FishUSA.com Fishing Tackle

Author Topic: Native American Legend about Mass Pond formed by an earthquake was a fabrication  (Read 781 times)

taxid

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,237
Just want to set the record straight about something I erroneously posted here about Mirror Lake, Devens originally named Shabokin by Native Americans, then Hell Pond by the first settlers, and finally the generic Mirror Lake by the U.S. Army that took over the land it sits on by eminent domain in 1917.  In the book Weird Massachusetts by Jeff Belanger, he states that a Native American said the pond came about overnight, by the collapse of a hill, stemming from a massive earthquake one to two centuries before the first settlers showed up.

I found the original passage Jeff refers to in book titled The History of the town of Harvard Massachusetts 1832 - 1893 by Henry S. Nourse A.M.  In the book it states that the so called Native American legend was fabricated by some Harvard residents (the town not the university) that found the name Hell pond not to their liking, and wanted to get the name changed to Hill Pond.

Here is the passage:
 
Hell Pond was leased by the town at the same date with Bare Hill Pond. Some attempts have been made by those who lament that so f^rim a title attaches to this beautiful lakelet, to rechristen it HillPond; and a "tradition" has been invented to justify the innovation. An Indian, a true son of the soil, is made to tell as a legend of his tribe, that a century or two before the pale-faced strangers came from beyond the seas, a lofty hill rose where the clear waters now mirror the sk)' in the Sliabi- kin woodlands; one night the earth trembled, and in the morning the hill was not, and in its place slept this little lake overshadowed by the gloomy pine forest, its depth equaling the height of the vanished hill. But the pioneers aluaws called it Hell Pond, and so it is recorded in the worn and yellow documents of their day that have come down to us.


https://historicharvard.




“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

The Jigger

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,568
  • Member of the G.O.D.S.

taxid

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,237
That said the state has had some significant earthquakes centuries ago, and still has very small tremors, which according to an earth sciences professor at Boston College could be aftershocks from those earthquakes.


“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

deerhunter

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,100
so its hell pond for me now

taxid

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,237
so its hell pond for me now

Or if you want to get really original Shabokin, which also means hell, although one form of the word refers to eels. May have had eels at one time?

What I found cool was the lake once had an outlet according to an old map (1887) that connected to the Nashua River, which was teaming with salmon and shad runs at one time, and probably had eel runs too. So at least some huge Atlantic Salmon may have drifted into the pond, or there could have even been a small landlocked salmon population? For sure with an outlet brook, there must have been some native brook trout in the pond at one time. I know there is an area of upwelling on the northeast corner that planted brook trout used to try and spawn on.



“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

 



Iceshanty | MyFishFinder | MyHuntingForum
Contact | Disclaimer | Sponsor
© 2004- MyFishFinder.com
All Rights Reserved.