My wife and I belong to the local garden club. They have monthly meetings, usually and not surprisingly on topics related to gardening. From time to time, however, they organize presentations on other topics. This time Tom O’Reilly gave a talk on “Stone Chambers of Putnam County”.
Apparently there are a large number of these strange stone chambers all over Putnam County. Most people don’t even know they are there. Some are very close to roads and people drive past them without ever noticing. Their origins are in dispute. Many believe that they are colonial period root cellars. Others, including Tom, believe that they are much older and date back to the same period as the megaliths (think Stonehenge) of Europe. I’m not sure yet what I believe (I haven’t done enough reading). One thing is certain: wherever they come from they are an interesting part of the history of Putnam County and are worth preserving. At the moment they are disappearing through land development, vandalism etc. – a situation which needs to change.
For more information: the York Times, April 22 2001 had and article on “Putnam’s Mysterious Chambers of Stone“. If you don’t mind investing a little more time this article on “Stone Chambers of Kent” provides a wealth of information (of course “Kent” refers to the town of Kent in Putnam County, not the County in the United Kingdom).
Stone Chamber on Oscawana Heights Road
Another stone Chamber on Oscawana Heights Road
Stone chamber on Route 301 (near Farmers Mills Road)
Interesting dual chamber on Oscawana Lake Road (almost opposite the Putnam Valley Elementary School). See also first picture.