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  • #16
    Originally posted by masshysteria View Post
    Another thought I just had; that map looks like a copy of the FW Beers Atlas of 1876 . Doesnt show any reference to Whitney, which would be accurate
    http://www.pinebrookmaps.com/servlet...rkshire/Detail

    But it does show many of the same names from your map. I'll bet Schermerhorn Road was built by the CCC in the 1930's? Maybe even the extension of County Road into 4 Corners. I couldnt see a date on the map you had, I'm guessing 1900?
    I found a Schermerhorn address in "downtown" lenox when checking out the old maps for Lenox.


    Apparently, also where I live in Pittsfield, I used to be literally next door to the Pittsfield Alms house and Insane Asylum!!!!!! Maybe that explains all those crazy turkeys flying around in my backyard!

    Jay

    Life is a short, warm moment
    And death is a long cold rest.
    You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
    Eighty years, with luck, or even less.
    -Pink Floyd

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Jay H View Post

      P.S. "Frank Chapel" was the gameskeeper for the Whitney estate, I noticed a lot of "chapels' in the cemetary but no "frank".

      And you guessed it, the cemetary is supposedly Haunted





      Jay
      Yup, I've been in that cemetery at night. It is a creepy place, with all the sunken graves, and the fact that it is out in the middle of nowhere. And if you believe in the legend of the Crispy Critter.....

      I cant find a reference to it online, but there was a small monument called the Chapel Monument. It marked the location where a gentleman named Chapel died when his horse-drawn cart filled with wood flipped over in the snow, and landed on top of him. IIRC around 1850 or so...The monument is long gone, but it was at the intersection of the 'old' New Lenox Road trail (not to be confused with the newer paved New Lenox Road in lenox proper) and the Aqueduct Trail. Again, way out in the middle of nowhere. I love this stuff, so cool to roam around the woods finding these out of the way places!
      https://picasaweb.google.com/masshysteria1958

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Jay H View Post
        I found a Schermerhorn address in "downtown" lenox when checking out the old maps for Lenox.

        Jay
        That Schermerhorn was of money, maybe not to the degree of the Vanderbilts, Whitneys, etc. There is a short dead-end street off of Kemble Street in Lenox, behind Ventfort Hall, called Schermerhorn Park. I'm sure there is a connection between that and Schermerhorn Gorge, perhaps he owned the property at one time, and donated it to the State?
        https://picasaweb.google.com/masshysteria1958

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Jay H View Post
          Apparently, also where I live in Pittsfield, I used to be literally next door to the Pittsfield Alms house and Insane Asylum!!!!!! Maybe that explains all those crazy turkeys flying around in my backyard!

          Jay
          On outer West Street? Far from the downtown......
          https://picasaweb.google.com/masshysteria1958

          Comment


          • LordElberon
            LordElberon commented
            Editing a comment
            Any of you still check this forum? I have been exploring Oct Mt and looking for a few places.

        • #20
          Originally posted by masshysteria View Post
          On outer West Street? Far from the downtown......
          Yeah, the article I found about the Pittsfield Alms house mentioned 3 miles from the village.. I'm just about 3 miles from the "pittsfield green" and when I checked out the old map, I can place Smith Brook which is the brook that feeds my swamp in the backyard, I'm roughly right where it is marked as "pittsfield alms house" My house certainly isn't big enough to hold the 35ish folks that the alms house supposedly carried but the house next door might and of course BCC is on a lot of land...

          plus, being the poor and/or insane, i'm sure the city leaders wanted to keep them out of sight!

          Jay

          Life is a short, warm moment
          And death is a long cold rest.
          You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
          Eighty years, with luck, or even less.
          -Pink Floyd

          Comment


          • LordElberon
            LordElberon commented
            Editing a comment
            Any of you still check this forum? I have been exploring Oct Mt and looking for a few places.

        • #21
          Aha, another Eureka moment..

          http://www.communityheritagemaps.com...rkshire01.html

          That's the quad for where I live. I remember there is a tiny cemetary that is obviously very old on the other side of the road, just a bit west of me. That is labelled on the map above out on West St, where if you look closely, you can see the label "pittsfield alms house" which by the marker is still further west from the cemetary which you can see by the "cemetary" label. This puts the Alms house smack dab where BCC is now.
          Where I am looks to be either F.A. Hand or A.M. Clatchy which is feasable since my house is tagged as being from the late 1700s... And Smith Brook is in my backyard as that feeds my swamp...

