Grace Greylock Niles.

The Hoosac Valley, its legends and its history online

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lie in the northern portion of the Hopper. They rise on a
fork of Money Brook, near the brow of Mount Fitch, and
descend over 2000 feet down to the floor of the amphitheatre
south of Wilbur Park. They are considered the highest
permanent waterfalls in Massachusetts, and were discovered
by Prof. Albert Hopkins while leading the Alpine Club in
June, 1869. He says:

The falls are in a dell so deep and lonely, that to most
persons they are destined to remain among the myths of
Greylock. Only those who have beheld the Notch and
the Inner Hopper, or Hopper within the Hopper, are able
to appreciate the tremendous powers that have nearly over-
thrown the Chieftain Greylock himself.

A cloud-burst took place in the Hopper, which resulted in
an avalanche that cleared the rocky terraces for a distance

504 The Hoosac Valley

of 1000 feet. The members of the Alpine Club visited the
place, November 4, 1865. Another cloud-burst occurred on
the eastern face of Grey lock in August, 1902' that denuded
the "Chief tain 's-stairway" from the summit down, stair
by stair to Gould's Farm in Adams.

Prof. Albert Hopkins died May 24, 1872. At that time
he was preparing an illustrated book entitled The Mountains
and the Months. It was to contain descriptive sketches
from White Oaks and scenes among the Hoosac Highlands,
compiled from notes made afield with the students of Wil-
liams on Mountain Days and with the members of the
Alpine Club. He was borne to his grave in College Ceme-
tery, Mission Park, just as a glorious rainbow spanned the
valley from the Taconacs on the west to Alberta's Range of
the Green Mountains, The bell in the tower of the Con-
gregational Church still tolls forth to his memory: "he


The late historian, Arthur Latham Perry, in the chapter
"Backward and Forward," in Williamstown and Williams
College, said that "William D wight Whitney and John
Bascom were the most scholarly men ever graduated at
Williams College," Dr. Whitney became editor-in-chief of
the Century Dictionary, completed in 1898. Dr. Bascom was
best known as an orator and philosopher, and published
The Words of Christ in 1883, Problems in Philosophy in 1885,
and an Historical Interpretation oj Philosophy during 1893,
The latter, Professor Perry considered the "most important
philosophical speculation from Pythagoras to Lotze," and
one of the most valuable and comprehensive books on
philosophy given to the world.

The Greylock Park Association was incorporated April
15, 1885. The capital was $20,000, held in shares of $25

' H. F. Cleland, "Landslides of Mount Greylock and Briggsville, Mass.,"
Journal Geol., x., pp. 513-517, 1902.

Dr. John Bascom, Orator and Philosopher, Williams College, Pioneer

Promoter and Commissioner of Greylock Park Reservation.

Died October 2, igji.


5o6 The Hoosac Valley

each. The Directors and Associate Members were citizens
of Adams, North Adams, and WilHamstown. The Asso-
ciation purchased 400 acres on the summit, and later expen-
ded $4,425 building the North Adams Road from Walden
Farm through Wilbur Park to the summit, a log cottage, barn,
and the present iron tower. The Association, in the latter
part of 1900, conveyed Grey lock Park property to the Gen-
eral Court of Massachusetts for a State Park Reservation,
to enclose 10,000 acres. The Legislature has appropriated
in all $91,000 toward purchasing the specified land. It is
now reported that 8243 acres have already been purchased,
and the Reservation extends from Raven Rock on Ragged
Mountain in the Notch westward to Mount Bascom, down
to the base of the Hopper, and south from Slope Norton of
Prospect Range to Jones's Nose and Roimds's Rocks.

The roads of Greylock Park are nearly complete. A con-
tinuous highway extends from North Adams through the
Notch over the summit, thence to Lanesboro and Pittsfield.
The bald brow of the Hoosac Highlands is now encircled
with a pleasure trail. A road also branches off from the
Rockwell Road and meets the main road from Pittsfield to
WilHamstown at New Ashford Village. Another branch
road leads down to the Alpine Club's camp -ground as far
as the Bluffs on Mount Bascom in Bacon Park. A road
from Adams is to be built westward over the summit through
the Hopper, and thence along the Green River Road to

To the traveller standing on Simonds Peak in Wilbur
Park or on Mount Bascom in Bacon Park, visions of beauty
burst upon the eye as it takes in the devious windings of
the little rivers in the Valley of Mingling Waters. Distant
murmurs of leaping, laughing waters, falling from the Sum-
mit into the "Heart of Greylock" and Inner Hopper,
together with the soft whispering tones of Wawbeek and Sky

The Arch of Truth, Front Gateway leading to the Knickerbacker Mansion,

Old Schaghticoke, New York.

