- Wed, Feb 4, 2009
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
An old story
The following was told me by the late Theodore Hoyt of Bernardston, father of Richard Hoyt. Mr. Hoyt’s father was Jonathan Hoyt, born in the old Indian House at Deerfield and son of landlord Hoyt. He built a house upon his father’s land at West Deerfield, probably around 1760, where he lived to old age, and sent out into the world a large family of children and grand-children. Here Mr. T. Hoyt was born.
The family were obliged to cross the Deerfield river to attend the public meetings of the town, and to the post office and store. Much of the time the river was crossed in a wooden canoe, which was kept near the old cemetery , as the river at this time was making its way very near its sacred enclosure, and it was feared that it would disturb the sleeping inmates.
Mr. Hoyt was returning from the village, and had entered a ravine on the farm now owned by Salmon Chapman, when a raccoon started up and ran. Mr. Hoyt went for him. He said in those days they did not let any thing disturb them. The raccoon ran under some rubbish and roots of trees, which he began to remove, when he saw a large copper kettle, which he thought was taken by the Indians from the village of King Philip’s time, or in 1704, and buried there.
The old kettle was taken home, but a large hole was found in it, making it unfit for use; but neighbor Deacon Jehiel Jones, grandfather of G.W. Jones and Charles Jones, gave him an old kettle to mend it with, and it did good service for many years. Near where the kettle was found, the Indians had a cemetery and an armory, or a spot for burying arrowheads and other war implements.
The Indians were mostly buried in a sitting posture. This brought the head near the top of the ground. Mr. Hoyt said, when they plowed this land, the plows would cut off and turn out the Indians’ skulls. Oh, what a harvest Mr. Sheldon and Dr. Hitchcock would have gathered from that field! - enough to have filled several shelves of their cabinet.
This farm was then owned by Mr. Hoyt’s brother, father of S.B. Hoyt of Bernardston. The present owner, Mr. Chapman, found deposited in a cavity, 60 or 70 arrow heads, showing it to be a place of deposit. These, we are sorry to say, fell under the eye of Dr. Hitchcock a little too soon after they were found, and are now deposited in the Indian cabinet at Amherst College, with a promise to be returned to Deerfield and deposited in the Memorial Hall when completed. (N. Hitchcock)
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