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Mysterious carved rock - Hermit's Rock

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Every now and then I'll check out coasttocoastam.com. There is a picture there that really interests me! Here's the photos and article that goes with it...

...This rock is located in the woods of Oswegatchie, NY. It is not accessible by any other means but hiking, dirt-bike or ATV.... According to local stories, this is called “Hermit Rock” and was hand-carved by a local man who lived alone in the woods....
Much of the writing is worn, but it supposedly describes his family history. The writing is similar to Uncial and Viking type that I have seen elsewhere, though the carving is at most 200 years old.


This is my deciphering of the rock:



JUNE 13 53
JFNH8 OUR C???F
ON LOT 3 TOWN
CLIFTON BURNED
LIVED HERE ON LOT 10
FINE SINCE 49
IF OUR SO DEAR MOTHE
RS-KNEW OF OUR PRAIS
I WAS BORN IN 1872 ES
BY C-MARWARINC


I am not sure about the dates, the second line or the guy's last name. Does anyone else want to help figure out what the rock says and the history behind it?
post #2 of 15
Looks to me like:

OUR CAVE ON LOT 3
TOWN CLIFTON BURNED
post #3 of 15
Doing some googling, that rock may have something to do with the history outlined in the following link. They talk about Mohawk raids and burning of buildings.

http://saratoganygenweb.com/Sylvester/chap47.html

http://www.netease.net/wayne/burningclifton.htm

And state borders aren't necessarily what they were a couple hundred years ago.

Here is another link:

http://www.rossie.nhturnbulls.org/ros_hist.html

Quote:
The assessment roll was for the present towns of Rossie, Fowler and Hammond. The greater part of the land cleared was in the vicinity of the present village of Somerville. There was a small settlement at Hailesboro in Fowler though not very much land was cleared. In Hammond, one man had established himself at Chippewa Bay and a hermit lived somewhere in the woods. At Rossie village a small clearing had been made around the mill. Of the 499 acres cleared, less than 100 lay outside the Teall and Streeter tract.
I love history and would love to go and read and touch that rock!
post #4 of 15
Fascinating! If he was born in 1872, though, then when he says he "lived here on lot 10 fine since 49," he must mean 1949, when he would have been 77 years old. And that would mean the carving must have been done no earlier than 1950...

Which fits right in with the date carved at the top, which I suspect should be read as June 13, 1953. So I think the carving was done by a man of 82!

I think what you're reading as "JFNH8" may be "JN 48" -- meaning June 1948 -- and the "C???F" may go along with the "ON" on the next line to read "CLIF[T]ON"...

I think the "ES" that appears to come after "1872" is actually the end of the word "praises" from the line above.

And I think the C on the end of "Marwarinc" is actually a G... which would make it a fairly common name in the English language.

So the way I read it, I think he might be saying:

June 13, 1953 [the date he carved it]

June '48 our Clifton Lot 3 town Clifton burned [where he lived and why he left]

Lived here on Lot 10 fine since '49 [where he lives now]

If our so dear mothers knew of our praises [just a loving family reference? and I think the hyphen between "mothers" and "knew" was put there after the words, because he saw that there wasn't much separation between them and thought he should clarify]

I was born in 1872 [self-explanatory]

by C. Marwaring [this hyphen is intended as a period, I'm sure, to separate his first initial and last name]

It would be such fun to go through the landholder records and see if you could find where Lots 3 and 10 were -- and maybe you could track down Mr. Marwaring, too!

So neat -- thanks for sharing!
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Fascinating! If he was born in 1872, though, then when he says he "lived here on lot 10 fine since 49," he must mean 1949, when he would have been 77 years old. And that would mean the carving must have been done no earlier than 1950...

Which fits right in with the date carved at the top, which I suspect should be read as June 13, 1953. So I think the carving was done by a man of 82!

I think what you're reading as "JFNH8" may be "JN 48" -- meaning June 1948 -- and the "C???F" may go along with the "ON" on the next line to read "CLIF[T]ON"...

I think the "ES" that appears to come after "1872" is actually the end of the word "praises" from the line above.