The Arch was erected by Joseph Foster Knickerbacker, the " Poet of the
Vale," to commemorate his poem, "The Arch of Truth," in 1876. The view is
that obtained from the quaint, divided door of the hall of entrance to the "Ho-
stead " of Grandfather Knickerbocker's Manor. Originally a Dove, symbolic of
the Wakon-bird — Holy Spirit Dove of the Hoosacs — was carved on the crest of
the Archway.

" The Arch of Truth represented a lofty over-circled gateway or entrance to
Courts of surpassing glory and adornment, and was, in its every part, a holy type
of the portal opening to the abodes of Immortality.''

Joseph Foster Knickerbacker, A Vision: The Arch of Truth.


5o8 The Hoosac Valley

Falls from a remote dell of the Hopper, are borne to the
enchanted ear of the dreamer.

Mount Greylock Park, says Dr. Bascom, becomes "our
daily pleasure, our constant symbol, our ever renewed in-
spiration, a gift to all who have a living fellowship with

Reformers, hurrying the Millennium's dawn
Urging to-morrow's blossom to bloom to-day,
Here gird your baffled, warring minds anew.^

' Dr. John Bascom, Greylock Reservation, 1907.
^Author unknown, Greylock.



The chill and startling strokes of war no more
Disturb your blended streams with crimson oar;
And naught but peace and softened scars remain
To mark the moss-grown mounds of heroes slain.

The years of gentle time have willed it so,
And bade your mingling waters leap and flow
From out the "Heart of Greylock's" brotherhood;
To bless the hallowed "Vale of Peace" where stood

The warriors reared in this calm solitude,

Who gave their lives to serve a nation's good.

Here, let these rivulets forever flow;

Drink from the highland domes the melting snow;

Drain from the dark ravines and hollows near,
The mountain cascades, flowing soft and clear;
Lead Sorrow's children upward to your source;
Unfold the joyous secrets of your course.

The highest land of Hoosac's noble hills
Shall sweetly ring with song and louder trills;
And many a spring within the "Bellows'" dumb,
Shall swell and flow with swift yet soothing hum.

Oft gentle Soquon, of Great Soquis' race,
Sang in the "Bellows'" holy hunting-place;
Where Onetho,^ the phantom chieftain, hies,
Wielding the lightning weapons of the skies.

' Bryant, Legend of the Delawares and Mahicans.


510 The Hoosac Valley

And where devious Hoosac rolls his floods,
The Homer of the New Arcadian woods
First touched Apollo's true-toned lyre,
And sang of Death with faith's undying fire.

Here Mother Nature taught from year to year,
The willing heart and mind of many a seer;
Dear storied Tanglewood of Hawthorne's day,
And Ethan Brand were moulded from this clay.

And Wisdom's voicing pen, in Thoreau's hand,
Has made us love these hills and understand
Their value, in the universe of things;
And hold them in our minds like echoings.

Here 'neath New Antioch's glowing arch of peace,
Great seers have striven for a world's release.
"What art is theirs, the written spells to find
That sway from mood to mood the willing mind!"^

'T is here the poets of all nations bring

The autumn's oaken-branch — the bloom of spring;

Calumet and Swastik — tributes hung in air,

Around Mills's "Haystack" mission-shrine of prayer.

Roll on fair Hoosac with Orontean's song;
Flow peacefully through all the centuries long
To that unbounded shore — Eternity!
That God decrees alike for man and thee.

Grace Greylock Niles.

^ Bryant, The Poet.






Men of the East

Warriors of the Rising Sun



Men of the West
Warriors of the Flint



Turtle Mother-tongue


Delaware-Huron Mochomes

(Abenakis-Iroquois Grandfathers)


The Abenakis Democracy' and the Iroquois Confederacy originally con-
tained three great totemic cantons of warriors, subdivided into several tribes.
The former nation included the Turtle grandfathers of Great Unami, the
Bears of Great Soqui, and the Wolves of Great Minsi. They resided in the
Delaware, Hudson, Champlain, Connecticut, and St. Lawrence basins of New
Netherland, New England, and New France. The Iroquois Nation contained
the Turtle grandfathers of Great Antinathin, the Bears of Great Maquaas,
and the Wolves of Great Enanthayonni. They occupied the Lake Huron
and Mohawk-Hudson basins in New France and New Netherland west of
the Hudson-Champlain divide. The Iroquois were hereditary enemies of the
Abenakis warriors from time immemorial. The Abenakis king and council-
lors occupied the Hudson, Hoosac, and Housatonac valleys; and the Iroquois
king and councillors occupied the Mohawk and Cohohahoohra (West Canada
Creek) valleys. They met their enemies on the field of contest in the Taconac
and Green Mountains and laid claim to the neutral hunting-grounds of Lake
Champlain region. The origin of Unami-Antinathin musical mother- tongue ^
is still unknown.

