two hundred yards, and without doubt, marks an extension of the con-
tact into the swamp. A considerable plain of coarse gravel extends from
this contact, and is succeeded by one composed of fine sand, one half a
mile further to the southeast.
In the Wenham swamp area, there are several islands of fine sand.
When the ice-block that occupied this area became very old, these sands
were probably washed into large holes in the ice, from the surface of over-
wash gravels. One of these, Turkey island, is the remnant of a drumlin,
and is composed of boulder-till. Its low, flat, upper surface is covered
by a thin sheet of water-laid sand and gravel, and at the northern edge
it is very steep, and probably jnarks an ice-contact.
At the south of Wenham swamp, across Asbury Grove and Wenham,
the outwash gravels join the gravels of the great wash-plain which covers
nearly the whole area of Wenham and Hamilton. Cutler's pond, in Ham-
ilton, is probably the eastern extension of the ice-block of this area.
The wash-plain gravels which cover the region known as the "back
side of Hamilton," and also part of Ipswich, show ice-contacts on the
northern bank of the Ipswich river from Mile brook in Topsfield to Miles
river, the outlet of Wenham pond. The present bed of the Ipswich river,
therefore, was the front of the retreating ice-sheet in this region when
this sand-plain was deposited. At the north of Dummer's hill, between
Bartholomew's hiU, Scott's hill, and Bush hill. Bull brook takes its rise in
Pine swamp. Probably local glacial ice formed here the kame topography
of short ridges, cones, and sand-plains which extend southeasterly to
the Ipswich river.
Near MiU river in Rowley and Georgetown, at the west of the Ipswich
area, is a noted region for kames, knobs, and basins. In Georgetown, from '
Long hill to Redshank hill, the longer axes of these kames are generally
in a northeasterly to southwesterly direction, and across the line of gla-
â€¢ciation of this region. The outward sand-plain at the southeast, extend-
ing across Rooty plain and Linebrook parish, to Topsfield, is the work
290 KAMES AND ICE-BLOCK HOLES
of overwash and outwash gravels, to be expected in front of an ice-
contact. "Kettle holes" are seen in many parts of this area, and many
of the larger individual holes have well developed overlapping sand and
gravel outwash on top of the general sand-plain. Some of these ice-
block holes are of remarkable depth, with very steep sides. One is
situated about half a mile north of the Boxford, Georgetown, and
Rowley, town boundary lines, on the division line between Georgetown
and Rowley. Others occur south of Mill river on the Rowley and Box-
ford boundary lines. There are several remarkable "kettle holes" in
Linebrook parish, and between Howlett's brook and Mile brook in Tops-
field, there is one that is forty feet deep. On the John W. Perkins farm
in Topsfield, near Mile brook, is a series of remarkable kame terraces
with very steep sides, extending in a westerly direction. These terraces
are the ridges which were left, after the berg-ice in front of the large ice-
block at Hood's pond had melted. The steep banks of gravel and sand
on the southerly shore of this pond are excellent examples of ice-contacts,
exhibiting the accompanying flood-plain of sand and gravel at the south-
east, extending across Topsfield.
The Chebacco lakes in Essex, Hamilton, and Wenham, are also ice-
block holes, with outward overwash sand-plains, short gravel ridges,
cones, and berg-ice holes deposited in a south to southwesterly direction.
Knowlton's swamp, from Hamilton Four Comers and parallel to Eastern
avenue in Hamilton, is a typical ice-contact of water-laid sand and gravel,
sloping abruptly to the low ground of the swamp. It is over one half
a mile long. The wash-plain of gravel and sand deposited outward
along this ice-front; the short kame-like ridges, cones, and lobate fans
of sand fringing outward and inclosing areas around Beck's pond; the
sand-plain at Woodbury's Station on the Boston and Maine railroad;
and Beech plain in the Hamilton and Essex woods, all are portions of
the wash-plain extending from Knowlton's swamp.
Bound pond, Gravelly pond, and Coy's pond, in Hamilton and Wenham,
are also ice-block holes having contacts of sand and gravel on their south-
easterly shores that develop outward into sand-plains and kames, filling
a large part of the lowlands between the outcropping granite ledges. At
Essex and Manchester, among the granite hills, there are numerous short
drainage-creases usually extending in directions east or west of the line of
glaciation, where water from the melting ice, in its final retreat from the
region, washed out the till, sand, and gravel, leaving these creases filled
with rocks and boulders. (See Fig. i66.)
Fig. 149. â€” HOG ISLAND, ESSEX, AT HIGH TIDE.
The rocks in the foreground are the remnants of a stone wall on either side of a road which has been subn^
because of subsidence.