          Jay

          Life is a short, warm moment
          And death is a long cold rest.
          You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
          Eighty years, with luck, or even less.
          -Pink Floyd

          Comment


          • #22
            thanks for the revival LordElberon. i spend a lot of time in beartown state forest and have just started into october mountain a little myself. this thread was an interesting read.

            Comment


            • #23
              I just saw the inquiries from this April on this post.
              in 2018, I did find the remains of the Whitney Estate mansion, the Antlers. It was where Jay suspected it was as indicated on a 1905 map. Very gnarly and thick in there, and frankly you would most likely walk right by it, not realizing what it was. I used period photos from the era, especially one of the mansion taken from the top of the tower, to narrow down the location of the building. I brought a note local historian there, and showed him my documentation, and he agrees it is the Antlers.
              Recently, my nephew and I have been looking for many of the Whitney outbuildings, barns, cottages, etc, based on period photos. We found a large barn foundation, and were lucky enough to find behind it, a garbage dump. There were wagon wheel trims, coils of barbed wire, and ceramics and glass bottles. Some of the bottles were 'snake oil' concoctions, which we were able to verify were produced between 1895 and 1910. This time frame aligned perfectly with the time that Whitney was involved with his estate. Whether Whitney used the snake oil, or one of his many caretakers, we'll never know. But it is very interesting!
              https://picasaweb.google.com/masshysteria1958

              Comment


              • #24
                Didn't realize I did not have notifications turned on and never saw any of these posts till today. I did find the Antlers Estate earlier this year and the Fire tower. I looked for the Honeymoon cottage but can't seem to find a viable spot. I also came across a large quarry to the SW of Farnam's Dam. While wandering around the hillside near the quarry I found either a campsite or small dump. I dug out some bottles, buttons, and other random items. Local historian Bernard Drew led me to any article that talked all about the quarry and the stone dug from it. I have some ambitious plans to try to map out many of the cellar holes left on the mountain.

                If the weather holds this weekend I wanted to hike around Mudd and Clapp pond to see what treasure it might hold. If you folks have come across any other local spots of interest and would like to share I'd love to explore them.

                I mountain bike a lot and a many of our trails cross stonewalls and cellar holes which always prompt further exploring. I have found some interesting spot off the end of West St, the old C.C.C camps from the 40's. The footing of a old fire tower on the ridge above the camp. Quite a few stonewalls and cellar hole off of Silver St on the back side of Jiminy Peak. Some points of interest around Constitution Hill behind the Old Forge.

                Well I think I have my notifications on so hopefully I'll see any new replies!

                Brian

                Comment


                • #25
                  Honeymoon cottage was across the road from the water tower, maybe 200 feet southeast of the tower foundation. That quarry appears to been in operation producing granite for structural uses. The City of Pittsfield then used it to construct the dam.

                  I'd post a picture, but it won't accept a pic larger than 2 MB.........
                  https://picasaweb.google.com/masshysteria1958

                  Comment


                  • #26
                    This was the piece by Bernard Drew:

                    October Mtn - Quarry


                    For starters, this is from my book 18th & 19th Century Water Powered Industry in the Upper Housatonic River Valley (2014):



                    A business peripheral to iron, in Lenox, was the quarrying of hearth stones, placed at the base of an iron furnace stack.

                    Lenox Dale blacksmith Joe Cahalan in 1912, seeking to enlarge his shop, began digging to the rear of his building and soon unearthed a foot-thick, 12x8-foot stone. Not until John Millard came by did Cahalan learn it was the foundation of the old cupola for the Lenox iron furnace.

                    “This huge stone was quarried near where the dam of the Pittsfield waterworks is now being built, and is of a somewhat rare branch of the traprock family of grayish-white color, and capable of withstanding the intense heat of the molten iron which ran over it where as other kinds of stone would burn into lime or crumble,” a writer noted in the Berkshire Evening Eagle.[1]

                    This stone may have been a grey conglomerate.