' Electa F. Jones, Stockhridge Past and Present, pp. 18-20.

^'The Abenakis and Iroquois names of places contain descriptive phrases
according to prefix or affix :



The Hoosac Valley








(Great Unami)

Traditional country of the Lenni-
Lenape Snake and Turtle grand-
fathers in the Orient.

The Delaware and Mahican country
in the Occident.

The "white light of sunrise" signify-
ing: Eastlanders, Men of the East,
Warriors of the Rising Sun, Occiden-

The "original and unmixed people"
of Great Unami or Turtle Race.
They were recognized as Mochomes
(grandfathers) of the Abenakis De-

Ac, ack, ic, ick, uc, uck, oc, ock, ing,
ah, ea, eck, wa, wagh, wog, ra, etc.
(Hoo-sac, Housatonac, Mayoonsac,
Taconac, etc.)

Wa, wauw, wagh (Wanalancet, Wi-
gow-wauw, great sachem; Asha-
wagh, land between Wi-gow-wauws)

Ho, hoo, hooh, hous, uk-hooh, co-
hooh (Hoo-sac, Hoosatonac, Housa-

Co, ti, ca, ko, ga, go (Coos, Cohoes,
and Ticonderoga)

Os, oes
Wi, we
(Coos, Cooesac, Cohoes, Hooes, Hooe-


(Cohoesac, Cohohatatea)





Cohoha, Cahoh, Gahoh

Affixes signifying place or location.
The affix ac has been uniformly
adopted by the author for Hoosac
and Housatonac names.

Affixes or prefixes signifying sachem
or chieftain, and their land.

Prefixes signifying owl or orator's
land or rivers.

Prefixes denoting cascade or water-

Small or little.

Great or broad.

Cohoes Falls, Hooesac Falls.

(Little Falls).


Hudson Valley beyond Cohoes Falls.


Rocky. ^

Narrow pass or ravine.

Landscape or valley.

Cradle-hollows or pot-holes (Leaping




(Great Soqui)
(Great Minsi)

Algonquin Race









(Great Sachem)







' Electa F. Jones, Stockbridge Past and Present
' Ruttenber's Indian Tribes of Htidson River, p. 28

mocracy. They resided about Dela-
ware Bay and their grandsons of Great
Soqui and Great Minsi, known as
Noochwissacs (grandchildren), occu-
pied the Hudson and Connecticut
valleys in the mountains.

A French Jesuit term, signifying,
"musical mother-tongue" of the
Lenni-Lenapes and their grandsons
of the Abenakis Democracy.

Great Spirit, God of the Heavens,
Promoter of peace and welfare from
the Country of Souls beyond the Sea.

A fabled tortoise, the evil spirit,
devil, or fiend of calamity, wor-
shipped as the god of thunder.

War-dance, known as devil-dance,
observed before advancing against
an enemy. First observed by the
Christians at "Dans Kammer"^
(dance-chamber) at Newburgh Point
on the Hudson.

King of the Abenakis Democracy.
After the death of the Great Sachem,
one of his nephews (if he have any
on his sister's side) was appointed to
succeed him instead of his own sons
or brother's sons.

The sachem, chieftain, and petty-
sagamore were subject to the Great
Sachem in all national questions of
war or peace.

The Wigwam, or castle of the Great
Sachem, was built by the Abenakis
Nation at Chescodonta Hill and


The Hoosac Valley

(Great Soqui)


Schodac, the site of Albany ami
Castleton on the Hudson, and later
at Skatecook-site of Sheffield on the

Great Sachems of Abenakis Democ-
racy. The Bear canton of Great
Soqui was considered highest -n
dignity, and the king and his cabinet
of councillors were chosen from the
royal families of this race. The
Great Sachem received no stated
salary, although the warriors of the
Pemocracy rendered tribute or taxes
annually at the Festival of the Har-
vest Moon of Autumn and the Festi-
val of the New Moon of Spring. He
■was supplied with a long We-ko-
wohm, castle large enough to enter-
tain the nation's councillors and wise
men and priests from afar. Muk-sens
(moccasins), skins, blankets, baskets,
bags, and piles of corn and beans
were rendered as the nation's tribute.
The ancient medicine-bag, containing
Hebrew Scriptures, Calumet, wam-
pum belts, remained at the Great
Sachem's castle. It descended with
his office to his successor. After the
death of a Great Sachem, the nation
considered "their light put out, " and
mourned under dark clouds until
another king was appointed by the
vote of the warriors and councillors
of the Democracy. He must be
peaceable and exhort his people to live
in unity. He could be removed, if
he failed to behave agreeable to his
oath of office to his people. King Un-
cus and Passaconaway were evidently
dethroned and banished and sue-
ceeded by King Aepjen.
The cabinet of the Great Sachem.