Fig. 150.â€” GREAT HILL, HAVERHILL, AS SEEN FROM WHITTIER'S HILL.
Fig, 151.â€” DRUMLINS ON JEFFREY'S NECK, IPSWICH.
As seen from Eagle hill.
Fig. 152. â€” TURKEY HILL, A DRUMLIN AT EAST HAVERHILL.
POST-PLEISTOCENE SAND AND GRAVEL 295
The sand-plain extending southeasterly from Prospect hill in Rowley
and across Ipswich, is formed in front of an ice-block hole in Pine swamp.
The outwash sand-plains and kame ridge at the southeast of the Metcalf
rock diorite outcrop, form a nearly complete circle with a gravel cone in
the center. Bull brook and its tributaries, in Post-Pleistocene times, cut
down and removed to clayey boulder-till the sand-plain in the valley.
Beyond these valleys, sand and gravel ridges and rolling sand-plains extend
southeasterly to the Ipswich river. (See Fig 146.)
Post-Pleistocene Sand and Gravel. â€” South of the village of Ipswich,
fringing out in fan-shaped lobes from Heartbreak hill, and extending to the
northeastern part of the town of Essex, is an area showing boulder-till
ground moraine, surrounding ridges and plains of sand deposited during
the Champlain period.
In the Newbury-Byfield district, a boulder train extends from the salt
marsh at the west of Kent's island, across Byfield to Georgetown, a dis-
tance of six miles in a straight line, but following an irregular course of over
ten miles. The trend of the boulders is from the northeast to the south-
west and marks a halting place of the glacial ice in its retreat northward.
These boulders rest upon the surface of the ground moraine of boulder-till
and probably were once covered wholly, or in part, by the sand, gravel,
and clay that have been washed southward during interglacial times,
when the land surface was submerged, and now form the plain known as
"the Rye field" on which the car houses of the Boston and Northern
Electric railroad are built. A cross-section through this sand-plain shows
the surface for a depth of two feet, to be composed of fine sand and silt,
probably deposited in shallow water ; below this appears four feet of coarse
sand and next is found a deposit of very coarse gravel and well-rounded
stones with no sand â€” a typical sea beach or old lagoon. Surrounding
this ancient lagoon, at the south and east, and extending westerly from
the South Byfield meeting-house, there is a series of sand-dunes, more or
less grass-grown, only to be compared with the Post-Pleistocene dunes in
process of formation at the present time at Ipswich. This plain covers an
area about a mile square and is from six to ten miles inland from Plum
Island river. Near Mill river in Rowley, and south of this plain, beds
of clay and fine sediment are deposited, occupying the entire area to the
Newburyport turnpike at Chaplinville.
The live sand-dunes in "the Rye field" locality are the finest examples
of inland sand-dunes to be found in the County. They encircle a lagoon
through which meanders Wheeler's brook, probably a tide-water creek, at
296 POST-PLEISTOCENE SAND AND GRAVEL
the time the dunes were forming. Many of these sand-dimes are grass-
grown and in places are covered with forest trees and bushes. They are
undoubtedly of Pleistocene age and were formed during the Terrace
or late Champlain period. (See Figs. 167, 168.)
The northern and western sides of Town hill, in Ipswich, are sur-
rounded by grass-grown sand-dunes and westerly from the dunes, cover-
ing the Ipswich poorfarm, there is a sand and gravel plain of considerable
extent on which is located Brown's brick clay-pit. This plain, underlaid
by clay, is comparable only with the sea-water lagoons or tidal marshes-
lying easterly from Town hill at the present day. A series of these fringes
of grass-grown sand-dunes, with lagoons west of them, may be traced
across the whole County and are undoubtedly phenomena of the Terrace
epoch. Such a formation exists at Topsfield near the junction : of Fish
brook and the Rowley Bridge road. Westerly from these dunes, small
lagoons, now swamps overgrown with larches, extend into Boxford. The
sand- and gravel-plain in this direction is on both sides of Fish brook and
covers an area about two miles square. Sand-dunes are also to be seen
east of Pentucket pond and Rock pond in Georgetown. These dunes-
extend in a circle to South Groveland where the old lagoon to the west-
ward is very pronounced and easily traced over the entire area. Other
grass-grown dunes are found in Andover and Lawrence.