                    “As the old Dale furnace dates back to or before the incorporation of lee this stone must be something like 130 years old from the date on which it was taken from its native bed. This ledge became known far and wide because of this stone, and hearth stones were quarried and sent to different parts of the country. The ledge was in layers and a series of holes were made for the iron wedges, the slab cracked off. Thomas Norton of Lee remembers the moving of the stone for Alger’s furnace at Glendale and says that it was drawn out by a dozen yoke of oxen. It became quite a business and an expert came here from Salisbury to get out these stones who was the father of Arthur Bartram of Lee, and got out stone for the furnaces at Cheshire, Richmond, VanDeusenville, Lime rock, Falls Village, West Stockbridge and a number of other places.

                    “Before the building of the railroad, the moving of one of these huge stones was an undertaking of no small moment, but after the railroad was constructed they were jacked on board a freight car at New Lenox. The quarry has been idle for about 35 years until it was found conveniently near the October mountain reservoir and has since been operated to get stone for the dam, being crushed and mixed with the cement. On the Schermerhorn place, at the extreme point of the township of Lee, was another quarry where the flux was secured for the furnace.” (This probably refers to limestone.)

                    Confirming this quarry’s story, an 1820-1821 advertisement in the Pittsfield Sun, placed by Samuel Millard, says: “For Sale, lying about 2 miles from the centre of Pittsfield, on the east side of the Housatonic River, and bounded westerly by the same, containing forty acres, well proportioned to wood, ploughing and mowing, with a good House and Barn, and a Well of the purest water, suitable for cooking, washing, &c.—There is also on the premises twenty bearing apple-trees— most valuable STONE QUARRY for building and other purposes, from which have been furnished the hearths for the Furnaces in Lenox and Dalton, Bennington, (Vt.) and Salisbury, in (Ct..).”[2]

                    The quarry reappears in a news item from 1872. “Mr. J.N. Bartrand of Sharon, Ct., has leased the quarry owned by Chauncey E. Dewey at New Lenox, and has large contracts for the stone from all parts of the country, to be used for hearths for iron furnaces. He is now filling a large order for the iron district of Lake Superior.”[3]





                    [1] “Unearths Part of Old Lenox Furnace,” 10 January 1912.

                    [2] An Excellent Farm advertisement, 7 February 1821, 4.

                    [3] Lenox news, Pittsfield Sun, 18 September 1872, 6.



                    Comment


                    • #27
                      Originally posted by LordElberon View Post
                      Didn't realize I did not have notifications turned on and never saw any of these posts till today. I did find the Antlers Estate earlier this year and the Fire tower. I looked for the Honeymoon cottage but can't seem to find a viable spot. I also came across a large quarry to the SW of Farnam's Dam. While wandering around the hillside near the quarry I found either a campsite or small dump. I dug out some bottles, buttons, and other random items. Local historian Bernard Drew led me to any article that talked all about the quarry and the stone dug from it. I have some ambitious plans to try to map out many of the cellar holes left on the mountain.

                      If the weather holds this weekend I wanted to hike around Mudd and Clapp pond to see what treasure it might hold. If you folks have come across any other local spots of interest and would like to share I'd love to explore them.

                      I mountain bike a lot and a many of our trails cross stonewalls and cellar holes which always prompt further exploring. I have found some interesting spot off the end of West St, the old C.C.C camps from the 40's. The footing of a old fire tower on the ridge above the camp. Quite a few stonewalls and cellar hole off of Silver St on the back side of Jiminy Peak. Some points of interest around Constitution Hill behind the Old Forge.

                      Well I think I have my notifications on so hopefully I'll see any new replies!

                      Brian
                      i would certainly be curious to see the remnants of the antlers estate at some point. i have been meaning to get off trail in there myself but wanted to visit the last few trails first.

                      i have explored beartown state forest quite extensively, focused mostly on the terrain (visiting high points, bodies of water, etc) and animal tracking. i similarly have a goal of eventually mapping the cellar holes, stone walls, logging roads, and other remnants that are out there. beyond that, some items of interest are:
                      - the old CCC camps and their labors
                      - former ski slopes and some of the infrastructure involved
                      - abandoned transmission towers
                      - the AT currently runs through beartown, but there is the former (pre-1990's-ish route) that i have mostly found but want to finish

                      naturally, bernard drew has a great book on beartown's history. feel free to private message me if you have interest in meeting up to explore sometime - it is quite possible we know each other or have friends in common already!

                      Comment

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