Un-nuh kan-kun
(Great Soqui)

Secretary and messenger of the Great
Sachem. He resided at the national
castle of the nation, and guarded the
Mno-ti (bag of peace), containing
wampum-belts, the Calumets, and
other symbols of friendship. He was
required to Hght the Calumet for the
Great Sachem and deliver all mes-
sages of peace. He must above all
be honest and trustworthy, or his
feathers could be removed and
another appointed to the office.


(Great Soqui)

Owl or Orator of the Abenakis De-
mocracy. The office was won by wis-
dom and merit and required a good
memory, for the orator recorded
the nation's historic traditions. He
resided in the Uk-hooh-sac, or Hoo-
sac Valley.


War-whoop of the Hoosac Bears of
Great Soqui.

(Great Minsi)

Hero or Emperor's office of the De-
mocracy was won only through
merit and bravery. The Hero sat
with the Great Sachem and his coun-
cillors at all national councils held at
Schodac Castle. His vote served to
confirm their agreements. He was
beloved by the warriors of the nation.
In warfare the Hero became their
brave and prudent leader. Great
Minsi, or Wolf canton, next to Great
Soqui or Bear canton, comprised the
bravest warriors of the nation. Ma-
quon's Mahicansacs occupied Moene-
mine's Castle below Cohoes Falls
of the Mohawk Valley, and Soquon's
Soquonsacs or Hoosacs occupied
Unuwat's Castle, on the east bank of
the Hudson. They guarded the war-
trails leading from the Iroquois Con-


The Hoosac Valley

federacy to the Abenakis king's
Schodac Castle.


The war-whoop of Maquon's war-
riors of Great Minsi, or Wolf Race,
who bore the totem of a super-
natural wolf, from which arose their
canton's designation. At first they
resided on the West bank of the
Hudson, south of the Mohawk


French-Algonquin name for Loup
(wolf or dog).


Schaghticoke and St. Francis war-
riors' name for wolf in Nebraska and


Stockbridge's name for wolf in Wis-



Present names of mixed Turtle, Wolf,
and Bear warriors of New York, New
England, and New France.

The French Jesuits called all the
Abenakis warriors of New York and
New England Loups, or dogs, now
called Mohegans.








The "ebbing and flowing river" of
the Lenni-Lenapes.

The Minquas' and Minces' name for
the Heroes' or Mahicansacs' Valley.


The Hoosacs' or Soquonsacs' name
for Aepjen's Schodac River.






Grande Rio De Montagne
(Grand River)

(Orange River)

Hudson River

North River

The Iroquois name for the Mahican-
sacs' River, according to John
Bleecker's translation in 181 1, re-
ported to Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell.
The name refers to the Hudson Val-
ley, lying beyond the Cohoes Falls
of the Mohawk's Valley of Leaping,
Laughing Waters.

The Mahicansac was known as
Shaita-Pelican or Sea-gull River,
according to Sachem Odjibioa.

The Hudson was known as the River
of Still-Waters, near the site of
Skeetecook Village, at the junction
of the Hoosac with the Hudson, oppo-
site Stillwater Village.

Grand River of the Mountains,
according to Verrazzano's map, pre-
pared by King Francis II. of France
in 1524. Jean Allefonsce's traders
from St. Ange, France, in 1540-1542,
and Henry Hudson and his English
and Dutch crew of the Half Moo?i in
1609-16 10, refer to the Mahicansac
as the Grande River of the Moun-

The Grande River was rechristened
Mariritius River by the Dutch Boers
and French Walloons between 1614-
1624, in honor of Prince Maurice of
Nassau and Orange.

After the English conquest of New
Netherland, the Orange River was
rechristened Hudson's River in honor
of the first English navigator, Henry
Hudson, who with the Hollanders
explored the stream in 1609.

The Hudson River in 1664 was


The Hoosac Valley

known as North River in order to
distinguish it from the Delaware
River, known as South River, and
from the Varsch or Connecticut,
known as East River.






Valley of the Owl-Sachem Soquon of
Great Soqui Race.