The Merrimac river was probably a halting place of the glacial ice in
its retreat northward, for its southern shore, from the mouth of the Parker
river to Pipe Stave hill, marks typical ice-contacts of morainal-till and
overwash gravels capped by sand and silt. High street, in Newbury and
Newburyport, is laid out upon the top of the terrace formed by this-
ice-contact, a section of which shows it to be composed of boulder-till and
clay-beds resting upon the glaciated bed-rock of quartz augite diorite in
varying depths. At Grasshopper plain it is at least fifty feet in thickness,
and is covered by twenty feet of coarse gravel with twenty-five feet of
fine sand at the surface. This fine sand is creased by a number of steep-
sided valleys or drainage-creases extending in a southerly direction to the
Little river clay-beds in Newbury. A section of this terrace across High
street (see Fig. 169), extending from the river through Green street to the
frog pond by "the Mall," gives boulder-till on High street at an elevation
of eighty feet above tide water. The frog pond is the site of a small de-
tached iceberg that was buried in the morainal-till. South of "the Mall,"'
the overwash and outwash gravels have formed a series of cones and
short ridges or kames of sand and gravel extending southeasterly into
Fig, 153,â€” WHITTIER'S HILL, A DRUMLIN AT HAVERHILL,
Fig. 154. â€” ICEBERG OR KETTLE HOLE IN THE "DUNGEONS."
155. â€” ICEBERG HOLES IN KAME GRAVELS NEAR LEGG'S HILL, SOUTH SALEM.
Legg's hill, a wave-swept outcrop of hornblende diorlte, nnay be seen In the distance.
Fig. 156. â€” ICEBERG HOLE IN OVER-WASH GRAVELS.
lowing a short kame within the hole. The "dungeons," Marblehcad.
POST-PLEISTOCENE SAND AND GRAVEL 301
Newbury. The tracks of the Boston and Maine railroad cut through these
gravels on the west, and the track of the City Freight railroad cuts through
them on the east. In 1898, this cut exhibited a good section of the depos-
its some three htmdred yards in length. The gravels and sands dipped to
the south at an angle of 35Â° and were capped by a deposit of clay having
sand partings every few inches. The greatest depth of the gravel and
sand was forty feet. North of the center of the hill there was a dip twenty
feet deep filled with clay having fine sand partings, and under the clay,
at the bottom of the dip, there was a mass of peat, probably the site of
an iceberg in the gravel before the clay was deposited.
South of Oak Hill Cemetery there is a "kettle hole" which a few years
ago contained a floating island.^ In the spring of the year when the melt-
ing snows raise the water level, this pond covers an area of about a quarter
of an acre. It is a typical small ice-block hole with southeastern out-
wash sand and gravel kames probably deposited in cracks or gorges in
the glacial ice which filled the whole valley of Little river.
High street, in Newbury, is built on sand and gravel that cap clay
and till, a typical beach barrier sloping back to the lagoon at Four Rock
creek. The debris is washed away from the outcropping ledges that
rise above the boulder-till covering the surface. This beach barrier with
the lagoon on the shore side occupied the whole of the Little River valley
and was continuous on the southwest around Old Town, and Little Old
Town hills. A gorge between these hills, now filled with coarse water-
worn gravels on top of boulder-till, was the drainage outlet to the south-
east. In front of the gravels, the outwash sands spread out over Newbury
Old Town, to the mouth of Parker river where steep banks and fringing
lobes extend into the salt marsh overlapping the boulder-till.
Eagle hill, on Kent's island, in Newbury, is composed of slate rock,
well glaciated, polished, and scratched with fine strise. On the north
side of the hill, in the shallow bed of Little river, and only to be seen at
very low tide, is the longest and deepest glacial groove known to exist
in Essex County, and probably in New England. This groove is cut
southeast and northwest in a slate and sandstone, somewhat metamor-
phosed into a hard rock, and is eighteen inches wide, six inches deep,
and forty feet long. Sections of it, extending towards the southeast,
may be traced for nearly five hundred yards along the shore of the island,
after it leaves the bed of Little river. Another deep groove occurs on
the east side of Green street, Newbury Old Town, near the comer of Han-
' See American Journal of Science (1827), VoL XII, p. 122.
302 POST-PLEISTOCENE SAND AND GRAVEL
over street. It is cut in a quartz diorite ledge, and is eight inches deep,
twenty-eight inches wide, and thirty feet long. (See Fig. 170.)
A well-marked ice-contact, showing a halting place in the retreat of
the ice, was formed in what is now Hampton Falls river in New Hamp-
shire. From this contact, all the glacial gravels with berg and small ice-
block holes may be traced across Amesbury and Salisbury. (See Fig.
172.) A swamp between South Seabrook and Salisbury shows a good
ice-contact on the southern edge, with overwash and outwash kames
and sand-plains extending across East Salisbury and thinning out near
the salt marsh. East Salisbury is a typical sand-plain, with ntunerous
sand-dunes marking a former iseach barrier.
