Ancient Brick by Spring


Ancient Brick

We found this partial brick high up on the mountain at the middle spring. The spring had obviously been ‘developed’ long, long ago, probably for one of the houses on our farm. I’m guessing about 1770 to 1850. That the spring was used was obvious from the shape of the surrounding soil being dug out, rock placements and… drum roll please… a brick!

A brick! What is a brick doing high up on the mountain?!? It’s like finding a leopard on the top of Kilamenjaro. It just didn’t belong there.

This was a sign. A sign of human activity. Someone carried that brick up there. Why? Possibly there was a house nearby, a bit downhill, close enough to be worth developing this spring yet still up high on the mountain, far from the road, long, long ago.

The land in our town, and others around here, was divided up into 100 acre lots by speculators in England and sold to gullible, er, I mean adventurous, people who had never seen it. They then set off to the new world having no idea what they had bought. Some of those lots were on prime agricultural soils with good water, trees, natural fields, etc. Most weren’t. Some were marshes. Ugh. Argue with the beaver about who’s planting what and lose in the long run. Others were high up on the mountain above the sources of water. Perhaps even worse.

There was jockeying around, trading of lands and consolidation. The Indians, er, Native Americans we were called, didn’t live here because the land was too rough to bother with. This was bear, moose and beaver land. Cousin wolf raised deer here. Over time the settlers cleared most of the land in this region and raised sheep. Someone built a house near that spring. I’ve found a lot of foundations on our land and found other bricks, iron and stuff that shows where the town used to be.

Life was good in Vermont, as good as it is in the mountains during that time. That is, until the mini-ice age hit in the mid-1800’s. No, it was not man-made. And it was worse than global warming. Multiple years in a row of crop failure drove people away. Most of the population moved west chasing gold and easier land. In the beginning of the 1900’s our land was still open for the most part. It grew up again to forest over the past century. The houses fell down and the foundations vanished for the most part. Stone walls still show the boundaries. Arial photos show the outlines in the types of trees.

Occasionally I find a leopard up on Mt. Kilamenjaro, er, I mean a brick or iron implement on Sugar Mountain. It is a marker of a time gone by. I pause and think.

Outdoors: 72°F/48°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/69°F

Daily Spark: A correlation does not a causation make.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to Ancient Brick by Spring

  1. brett fox says:

    Neat to find old stuff like that. I have been cultivating various springs on my property and a couple of them you can tell im not the first one there. Most recently i was digging in what was all ways a wet spot to put a little pond in and with the second scoop of all rock (non-indicative to surroundings) i saw a round layed up curveture and water. Ice cold. After more investgation i found a old layed well 30″ in diameter fillled with water and rock.(the common practice for viable well for future use) so i have pumped and and pulled out rocks 12 feet and haven’t found bottom yet. But has filled with water since. 78 years on this property and no one5 in my family ever knew about this well. So now im curious who built it and when. Any way now i have a good watet source 100 feet from the house.

  2. Jan says:

    Fascinating. So that is probably a hand formed brick. What a piece of history! You live in a beautiful place filled with interesting history and you are making more. I wonder what future archiologists will make of the things you leave be hind!?

  3. Pablo says:

    I love this kind of stuff. I wish I could find something like it in my woods, but the closest I’ve come is a horse shoe and some old cattle bones.

  4. Nance says:

    I love this kind of stuff too. I’m thrilled you found the brick. May I come out with my witching sticks and metal detector? : ) The closest I have come to this was when we owned 37 acres in north central Missouri a few years ago. Tramping thru the woods one day, I stopped and looked down an old limestone well from the turn of the century. The real estate agent hadn’t told me about that. It was an adreneline rush, let me tell you! One more step west and I could have been in it. I tramped the forest for the next 4 years digging and delving and looking for a log cabin site. Never found it. Find more, Walter! find more . . .

  5. Peter says:

    Love these ancient found things posts. A little history here and there.

  6. Jason says:

    Nice post which The land in our town, and others around here, was divided up into 100 acre lots by speculators in England and sold to gullible, er, It mean adventurous, people who had never seen it. They then set off to the new world having no idea what they had bought. Some of those lots were on prime agricultural soils with good water, trees, natural fields, etc. Most weren’t. Some were marshes. Thanks a lot for posting.

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