.

For all of you that do not know what a notch is…well it’s a New England/New Hampshire term for a pass through the  mountains. I’ve told people “notch” and have gotten many confused looks.

The state park encompasses an assortment of unique landmmarks/attractions to delight any day hike. I recommend Screw Auger Falls. It is trully breathtaking.

 

 

Grafton Notch State Park is located on Route 26 between Newry and Upton, Maine, and offers opportunities for sightseeing, picnicking, and hiking on its 3,000 acres of beautiful natural terrain.

Several interesting attractions are conveniently located on scenic Route 26. Interpretive signs explain the glacial sculpting of Screw Auger Falls and the formation of Mother Walker Falls. A quarter-mile loop trail leads to Moose Cave with its narrow gorge and lush lichens and mosses. At Spruce Meadow and Screw Auger Falls visitors will find picnic tables and grills.

Both short and long day hikes extend through this spectacular, scenic area at the end of the Mahoosuc Range. The 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail passes through the park on the way to the trail’s northern terminus, Mt. Katahdin. Facilities include picnic tables and grills. In the winter, a main artery snowmobile trail (ITS 82) traverses the park and is maintained by a local snowmobile club.

3,112 acres; Sights include: Screw Auger Falls, Spruce Meadow, Mother Walker Falls, Old Speck Mountain, and Moose Cave.

Israel Putnam And The Wolf’s Den

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There is a story in south-eastern New England told to most children/youngsters  about one of the great pioneers of the area and his bold courage, and as its being in New England, ends with a bizarre twist. The story is of Israel Putnam, a brave fighter and national hero and a wolf defending its life.  I believe it to be one of the most amazing accounts I’ve heard in recent years of researching the history of  southern New England. Especially the “wolf jubilee” that was held afterward. Here is the full story as is known….

“Israel Putnam moved to Connecticut from Massachusetts in 1740 at the age of 22. He had been living upon his farm two or more years when an incident occurred which was destined to be always closely associated with his name. This was the wolf hunt in the winter of 1742-43. A she-wolf caused Putnam and some of the other settlers great loss by preying upon their sheepfolds. She had repeatedly eluded the hunters, although they were successful in killing most of her young. She frequently returned from the woods in the west and once barely escaped from a steel trap by tearing her paw from her claws which were caught in it. One night when prowling over Putnam’s farm, she killed seventy of his sheep and goats, and lacerated many of the lambs and kids. In this exigency he and five Pomfret men arranged a continuous pursuit by agreeing to hunt alternately in pairs. Fortunately a light snow had fallen and the course of the wolf could be easily traced. The tracks showed one foot to be shorter than the other paws. This was proof that the animal was the same which had previously lost some of her claws in the trap. On reaching the Connecticut River, the hunters found that the wolf had turned in the opposite direction. Following the trail back toward Pomfret and traveling all night, they arrived within about three miles of Putnam’s farmhouse at ten o’clock in the morning, when John Sharp, a lad of seventeen years of age, who had outstripped the other pursuers, discovered the den into which the wolf had been driven by the bloodhounds. The news of the location of her lair spread rapidly, and many persons, armed with guns and supplied with material for smoking her out, hastened to the place, which was among the granite boulders on the side of a steep, craggy hill.

The whole day was spent by Putnam and his neighbours in attempting to dislodge the animal, but the dogs – one of them Putnam’s own hound – which were sent into the den returned frightened and badly wounded and would not go in again. Straw and sulfer were burned within the entrance, but without compelling the wolf to quit her hiding place. Twelve unsuccessful hours passed away. It was already ten o’clock at night, yet Putnam felt the importance of continuing the efforts in the emergency. His servent being unwilling to enter the den and attempt to shoot the wolf, Putnam himself, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his neighbours against so perilous a venture, made ready to undertake it.

He took off his coat and waistcoat; then he tied a long rope around his legs in order that he could be pulled back by it when he kicked it as a signal; he lighted the torch which he had improvised from some strips of birch bark and, holding it in his hand, crawled into the cave. The entrance was about two feet square and very slippery on account of the ice. The den descended obliquely fifteen feet, then ran horizontally about ten feet more and ascended gradually sixteen feet to the end of the opening. It was not more than a yard wide in any part and it was so low overhead that in no place could a person raise himself from his hands and knees.

Crawling slowly down to the level part and continuing until he reached the gradual ascent, Putnam saw the fiery eyes of the wolf as she crouched at the end of the dark cave, gnashing her teeth and growling at him. He gave the signal which he had arranged, but the excited people, hearing the savage sound and thinking that he had been attacked, dragged him out with such solicitous but ill-judged energy that his shirt was stripped over his head and his skin severly scratched. He prepared himself to enter again, this time taking his gun, which he had loaded with nine buckshot. Holding it in one hand and a torch in the other, he advanced farther than before into the den and found the wolf even fiercer, howling, rolling her eyes, snapping her teeth, and dropping her head between her legs. He fired at her just as she was evidently about to spring upon him. Being instantly pulled out, he refreshed himself and waited for the smoke to disappear out of the den. He then made a third venture. When he approached the wolf this time he heard nothing from her and touching her nose with his torch, found that she was dead. He grasped her ears, kicked the rope and was drawn out, dragging his victim into the presence of the astonished and exultant people.

