Happy Beltane, everyone!
WOW, It’s been a long time since this thing was updated! Sorry about that, folks. Life kinda got in the way. But now we’re back in business and blogging can once again commence!
Perhaps the nicest thing about today was my visit to Nimham. I went with a friend and left a few offerings at the Chamber. It being her first time on the mountain, we of course went to the Tower. For me, any day that I visit Nimham is a good day.
Another pleasantry was the conversation had with another friend who is doing a school journalism project on the stone chambers. He has been working with us and others to complete his report, which focuses on the culture surrounding the chambers. It’s not a story on who built them for what purpose and when. It’s the story of how they influence our lives.
I’d like to point out that Putnam County, NY has the highest concentration of stone chambers in the world. There are chambers in other states including CT, MA, VT, NH, NJ, and rumors of chambers in Ohio and Maine. What gets me is the fact that whenever they are mentioned, especially in publications like Ancient American Magazine, New England seems to be the top priotity, with little mention of New York. It’s more than a little odd, considering we host a good majority of their dwindling population. What’s more, we here in New York have a unique surrounding culture.
Never have I seen people get more fired up than when they are debating the origins and fate of a number of small stone buildings. They have been the cause of arguments, debates, spiteful slander, and nasty rumors. They’ve divided organizations, stopped building projects, ended friendships, and given the town of Kent a headache. But more than that, they have brought people together. The chambers spark intriuging conversation and provide picturesque places to visit. They have united generations and formed unlikely friendships and alliances over a common goal: their permenent protection and preservation.
The chambers invoke so much emotion in the simple fact that they exist.
Blame it on small town politics, but they have created quite a stir here in the Hudson Valley. What’s even more interesting is the wide variety of folks the chambers attract. Most are average every day people intrigued by their archaic appearance. Some of these people are lucky enough to have one sitting unsuspectingly in their backyard, most likely serving as a tool shed. Over the past few decades the chambers have been visited by historians, paranormal investigators, writers seeking inspiration, journalists, photographers, druids, and people just searching for something to believe in. They have been praised by pre-Colombian sleuths and all but shunned by archaeologists.
To be continued…