Early Settlers

Cellar hole located off Rabbit Run Trail (E. Arnold photo)

In the 1980’s, there were stone columns that supported this barn still standing within this cellar hole. Today they are on the ground, but you can still see them if you look carefully. There are cellar holes located on many Upton State Forest trails. The stone walls and cellar holes of homes, barns, and outbuildings, are the remains of early settlement.

Several years ago, the Friends of Upton State Forest Historic Resources Committee formed a Resource Inventory Team. The team visited all of the Upton State Forest parcels to document evidence of early settlement and other historic features. The group documented evidence of cellar holes, barn foundations and outbuildings, stone walls, mill sites, “farmer’s crossings” over streams, and signs of stone cutting. We walked old roads and followed up on reports of sites found by others. We did locate several old wells, both above ground and stoned up in the ground. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has since put grate coverings on the wells for safety. Something to keep in mind when you are hiking, especially off-trail, is the possibility of wells that were not located. All of our findings were reported to the DCR and incorporated into their cultural resources database and report. We encourage anyone who finds evidence of early settlers or other historic resources to contact the Friends for more information.