Up the ragged and icy face of the hill and through the wild woodland the wolf was carried to a house a mile distant and suspended from a beam into which an iron spike had been driven. Then at that midnight hour a sort of “wolf jubilee” was held and, for several succeeding days, people came from different directions to see the animal.

The text on the plaque in front of the cave is as follows….

The Plaque In Front

The Plaque In Front

PUTNAM and THE WOLFFOLLOWING HER TRACKS THROUGH ONE DAY AND NIGHT IN THE EARLY SNOW OF DECEMBER 1742 TO THE CONNECTICUT RIVER AND BACK, THE EARLY SETTLERS OF THIS REGION HERE DISCOVERED THE DEN OF THE SHE WOLF THAT HAD FOR YEARS DEVASTATED THEIR FLOCKS AND HAD SO FAR ELUDED ALL ATTEMPTS AT CAPTURE AFTER ALL OTHER METHODS HAD FAILED. WHEN BOTH SERVANT AND DOG HELD BACK. ISRAEL PUTNAM, OF WHOSE SHEEP HAD BEEN SLAUGHTERED, AT 10 O’CLOCK AT NIGHT, WITH A ROPE TIED TO HIS FEET, FIRST WITH A TORCH, AGAIN WITH A MUSKET, ENTERED THIS CAVE, AND BY THE LIGHT OF HER ANGRY EYES, SHOT AND KILLED THE MARAUDER, AND ENTERING – A THIRD TIME, DRAGGED FORTH THE BODY OF THE LAST WOLF IN CONNECTICUT.

THIS TABLET IS PRESENTED TO THE ELIZABETH-PORTER PUTNAM CHAPTER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, BY COLONEL DANIEL PUTNAM ASSOCIATION INC., AND THEIR FRIENDS TO PRESERVE THE MEMORY OF AN ACT OF COURAGE AND OF PUBLIC SERVICE BY A YOUNG FARMER, WHO WAS IN LATER YEARS TO WIN FAME AS A WISE LEADER, A BRAVE FIGHTER, AND A NATIONAL HERO.

“HE DARED TO LEAD WHERE OTHERS DARED TO FOLLOW”

People wishing to visit the actual wolf’s den can plot out a course to Mashamoquet State Park in northeast Connecticut. There will be signs upon arriving. The hike is short to the den. Happy hiking!

Maine Mutant Continues To Baffle Years After

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The above photo is from an animal that was killed in 2006 while chasing a cat. For many years stories have circulated throughout Maine about a strange looking mutant-hybrid dog that attacks other dogs and small animals. These reports in recent years have centered in Androscoggin County in Maine. The Associated Press actually published a story about the strange animal in 2006 when the animal was found. Here is the article –

TURNER, Maine —Residents are wondering if an animal found dead over the weekend may be the mysterious creature that has mauled dogs, frightened residents and been the subject of local legend for half a generation.

The animal was found near power lines along Route 4 on Saturday, apparently struck by a car while chasing a cat. The carcass was photographed and inspected by several people who live in the area, but nobody is sure exactly what it is.

Michelle O’Donnell of Turner spotted the animal near her yard about a week before it was killed. She called it a “hybrid mutant of something.”

“It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget,” she told the Sun Journal of Lewiston. “We locked eyes for a few seconds and then it took off. I’ve lived in Maine my whole life and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

For the past 15 years, residents across Androscoggin County have reported seeing and hearing a mysterious animal with chilling monstrous cries and eyes that glow in the night. The animal has been blamed for attacking and killing a Doberman pinscher and a Rottweiler the past couple of years.

People from Litchfield, Sabattus, Greene, Turner, Lewiston and Auburn have come forward to speak of a mystery monster that roams the woods. Nobody knows for sure what it is, and theories have ranged from a hyena or dingo to a fisher or coydog, an offspring of a coyote and a wild dog.

Now, people are asking if the mystery beast and the animal killed over the weekend are one and the same.

Wildlife officials and animal control officers declined to go to Turner to examine the remains. By Tuesday, the carcass had been picked clean by vultures and there was not much left of the dead animal.

Loren Coleman, a Portland author and cryptozoologist, said it’s unlikely that the animal was anybody’s pet.

After reviewing photos of the carcass, Coleman said he was bothered by the animal’s ears and snout. It reminded him of a case years ago in northern Maine in which an animal shot by a hunter could not be identified. In the end, wildlife officials got a DNA analysis that showed the animal was a rare wolf-dog hybrid, he said.

