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.
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.
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.