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Burlington has a Native American stone chamber

So say Mary and James Gage, mother-and-son researchers who have spent 30 years examining stone structures in northeastern America. They say this structure on the Francis Wyman property has several telltale features of a Native American chamber, a portal to communicate with spirits of the underworld. The Francis Wyman house, on Francis Wyman Road, was built in 1666, when the area had Native American settlements.


Mary and James Gage photo


Francis Wyman house and cave Burlington MA
Robert Fahey photo
Francis Wyman cave
Robert Fahey photo

Francis Wyman House Burlington MA

Their Burlington findings are detailed here. This is a condensed version:

  • Closing stone — The upright stone just outside the entrance sealed off the sacred chamber. Someone apparently opened it after it was constructed. Closing stones are found at America’s Stonehenge in Salem, NH and the Gungywamp site in Connecticut.
  • Large slab roof — Also found in America’s Stonehenge.
  • V-shape — Native Americans believed in a multi-level underworld, and a middleworld where people dwell, and an upperworld (sky). Spirits were a lot like people. The could think and interact with people. Some were good; some bad. This v-shaped portal summoned spirits from the deep underworld into the shallower underworld, closer to people.
  • White stones and quartz — Placed near the v-shape portal to block unwanted spirits from using the portal.
  • Flat paving stone at the entrance, extending halfway into the chamber — Also used in a Sandown, NH chamber.
Chamber diagram Burlington, MA
Mary and James Gage graphic


In short, this Burlington chamber employs many techniques seen in similar Native American chambers throughout the eastern US, according to the pair. They dismiss the alternate theory that it was a farm animal shelter. Why? Because sheep are free-roaming animals that become claustrophobic quickly. And pigs? Nobody would want to crawl into a teensy cave to clean up pig manure.


1952 Burlington, MA Francis Wyman Road
The chamber in 1952


Francis Wyman cave Burlington, MA
Mary and James Gage photo


Mary Gage composed a comprehensive study of Native American chambers and how to distinguish them from old farming structures. And here’s a study of ancient rock piles in this region.

5 thoughts on “Burlington has a Native American stone chamber Leave a comment

  1. I grew up on Francis Wyman, and loved to snuggle in that chamber when I was little, but the owners would holler at me, back around 1959-64 or so. They were the only people who hollered at neighbor kids for anything! I suppose they stunted my spirit growth.

  2. Grew up right next door and we were always hiding in there, then it was sealed up for awhile, saying it was unsafe. Still help care for the property and it is opened up again.

  3. Hitching a ride home in the early sixties, I got a ride from a kindly old gentleman (in a very old car) who stopped in front of the Wyman house to explain its historic significance. He pointed out the hole in the stone wall and told me that it was used to count sheep. On return from pasture they would be driven thru the passage where one of the herders could stand on the wall and perform a count as they passed to the other side. Having no knowledge of farming and being way more interested in girls, this seemed somewhat plausible to me at the time. Not sure if he was pulling a fast one on a gullible young city dude (we were new to the town) or if he was just repeating an old tale as it was told to him.

  4. My grandmother was born in Burlington in 1914 and grew up there. When ever we would drive by with her, she would always tell us the hole was made by Native Americans! She said they would hide in it.

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