Sunday, July 03, 2011

Dighton Rock to a buried Corvair to Douglas, MA

I first learned about the "Puzzle Rock" in Curious New England by Joseph Citro and Diane Foulds. Naturally we had to see it (the power of the stones had found us all the way from Brittany it seemed.)

The 40-ton Dighton Rock, as it's actually called, is a curiosity indeed. Originally found in the riverbed of the Taunton River in Berkley, MA, just a few miles upstream from Fall River, MA, the rock is noted for its unusual and mysterious petroglyhs. The marks were first described by John Danforth in 1680 so it's unlikely to be a latter-day hoax. Anyway, there are numerous theories about the origins of the drawings, some of them quite fanciful: indigenous peoples, Norsemen, Portuguese, even Chinese explorers were thought to have left their mark here.

The rock itself is probably about 10,000-13,000 years old and in 1973 was hauled out of the river and placed under glass inside a tiny museum perched over the river itself. Dighton Rock State Park.

Curious, eh?

From the mysterious Dighton Rock of Berkley, MA, to the singular oddity of Tiverton, RI.

Backtracking down Rte 24 to Fall River we picked up Rte 138 and crawled through South Fall River before crossing the state line into the Ocean State. A few minutes later and we were pulling into Pocasset Hill Cemetery. Overlooking the river to the west, Pocasset Hill -- which is set on a rather steep hill of course -- would be just another of the many quiet resting places for the local dead were it not for Rose Martin. Her grave site looks like so many others keeping watch over the river below but looks, as they say, can be deceiving. Rose was buried in her Corvair. They had to remove the engine to fit the coffin inside but Yankee ingenuity won out.

After an afternoon of curiosities it was a pleasure to sit and relax at Dick and Dorothy's house in Douglas, MA. Sipping sparkling wine, we grilled out hot dogs (the Fearless uncured beef won out over the uncured turkey from Applegate) with sides of potato salad and a green salad made with their home-grown lettuce. The meal was finished off with Susie's lemon ice cream spooned over berry financier - whoa! What a holiday weekend this is turning out to be!

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