Ancient Brick on North Field Dam
That is an old brick. I suspect it is over 200 years old. It looks just like the bricks in the beehive oven and chimney in our house. Funny that it should be way over there, 1,000′ from the house.
This summer we dug a small pond in that spot in the north end of the north field to provide our livestock with drinking water and to catch some of the rushes of water that flow down the mountain. This will help in dry years so we’re no longer completely dependent on the one spring that had previously supplied our house and farm. In the process of digging the pond in a low spot we kicked up this brick. We may have kicked out many others that I haven’t seen. The spot has quite a bit of clay, which is why I chose it, and might have been the site of colonial brick making back in the late 1700’s.
There used to be an entire village on our land. Our old farm house is the last standing building. The man we bought our land from back in the 1980’s was born here (Lloyd D. Hutchins Senior, 1912-2007 RIP) on the land and he farmed another part of it before us. Walking through the woods it is amazing the number of foundations we run across in the woods. Some are full depth, others just corners of rock that perhaps were sheep sheds. Some are down in the valley along the road, others on the ridge roads and a few are high up on the mountains.
When Lloyd was a young man he hayed most of this land but now there are big trees. Lloyd told me the story that he came back from the war and working down country. He said his fathers house was gone and in the middle of the foundation was a tree thicker than his shoulders. He said that made him feel old. Lloyd told me that when he was a spry 80 years of age. He didn’t die until last fall at the age of 95. He remained pretty able right up until the last couple of years. Lloyd used to come visiting often. He told me a lot of stories about the land. My wife Holly says we were peas in a pod. Ironically, years after we moved here Lloyd and I figured out that we were probably cousins, sharing a common aunt from the 1800’s. We both have big families so that’s pretty easy to have happen in a small rural area.
The forests are filled with stone walls from the lows of the valley up to the peaks of the mountains. One doesn’t build stone walls in the woods. Moving that much rock is just too much work. People did it to clear the fields. Now those fields are gone, filled with trees of great girth that reach into the sky. At one time almost all of Vermont was sheep pasture. Now it is almost all forested. A hundred years. Just a hundred years have passed. One man’s lifetime. Things change and change again. The world keeps on keeping on.
So I stumbled on this brick out in the north end of the north field. Time to time the pigs or I dig up an old axe head, a shard of a dish, an old whiskey bottle, a boot, an ancient machine part, old flat nails, a section of chain, a tool. I collect these bits and pieces and I think about the history under my feet.
Outdoors: 58°F/24°F Cloudy, 1″ Rain
Farm House: 66°F/49°F
Tiny Cottage: 72°F/62°F