In Pelham, Windham, Salem, Atkinson, Kingston, and Newton, New
Hampshire, towns joining Essex County on the north, a series of ponds,
whose trend is from the northeast to the southwest, were sites of masses
of glacial ice, and the waters formed from the melting of these great
bodies of ice, drained southward and carried sand and gravel across the
whole area of these towns and filled the valleys between the drumlins
in Essex County, north of the Merrimac river.
Kimball's pond, in the towns of Amesbury and Merrimac, is an ice-
block hole where a large mass of ice was partially buried by drift gravel
and sand from the drainage in front of the retreating ice in New Hamp-
shire. On the southeastern shore of the pond there is a remnant of an
ice-contact composed of bouldery gravels with outwash sand covering
the east side of Pond hill and the western part of Amesbury, and having
kames which expand into sand-plains, cones, and terraces of gravel. An
ice-contact was formed in the Powow River valley, south of Ring's hill
in Amesbury, where moraines of till and kame terraces of sand and gravel
cover the region. Captain's pond, in Salem, New Hampshire, is the site
of a block of glacial ice with a southeasterly contact. A moraine of
clayey sand and gravel forms the shore of the pond and outwash gravels
and sand fill the valley between Ayer's hill, in Haverhill, and Spicket
hill in Salem, New Hampshire, and extends southward on both sides of
Hawkes' brook in Methuen to the Merrimac river. The Spicket river
during its southwesterly course from Spicket hill in Salem, New Hamp-
shire, to the town of Methuen, occupies the site of a former ice-contact,
for the present river valley would have been parallel to the front of the
retreating glacial ice. The present course of the Spicket river in Methuen
and Lawrence, is probably in a drainage-crease which ran from the front
of the glacial ice when it occupied this area. Kames and ridges which
Fig. 157. â€” OVER-WASH GRAVELS, ICEBERG HOLES, AND SHORT RETICULATED KAMES.
V/inter scene at the " Dungeons," Marblehead. Legg's hill at the left.
Fig. I 58.â€” Vi'lNTER SCENE AT THE "DUNGEONS," MARBLEHEAD.
Legg's hill at the right.
I.â€” LEGG'S HILL POND, SALEM,
e-block hole nearly filled by peat.
Fig. 160. â€” CROOKED POND, BOXFORD.
h has become a nearly filled pond. Bald hill
in the distance.
POST-PLEISTOCENE SAND AND GRAVEL 307
expand into lobate sand-plains, and cones resting upon boulder-till, cover
the town of Methuen on both sides of the Spicket river, extending across
Lawrence and South Lawrence into North Andover. A boulder-train
or terminal-moraine in the southwestern part of Methuen, half a mile
east from the Dracut boundary, marks a halting place of the glacier.
The drainage from the front of this moraine must have followed the pres-
ent course of the Merrimac river, as across the river in the western part
of the town of Andover, the whole surface of the region from Wood hill
to South Lawrence is covered by boulder-till. From Wood hill to East
Lawrence fine sand and river silt occur on each side of the river in a
belt one eighth of a mile wide, and a thin coating of this deposit covers
the boulder-till in parts of the area across West Andover. Upper-till,
composed of clayey sand and gravel with numerous boulders, some of
which are of great size, may be seen in all the railroad cuttings, especially
along the Lowell and Lawrence branch of the Boston and Maine rail-
road. These boulders were deposited from the lower part of ice-floes,
when the area was submerged below the surface of the sea, the water after-
wards washing out most of the clay and leaving the sand, gravel, and
boulders as found to-day.
A large part of the present surface of Andover owes its sculpture to
the cutting of stream-valleys in glacial sand-plains, thereby leaving residual
ridges. Many of these valleys are paved with well-rounded stones and
boulders. An excellent example of these ridges may be seen along the
line of Lowell street between Hackett's pond and Frye's Village in West
Lake Cochichewick in North Andover, formerly known as Great pond,
is the site of a large ice-block that probably extended across the Merrimac
river. The lake seems to have been ploughed out during an advance
of the ice as indicated by its depth below the surrounding land surface.
Overwash gravels and moraines of boulders with drainage-creases ex-
tend from the lake towards the south and southeast, proving that its
drainage was in that direction during the melting of the ice to the present
level of the lake. These drainage-creases occur on both sides of Bear
hill and lead down to the great sand-plain which covers the valley between
Mill's hill and Bear hill. The area between Marble Ridge station and
Ingall's station, on the Boston and Maine railroad, and the valley of
Boston brook, in Middleton, and extending to Fish brook in Boxford on
the east, is covered with short terraces, probably old sea beaches, which
coalesce with sand-plains, having grassed-over sand-dunes. When the
308 POST-PLEISTOCENE SAND AND GRAVEL
water in. Lake Cochichewick subsided to its present level, the southern
outlet, over the granite ridge, had become dammed up by till and the
stream running from the lake was forced to turn northward, and cut its
present channel through the drift-sand to the Merrimac river.
