The Devil's Chimney Ammended:
It seems the Devil's Chimney along the Hoosic River no longer exists. The engraving in "The Hoosac Valley: Its Legends and Its History" by Grace Niles shows what it looked like: Devils Chimney Engraving
The Devil's Chimney was a limestone column which is part of an extensive
cliff. It was along the Hoosic river near Schaghiticoke, New York.
It is described in Manitou as a "natural hollow obelisk of limestone nearly 70 feet high" and "named for an Indian ritual at this place to appease Hobomock"
and it supposedly generated fumes as well.
Below is my modern 2006 shot that roughly corresponds to the engraving.
The photos after that will work from a right to left sequence along the cliff.
BTW these shots were taken with a dispoable camera.
A third shot a little further over to the left.
When I first published this page I had thought the above column-like structure left-of-center was the "Devil's Chimney", but when I saw the engraving in Grace Nile's book I realized that it no longer existed and was also further up the river. The land I took the photos from are and Indian graveyard mentioned in the book. However the site of the Devil's Chimney is an imposing natural formation though and worth the trouble it took to find it. Unfortunately it is only visible from a private farm.
Initially we went to the farmer's house to ask permission and he turned us down because of insurance liability issues. A little later we were parked on the
shoulder of the nearby highway straining our necks and eyes at a place where it could be seen about a mile away. He passed us in his pickup, turned around, came back and graciously gave us his permission. He knew the stories associated with it and wrote the fumes off as fog that collects on the water.
The Weeping Rocks:
The "Weeping Rocks" are actually given only a brief mention in the Manitou
book. A better description can be found in the book
"Curious New England" by Joseph Citro. This book includes an exact description on where to find them including the number of the
nearest telephone pole on the road below! Suffice to say here they are just south of Pownal, VT. They are called "weeping" because water drips from them
continually and they were indeed weeping when I visited them. While I was up the owner of a nearby car dealership came out to talk to my wife,
he said it use to be an extensive cave which collapsed during his grandfather's day. He also said it had quite a few more visitors in recent years than
normal. We told him about the Citro book and its publication date coincided with the start of the increase.
This is a shot taken on the way up. These were taken with a digital camera.
There is also an old photo of them in Grace Nile's book as well: Weep Rocks Photo from the Book
The remnants of the above mentioned cave which is just to the right of the actual "Weeping Rocks".
Looking out from that cave at my wife below -probably should have used the flash for that one.
Finally a shot of the "Weeping Rocks" or "Rock" as the case maybe just to the right of the cave remnant. The camera couldn't pick up the "weeping" itself.
A close up of where the "weeping" was coming from. That moss was getting moisture from somewhere!
A shot of the rocks from the other side. The mouth of the cave remnant is visible.
Another shot from the cave looking up at the roof.
This is a shot of an aperture in the cliff just below and a few yards south of the Weeping Rocks.
An interior shot of the same aperture.
This magnificent "Balanced Rock" is located near Pittsfield, MA. in
what-a-shocker "Balanced Rock State Park". It is open to the public of
course with no fee.
You have to watch out for the dirt bikers though. Just after we got out of our car we engaged one of the dirt bikers in conversation about the rock. It turned out
he had a keen interest in the rock from a Masonic point of view! He had actually engaged in measurements involving the rock and some other nearby features and their angular (degrees) relationship with Masonic hierarchy (degrees). The exact obscure details of this have sadly fled my memory. It made for an even more surreal
early Saturday afternoon though. I have to admit I didn't bother to record what direction I was shooting from, so I have to judge from the sunlight and the time the shot was taken at about 11:00 am. I think this was taken in a northerly direction.
The rest of the photos are gradually moving around the "Balanced Rock" counter clockwise.
Calling it "Balanced Rock" is an understatement. Henry Moore eat your heart out. These photos were taken around 11:00 am so I would have to say judging from the sunlight that the shot was taken probably towards the south west.
This shot is pretty much the same angle as the old etching shown in
the Manitou book on page 251.
The rock is also called "Atotarho's Duff". The name "Atotarho" being a "dynasty of Iroquois kings who possessed supernatural powers"
"Duff" being a game played by placing rocks on top of one another and trying to knock the top one off from a distance.
The smaller rock on the left has a hole in the top.
Notice how the rock literally hovers off the ground on the right!
An almost eastern view.
Coming around to where I started.
Including myself here to give an idea of its size.
Finally, a photo of my wife pointing to the hole of the smaller rock
described and shown above. Probably should have zoomed for this one!