Uk-hooh-pauw's— the Owl's or Ora-
tor's hunting-grounds beyond the
Co-ho-ha-ta-tea, or Hudson Valley
east of Cohoes Falls of the Mohawk



(Valley of Mingling Waters)



A term signifying "mingling waters"
or the confluence of streams. After
the removal of the Abenakis De-
mocracy's Council-Fire from Scho-
dac on the Hudson to the Housatonac
Valley in 1664, the new national
name of Skatecook was adopted for
the Capital and the warriors were
known as Schaghticokes.

Terms signifying the land between
the sources of two rivers and two
Wauws or sachems.



(Ashawaghsac) '

Lake Ashawagh and boglands, be-
tween the sources of Hoosac and
Walloomsac rivers, at the base of
the Dome in Pownal, Vermont.

Islands between the junction or at
the confluence of two rivers.

South Branch of the Hoosac, rising
in the Ashawagh hills between the
headwaters of the Hoosac and Housa-
tonac rivers.

■ The latter name has been retained since it is easily pronounced.







North Branch of the Hoosac, rising
on Ashawaghsac Mountain in Ver-
mont, between the headwaters of
the Hoosac and Deerfield rivers.

(Green River)

A south branch of Hoosac River,
rising in the Ashawagh hills be-
tween the Hoosac and Housatonac

(Broad Brook)

A north branch of the Hoosac, rising
in the Dome and Mount Hazen of
Green Mountains in Vermont.

(Little Hoosac)

A south branch of the Hoosac, rising
in the Ashawagh hills between the
Hoosac and Kinderhook headwaters
in Berlin, New York.

Nipmuth Creek
(Shingle Hollow Brook)

A west branch of the Hoosac River,
rising on Rensselaer Plateau between
the headwaters of the Hoosac and
Tomhannac rivers, in Hoosac, New
York. Residence of the sachem, or
sakemo, of the Mahicans.

St. Croix-sac
Walloon Creek
(Walloomsac) '

The east branch of Hoosac River,
known as St. Croix, was first settled
by French Walloons, from which
arose the name Walloomsac. It rises
in the Dome and Lake Ashawagh, of
Pownal, and in Woodford, Vt.

(Owl Kill)


A north branch of the Hoosac, rising
in the Ashawagh hills between the
headwaters of the Hoosac and Batten
Kill Rivers in New York. The Owl's
sacrificial altar to Great Manitou and
Hobbamocko was located below the
junction of the Owl Kill with the
Hoosac River.

A south branch of the Hoosac, ris-

' The name is a corruption of Walloonsac.


The Hoosac Valley

(Tomhannac Creek)

ing in the Hoosac Lake District on
Rensselaer Plateau between the
headwaters of the Hoosac and Kin-
derhook rivers in Grafton, New York.

(Dwaas Kill)

A west branch of the Hoosac,
near its junction with the Hudson.
The Dutch name signifies "flowing
both ways." "Kill" is a corruption
of "kerk" and refers to St. Anthony's
mission chapel, built near St. An-
thony Kill, south of the Dwaas Kill.



The Housatonac River has many
spellings, corrupted by the English,
Dutch, and Moravian missionaries.
It is a name descriptive of the Abena-
kis Democracy's national council-fire-
place at Skatecook (Sheffield) which
lies east, beyond Schodac and Co-
hoes castles of the Hudson. It also
refers to the over-mountain Valley
of Mingling Waters beyond the Owl's
Hoosac Valley, and should be spelled
Hoosatonac instead of Housatonac.




K ' ta-kanatatshan


The name for Taconac Mountains
arose from the term Tohkoneac, first
used to designate a large spring w'ith
a rocky bottom near Copake Lake on
Livingston's "Taghkanic Tract,"
west of the main Taconac Range.
The Moravian missionaries corrupted
the name later and designated the
Dome — the great woodsy mountain
east of Shekomeko, Dutchess County,
N. Y. — K'fakanatatshan, signifying
"great, woodsy rocky mountain."
The name Taconac is now applied
to the entire range from Dutchess
County, N. Y., north to Addison
County, Vt.









A term signifying the confluence of
two streams, from which arose "Val-
ley of MingHng Waters," applied to
both the Hoosac and Housatonac
valleys. King Aepjen adopted the
name Skatecook in 1664 for the site
of his national council-fire about the
junction of Wampanicksepoot, Green
River, with the Housatonac River,
now the site of Sheffield, Mass.

The Moravian missionaries under
Count Zinzendorf corrupted the
names, Wi-gow-wauw (Great Sa-
chem) and Skatecook to Westenhuck.
The English in 1739 incorporated the
town Stockbridge, and the Schaghti-
cokes of the Housatonac became
known as Stockbridges.


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