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Psychic Worlds

VISIT TO A VERMONT STONE CHAMBER

The New England area of the United States is home to a very large number of mysterious and controversial stone structures, including chambers, standing stones, platforms, and what look like cairns. They are mysterious and controversial because no one really knows who built them or why, yet strong opinions about their origin range from colonial root cellars, to Indian shelters, to Norse settlers, to very ancient "ibero-celtic" temples. As yet, no hard evidence is available to support any of the current theories.

Two of the primary written sources of information on stone chambers in Vermont are America B.C., by Barry Fell, and Vermont's Stone Chambers, by Giovanna Neudorfer. Fell's book is more a work of dramatic speculation, and Neudorfer's is more of a scientific survey for the Vermont Historical Society. Both have lots of photos. The New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA) also has a website with information and photos of stone sites all over New England.

In May of 2004 my wife and I were part of a group that was invited to visit the largest stone chamber in Vermont, which is situated on private property in the hills above the town of South Woodstock. The photos below are of this visit.

This path is just inside the gate to the property and the chamber is straight ahead. To the right outside the photo is a standing stone that will be seen later.

Here is the entrance. It is larger inside than it looks, being about 3 meters wide, 6 meters long, and about 2 meters high. The board on the right side of the doorway is a recent addition to help prevent the collapse of the lintel.

This hollow area is just to the left of the last photo and is probably the remains of a colonial utility building.

This hollow is located behind the viewpoint of the chamber entrance, and is no doubt the remains of a house site. A lot of bricks, probably from a chimney, are lying at the base of the prominent tree at the left of the photo.

Inside the chamber looking out. According to Fell, the doorway faces 123 degrees southeast, the position of the winter solstice sunrise, and this corresponds closely to C's measurement from the back end of the chamber. According to our guide she has watched the sunlight reach the back of the chamber on a number of solstices.

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