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PETER AND JANE

There were two Indians living under a ledge of rocks at Haines Pond at the New York State line.  They made baskets and often were seen coming into Danbury with back loads in the morning.  These were made of ash and willow and everyone had his pick.  They readily sold them.  At sundown they came back to the lake and the squaw carried a feed bag on her shoulder and the Indian one hand full of firewater. This was Peter and Jane.

This cave which was their home is on the north shore of the pond at the center and a hundred yards from the water.  It was a rock shelter for Indians.  A few years ago it was dug up under the shelving rocks. Some broken arrow heads, a perfect stone celt, the remains of an iron stove, broken dishes, many buttons, spectacle frames, and an old revolutionary bullet mould.  The remains of a cast iron stove were placed on top of the huge stone and are there to this day.  Anyone can easily find this as there is a road very close.

There was a large ancient Indian village at the west end.  South of the mountain is a huge sand flat was where many Indian relics were found.  Bulldozing for the railroad took away acres of it for fill. The Indians that lived here made beautiful specimens and of many different materials.   Harry Fanton

 

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   At the Danbury Brookfield boundary is a so called mountain that has quite a wealth of history.  The old Sherman Turnpike was at the Brookfield base of the hill and crossed the river near Caldor's Shopping Center.  There is also a large Indian rock shelter in the mountain that has yielded many Indian relics.  The remains of a mill dam with many massive stones still visible and at the summit were council fire pits and quite an area for assembly also.  At the roadside a renegade Indian was murdered about where Walter Gruenberg had a roadside stand.  I believe it is noted in Bailey's History of Danbury, out of print since 1896.  His known name was Elihu Wauhoo.  There was also a hotel there once known as the Mountain House with mysterious happenings in years gone by.   Walter Fanton

 

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NEW MILFORD, CONN

Lover's Leap Gorge

Still River Housatonic

The Falls home of Waramaug

1703 New Milford bought from the Indians

60 pounds in money, 20 pounds trade

1774 No Indians

1703 about 300

2 burying grounds near the Falls

1.   West side of town Fort Hill

2.   East side near the Falls  mounds with big trees

growing in the center.  Many graves have been unearthed

and carted away the relics. All left and went to Kent on the

Reservation, then to what is Redding, Pennsylvania with the Moravian Missionary.

 

   After lands were sold in Danbury, Derby, Shelton and surrounding vicinity, the next home for many of the Indians became Weantinock.  The land was located in today's New Milford and was ruled by a Sagamore named Waraumaug.  On the west side of the Housatonic River along Guarding and Long Mountains and opposite the town of New Milford was the Indian Fort and Village known by the English as Fort Hill.  Two miles from Fort Hill and along the Housatonic is Falls Mountain which the Indians had called Metichawan.  Approximately sixty feet below Fort Hill was cleared land known as the Indian Field. The whole region was known by the name of Weantinock, meaning "where the river winds about the hill"  This Indian settlement held many wigwams on Fort Hill when the whites first came here.

    Below Falls Mountain is a small island in the middle of the Housatonic River called Goodyear's Island.  In 1642, this island was bought and used as a trading house for the regions along the upper and lower portions of the Housatonic.  On the hilltop on the west bank of the Housatonic River, north of the iron bridge, lived an Indian Chief named Waramaug, who dwelt in his large wigwam called the Palace.  The Palace was recorded as the most ornate Indian dwelling in the Colony.  At the east end of the iron bridge is the junction with a dirt road.  Turning right on this road and traveling up the hillside is Lover's leap, a wooded cliff overlooking the turbulent waters of the Housatonic River. 

    When white men first found their way to the Housatonic River, the Pootatuck Indians under their chief, Waramaug, lived along the steep slopes above these rapids. It was said that the Indians living from New York to Massachusetts spoke of an Indian chief named Wehononague.  The Indians described this ruler of the Pootatuck-Paugaussett clans, as a man with great courage, wisdom, and leadership.  Wehonongue, also known as Waraumaug, had been the Sachem Tom King of Coram, in Bridgeport. After most of the Coram lands were sold he took the name of Weraumaug, meaning Good fishing place," the displaced Indians from the shores and the lower portions of the Housatonic and moved farther inland to what is today New Milford.

   Waramaug lived a few miles from his tribe at the waterfalls of Metichawan on the west side of Lover's Leap Canyon.  His wigwam had been known to many people as Waramaug's Palace.  Skilled Indian artists were sent to paint birds, animals, turtles, and a portrait of Waramaug and his family on the inside walls of his home.  These skilled Indian artists were believed to have been of the Narragansett tribe because they were famous for their artistry during that time period.  The Indians wigwams were situated on the high bluff (Fort Hill), with their planting fields at the foot of the bluff.  At the edge of the bluff was located their burial grounds.

  Waramaug was known at the leader of about two hundred Indians at Weantinock, with land surrounding Lake Waraumaug and hunting grounds in what is today New Preston and Washington. Neighboring tribes under his rule were the Bantams, Piscaticooks and Weatauges which brought the number of Indians to approximately one thousand.  Together they remained in alliance as the clans did on the coast for protection against the Mohawks and marriages among them.  Under the guidance of Waramaug, the Indians were interacting with the whites and had begun raising many crops, fishing with nets and building small housing.  In 1642, the trading post at Goodyear's Island was established.  The Indians were now able to profit by trading their furs from the forests for metal implements and clothes.  In 1703, Waramaug began selling lands to the people from Milford.  The first white man to live here was a man by the name of John Noble.  Sherman Boardman wrote, An anecdote is related of John Noble, the settler, who, when he first came to labor here, brought his little daughter Hannah, about eight or nine years old, to cook his victuals.  He built a palisade house at the foot of the hill where the Indian fort stood, where he lived with his little daughter some time, until some gentlemen came to him and requested him to pilot them through the woods to Albany, one hundred miles distant, when he left the little daughter in the care of a squaw, fourteen miles from any white people, and was absent two or three weeks; when he returned he found her kept very neat and clean.  Such was his confidence in the care and friendship of the Indians.  This I have often heard her relate, as she was my School DameAfter this Mr. Noble removed t the side of the river and built a log-house, secured as a fort a great many years for the white people; as the Indians had a stockade fort on the west side. 

 

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Chief Waramaug's Grave

   On the summit of Lovers Leap, Chief Waramaug was buried.  The spot was formerly marked by a rough stone monument and the usual pile of stones built by passing warriors as a mark of respect, but a large house was built and the main fireplace stood directly over the chief's grave.