Mike O’Donnell, who is married to Michelle O’Donnell, said the animal looked “half-rodent, half-dog” to him.

It was charcoal gray, weighed between 40 and 50 pounds and had a bushy tail, a short snout, short ears and curled fangs hanging over its lips, he said. It looked like “something out of a Stephen King story.”

“This is something I’ve never seen before. It’s an evil-looking thing,” he said.

On another website run by Cryptomundo these comments offered perspective of the media frenzy associated with the discovery. –

It is intriguing to see what kind of media frenzy is occurring because of this story. For the record, here’s some headlines that were used on the 16th and 17th of August, 2006:

CBS4Boston, Boston: “Mystery Beast Discovered In Maine.”

Associated Press, Drudge Report, Conservative Voice (NC), CBS-News, newspapers nationwide: “‘Hybrid Mutant’ Found Dead in Maine.”

ABC-TV affiliates nationwide, Boston Globe: “Residents wonder if dead animal is legendary mystery beast.”

WMTW, Portland, Maine: “Is Dead Animal Legendary ‘Mystery Beast?’”

In Madagascar, the media decided to go with the headline: “Killer ‘Hybrid Mutant’ Creature Found Dead in Maine.”

Mike Lemos of Ventura, California, a graphic designer and artist came up with the famous picture which circulates the internet currently.

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Within months a website sprang up to meet the demand of “Maine Mutant” merchandise, http://45742.spreadshirt.com/us/US/Shop/

Sadly the animal was not studied by any authorities in Maine (strange). A DNA study would probably have allowed us to see the true identity of this “monster”. It probably is as well. Maine is a state whose forests can easily hide a “monster” for many years, in fact most of the state is woods. Maybe another lurks in the woods of Maine only to resurface in our near future.

My August Expedition To The Ram Tail Mill Site, Rhode Island’s Only Officially Haunted Site

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In August of this year I visited the Ram Tail Mill Site in Foster, Rhode Island. According to the Source: Belanger, Jeff. Encyclopedia of Haunted Places. 2005, “

“Perhaps the oldest and most haunted place in Rhode Island is the Ramtail Factory in Foster. It was even put in the 1885 State Census Record as a haunted location. In 1799, the Potter family started operating a mill. William Potter expanded the mill in 1813. At this time, William took his son-in-law Peleg Walker as a partner. The Potter’s ran the mill by day and Walker was the nightwatchman at night, walking from building to building with his lantern.

This went well for several years, until one day Walker and Potter were seen having an argument. Walker preceded to say that if something kept up, he’d walk in one day and grab the keys from a dead man. On May 18, 1822 Walker’s words came true. Potter walked in and saw that Walker had hung himself from the bell rope with the keys hanging visibly from his pocket. The Potter’s then buried him in the family plot. However, this is when the strange events started to happen.

The night of Walker’s death, the bell tower struck at the stroke of midnight. The Potter’s went to go investigate this but no one was there pulling the chord while it was happening. This went on for a few days until the Potter’s then replaced the bell with a new one. Now it got even more interesting that night. The town awoke to the loud sound of the mill running at full service. Everywhere in the town went to the spot to watch in shock as the mill was running without anyone operating it, and the water was flowing in the opposite direction of the stream.

Most of the town villagers left after this for fear of the mill. The people who remained in the town would see the apparition of Walker going from building to building with the lantern in his hand. Later on in the 1880s, the factory mysteriously went on fire. The remains of the factory still lie in the woods of Foster to this day, and is a hot bed for paranormal activity. The Rhode Island Paranormal Group investigated the site recently and have come into contact with Walker as well. They were standing around the site, when they the crunching of leaves and the sound of a lantern swinging as it walked past them and into the main building.”

The day we went ( my wife and I) it was quite hot and humid. It was the beginning of the fall season that I do the majority of my exploring in. We arrived early and took the entrance to Ram Tail Rd. Directly after the right there is a cemetary on the left. The relatives of the mill descendants are buried in this plot.  After the cemetery on the left side there is a dirt road which leads into the woods and runs toward the lakeside of Barden Reservoir. I parked our trusty mini-van(giggles to a minimum) in a pull-off of the trail. We followed the trail  towards the location of the site. As we came to the true North side of the reservoir we reached a point where a bridge or crossing had once been, unfortunately it was unavailable.  We had to find a way across and it was not going to be there. The water was far to deep. To make a long story very, very short we found a spot farther North on the river that feeds in to the reservoir. Logging seems to be in full swing all arond the area at this point. I saw tree’s cut all around the original foundations but all the area of the mill site is really quite protected. Blue marks denoted cut lines that indicated the trees inside the foundations were not to be touched. Im glad to report a trouble free visit and quite an interesting one (wading in 2 feet of water across a river). My wife would not go in the main foundations and had a bad sense of something not right in the area. I experienced none of those things just a calm and peacefull visit. Altough I wouldnt want to be visiting in the dark………

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