Johnson's pond and Chadwick's pond, in Groveland and Boxford, are
similarly situated. The glacial drainage was easterly across South Grove-
land and the northern part of Georgetown, and sand and coarse gravel
ridges cover the entire region. The tracks of the Haverhill and George-
town electric railway are laid on a sand and gravel terrace, which in
some parts of the area exhibits a remarkable kame topography. One
especially good example is to be seen in the region known as " Federal
City," where short kame-like ridges, alluvial cones and "kettle holes"
are features of the landscape. Uptack hill, in Groveland and Boxford,
a nearly bare ridge of Cambrian rocks, three miles in length, and having
an elevation of two hundred and forty feet in Boxford, southeast of John-
son pond, cuts off the natural drainage to the southeast and forces the
streams in this area northward to the Merrimac, through the fissile and
softer slate and sandstone rocks. Chadwick's pond was probably a
deeply sunken ice-block attached to the larger block that occupied the
site of Johnson's pond. Its southeasterly drainage into Johnson's pond
shows no special features of overwash or outwash gravels, but toward
the northeast overwash gravels fill the valley between Dead hill in Grove-
land and a low drumlin to the north in Bradford. These overwashed
gravels cover the boulder-till in low rolling surfaces and short ridges
as if, in the glacial period, there had been a drainage from this pond into
the Merrimac river, at Bradford. Little Niagara brook in Bradford fol-
lows this course.
The southern side of the Merrimac river from opposite Hale's island
to Groveland bridge, shows a nearly continuous ice-contact with steep
ridge-like banks of morainal clay and gravel capped by fine overwash
sands which extend parallel to the river for a distance of about one mile,
to Argilla brook, the outlet of Johnson's pond. The valley occupied
by Argilla brook, was a drainage-crease in front of the glacial ice. From
Bradford, the Merrimac flows in a southeasterly direction for about two
miles to Argilla brook, and then bends and flows toward the northeast for
about five miles. This bend in the river was a drainage course when the
waning ice-sheet was less than two hiindred feet in thickness, and it con-
tinued to be a general dumping-ground for glacial streams from the north,
long after the ice had retreated beyond the northern limit of the state.
Fig. 161. â€” ICEBERG HOLE IN AN OUT-WASH SAND-PLAIN EAST OF WENHAM SWAMP.
Arbor street, Wenham.
Fig. 162.â€” ICEBERG HOLE ON THE EAST SIDE OF ARBOR STREET.
â€¢KAME TERRACE, MARKING AN ICE CONTACT ON THE SOUTHEASTERN SHORE OF
LEACH'S SWAMP, AN ICE-BLOCK HOLE.
Fig. 164. â€” ANOTHER VIEW OF THE ABOVE.
POST-PLEISTOCENE SAND AND GRAVEL 313
(See Fig. 171.) On the south side of the Merrrmac, Hutchings' hill, in
Groveland, and Brake hill and Farm hill, in West Newbury, show at
their bases and up their sides to the one hundred foot contour lines,
old beach shore-lines of clay, sand, and gravel. As these hills have an
elevation of over two hundred feet, when the glacial ice-front had
melted to a thickness of less than two hundred feet, its drainage would
necessarily have been in the valleys between the hills and its deposits
would have been dropped according to the size and weight of the mate-
rial, the coarse sand and gravel near the river, fine sand next, and the clay
beyond. This is precisely what is found in the area south and southeast
of Groveland bridge. Karnes of coarse gravel extend from the river to the
railroad station, and are succeeded by sand stretching to Pine hill and
appearing on both sides of the railroad track until the Georgetown boun-
dary line is reached.
Cheney's hill, in Groveland, on the bank of the Merrimac, formerly
was composed entirely of boulder-till. This was cut down nearly to the
level of the river, and afterwards built up by overwash sand and graveJ.
The sand-plain extends toward the north and is now occupied by a ceme-
tery, where Palmer's creek cuts down through the sand to boulder-till
and clay at the level of the river. Round pond, Kenoza lake, and Lake
Saltonstall, all in Haverhill, are sites of glacial ice-blocks and are sur-
rounded by drumlins and overwash gravels on their southeastern shores.
Overwash gravels form the sand-plain at "Riverside," and on both sides