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niveker

Odd, Strange, Unique Objects, in the woods and on the water...

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On 3/6/2022 at 1:52 PM, niveker said:

I hike past this frequently and have never figured out it's intended purpose.  Seems to be some sort of poured concrete foundation was started.  In the background you can make out the other stepped end just to the left of the tree platform.  The kids have turned this into an occasional party spot.  

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From the opposite end: 

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And of course, a hike in the New England woods isn't complete until you come across a random stone structure of some sort.  

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Niveker check this channel out.  This guy fishes here in Massachusetts and offers historical commentary about each area.  Some of it include explanations of odd structures found in the woods or streamside.  

This link is on the Mills River in Northampton.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH9YxAyjhvY

 

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To all members: If you see Sasquatch, it is mandatory that you take fuzzy pictures.

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3 hours ago, DFoster said:

Mills River

Very cool, thanks for that link, I'll finish watching it tonight. 

I wasn't aware of the Mill River flood, that's was even worse that the Great Molasses flood. 

I've fished the Mill a few times, a little below the dam they are at there, and have only caught stocked rainbows.  It's very accessible in those lower reaches, more picturesque a bit above that area, but with limited access as far I can tell.  I've no doubt the upper reaches above all those dams hold native brookies.  And they are correct, it is nearly crystal clear when not stained with run-off. 

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From Saturday morning's walk.  Cloudy with light rain, warm and foggy before the crappy weather started. 

I enjoy fishing this section of the Swift River, among the factory ruins of the Boston Duck Company and Bondsville Bleachery and Dye Works.  Started in the 1830's by Emelius Bond, the Bond Village Manufacturing Company was granted Swift River waters rights in 1846 and would soon become the Boston Duck Company and Bondsville Bleachery and Dye Works with continued operations until 1941, when assets were sold off.  In October 1968 most of the buildings were destroyed in a huge fire which lasted for several days, after several years of the local fire department pleading for funds to update its 1940's era fire equipment. 

The old stone walls containing the river and the steep wooded banks make access difficult in most areas, and deep, swift holes in the pocket water limit crossing from one side to the other, but I love fishing among the ruins and my mind wanders back to an American era of industriousness that is long gone.  A brownstone site that some may consider ugly, but there is a certain beauty that I enjoy.  I like dirty old New England mill towns.  

Heading up river toward the factory ruins

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What is left of the main factory complex, which spanned the river in this section only, I believe.  Ironically, the new fire station is just a few hundred feet off to the right in this picture, that bridge spanning the river and leading directly to it's back door.  Note the concrete floors off to the left, which would have been inside the old mill, the basement of which is still accessible in some areas.  

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A photo of the area, dated ca. 1855–1923.  The river winds around on the right side in this photo, and my best guess is the standing brick wall on the bridge above is the structure in the center of this photo, where the river would have flowed beneath the building.  There is now a condo complex where the photographer is standing, as well as the fire station.   

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Link

A drawing, dated 1918, more recent than the above photo I think, with additional buildings depicted.  Again note where the river would flow under the building, also note the river and railroad bridge on the very right center side of the drawing, you may just be able to make it out.   

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Link

Elevated spur from the railroad to serve the factory, ending right at the river.  The main railroad is now a hiking trail, but originally part of the Boston & Athol line, which became useless when the Quabbin Reservoir was created in the 1930's, flooding 4 towns, and the railroads that ran through them, by damming up the three branches of the Swift River (a few miles upriver from here) among other smaller streams.  This is looking upriver with the factory ruins behind me.  

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The same spur where it would have come off the main rail line, looking towards the ruins.

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Stone footings uphill and down and across the river, supports for what must have a been a beautiful railroad bridge spanning the river, reference in the previous drawing, and depicted in a photo below, dated 1910.  The Boston & Athol line would have run under and perpendicular to this bridge, and along the river, where I'm standing for the photo. 

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The main river is in the foreground, the man-made canal in the rear.  The building is long gone, but for the cellar hole.  The canals serving as swimming holes for some time, but now the small island is overgrown, limiting access, and the canals full with vegetation. 

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Link

The dam that started it all, recently repaired after a bit of a local debate about its removal. 

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niveker, interesting history lesson. I went deer hunting with a friend who pointed out a brick building that was a factory, making uniforms for the Confederacy. Sweetwater Creek SP, outside of Atlanta has an old factory, too.

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Neat, skeet.

yeah, it's not unusual to come across old structures in the woods or just off the beaten path around here, and I suppose its the same in other areas of the country too.   I like trying to identify them and learning a little about them.  This one was easy.  G-maps has a neat feature where you can overlay the old topo maps onto satellite images, which helps locating and identifying things like this.  

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4 hours ago, niveker said:

Neat, skeet.

yeah, it's not unusual to come across old structures in the woods or just off the beaten path around here, and I suppose its the same in other areas of the country too.   I like trying to identify them and learning a little about them.  This one was easy.  G-maps has a neat feature where you can overlay the old topo maps onto satellite images, which helps locating and identifying things like this.  

Thanks for that history tour Sir.  I never fish the Swift down into Bondsville, does it stay cold enough for trout that far down?  

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3 hours ago, DFoster said:

I never fish the Swift down into Bondsville, does it stay cold enough for trout that far down?  

Sure it does.  Probably 90% or more of my time on the Swift is spent in the Bondsville section, though not so much where these photos were taken, as access into the water can be tough.  I much prefer the mostly broken water here, than the mostly flatter water to the north, most of the time anyway.  Feel free to PM me if you ever have a question about that section.  

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On the South  branch of the Ausable river in the middle of the Mason Tract are the remains of a castle, some concrete footings and scattered other pieces of concrete are all that remain. The castle was built by the son of Billy Durant in the late 1920,s and burned down in 1931, there is now a small dock and picnic tables and out houses there. It’s kind of eerie there at times.

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On 3/15/2022 at 3:52 PM, partsman said:

the Mason Tract

Did a little bit of reading last night about that area.  Cool bit of history.  

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A pump track the neighborhood kids have built along one of the streams I fish

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Here's one from yesterday that I'm sure many of us have encountered but can't quite explain.  I was fishing a new to me brook when I came across a large bolder with a single iron rod stuck in it.  I was fairly deep in the woods at this point and I can't imagine why this is where it is.  I know during colonial times the logging companies used rivers to float logs but this one seems way to small for that purpose. If anyone can shed some light on what this was used for or was part of please do.

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That metal stake stuck in the rock is an interesting one. I know on the Au Sable where I fish you will see remnants of the old logging days on the river, but like you said, that stream is way too small/shallow to have been used for driving logs down. I've also seem metal stakes used to mark land boundary lines up by where my cabin use to be, but I've never seen them drive one into a big ol' rock before like that. Interested to see if anyone actually knows what that could be.

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