And I think the C on the end of "Marwarinc" is actually a G... which would make it a fairly common name in the English language.

So the way I read it, I think he might be saying:

June 13, 1953 [the date he carved it]

June '48 our Clifton Lot 3 town Clifton burned [where he lived and why he left]

Lived here on Lot 10 fine since '49 [where he lives now]

If our so dear mothers knew of our praises [just a loving family reference? and I think the hyphen between "mothers" and "knew" was put there after the words, because he saw that there wasn't much separation between them and thought he should clarify]

I was born in 1872 [self-explanatory]

by C. Marwaring [this hyphen is intended as a period, I'm sure, to separate his first initial and last name]
By George I think you got it! The carrying over of the words from one line to another makes sense.
post #6 of 15
Y'know, what's amazing to me is that this man was born in 1872, and his life seems so long ago to us, such a mysterious part of murky history... but my own grandfather, whom I knew well, was born just six years later!

We're really so closely linked to the past... a century or two is not so long ago at all. And isn't it wonderful that Mr. Marwaring sent us this message? Bless his heart!
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Doing some googling, that rock may have something to do with the history outlined in the following link. They talk about Mohawk raids and burning of buildings.

http://saratoganygenweb.com/Sylvester/chap47.html
Sounds interesting! However, Saratoga county is in the eastern side of NY. Oswegatchie - near the rock's location - is in St. Lawrence county and is right along the Canadian border.

ETA: D'oh! He could've been from Saratoga county and was living near Oswegatchie when he carved it.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Y'know, what's amazing to me is that this man was born in 1872, and his life seems so long ago to us, such a mysterious part of murky history... but my own grandfather, whom I knew well, was born just six years later!

We're really so closely linked to the past... a century or two is not so long ago at all. And isn't it wonderful that Mr. Marwaring sent us this message? Bless his heart!
My father was born in 1902, so that man was 30 years old at the time.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post

And I think the C on the end of "Marwarinc" is actually a G... which would make it a fairly common name in the English language.
That makes much more sense! I'm curious, though -- why did he decide to carve about it on a rock, years after it happened? Hmm.
post #10 of 15
Hey! I just now finally looked directly at the carving itself, and I'm sure now that it does say "June 1953" at the top. [EDIT: I accidentally typed "June 13 1953," but I've fixed it now.]

And now I think that confusing first line actually reads: "JUNE 48 OUR CAMP ON LOT 3 TOWN CLIFTON BURNED." From the way he spaced it, he may have carved "TOWN OF CLIFTON," which would be better English, but I can't actually see any trace of it in the photos.

I also think his first initial might be a G, rather than a C with a hyphen after it... either is possible.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moz View Post
That makes much more sense! I'm curious, though -- why did he decide to carve about it on a rock, years after it happened? Hmm.
Maybe because he was an old man, nearing death, and he wanted to leave his mark on the place where he lived... so someone would know he had been there.

Gosh, when I was just 13, on the day we moved from Washington DC to Fort Hood, Texas, the last thing I did was go inside my closet and write on the inside edge of the door, "We enjoyed living here," our family's name, and the date. I guess the impulse to leave a mark begins early for some of us!
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Hey! I just now finally looked directly at the carving itself, and I'm sure now that it does say "June 13 1953" at the top.

And now I think that confusing first line actually reads: "JUNE 48 OUR CAMP ON LOT 3 TOWN CLIFTON BURNED." From the way he spaced it, he may have carved "TOWN OF CLIFTON," which would be better English, but I can't actually see any trace of it in the photos.

I also think his first initial might be a G, rather than a C with a hyphen after it... either is possible.
Ah! That makes sense, too.
post #13 of 15
Ha! Sorry to post so often, but I just realized -- it's "JAN 48" when the camp burned down: January, not June.

And it's not Marwaring -- it's MANWARING! (I keep seeing new stuff! This is such fun!)
post #14 of 15
That's kind of cool. I love things like that!
post #15 of 15
Isn't it? Gosh, I'd love to go see that rock.
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