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Sun Temples and Druids June 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, People, Travel & Leisure.

In 1979, my grandfather pondered the mysteries of ancient settlers in the New World, including Druids in Vermont, after receiving America B.C., by Barry Fell from my father for his birthday.

While the book has its critics, my grandfather enjoyed exploring the subject matter:

3/2 ~ “I have received the America B.C. Book. It has a good picture of the South Woodstock Temple “dirt cellar.” It is evident it is an ancient settler building. The markings are a dedication to (Gel) Sun God.”

Intrigued, my grandfather gathered a group to visit the Temple in South Woodstock in May (after the snow melted and the mud dried):

5/1 ~ “I had to write a little to inform you that a group of us, namely Leon and Marjorie, Al & Judy, Margaret and I, attended services to the Sun at the Temple.  We ran into the owner of the land and told him what we were looking for. I took 2 flash pictures inside with the party standing about. It is a sizable room. Mr. Reeves knew me by sight from Town Meetings. There is a fire place near the Temple structure. It is also of ancient origin, I think. The road was pretty fair and dried out. The symbols of fertility have been moved to a museum for safe keeping. Chapter 14 in America B.C.

A few weeks later, he shared his photos with Joseph B. Johnson, who had served as 70th Governor of Vermont in the 1950’s:

6/25 ~ “Another event of the year is past. The Parade of Springfield Alumni. Lucia took Margaret and I to the Johnson’s at 10. An open car picked us up at 10:30. Joe was in front and Margaret, Virginia and I were in back. We are now the second car of old people. A doubtful honor for us.

“I took along a picture of the South Woodstock Temple. It was news to both Joe and Virginia. Joe may get a copy of the book. Margaret is OK after the parade. It is nearing dinner time and we have berries. So I am all set. The sun is out and porch livable. And so we drift into Summer.”

The next year, he expanded his reading to encompass the Druids of the Old World:

1/14 ~ “It is about time I wrote thanking you for Christmas gifts. Margaret is reading the book on the Druids. They were a secretive sort of religious people. The So. Woodstock building seems to match other buildings in Europe, Scotland, and England.”

That’s one of the delights of reading.  The end of a book need not be the end of the inquiry.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related articles:  The Mysterious Stone Chambers of New England (The South Woodstock complex consists of stone chambers, standing stones, and cairns in a natural bowl surrounded by hills and ridges. Besides having close proximity to waterways connecting with the Connecticut River, the beehive structures would have been interconnected by an intricate network of footpaths.)

Related posts re dad’s dad:  The Other Side of Retirement * How NOT To Cook A Turkey * Pragmatic Thoughts on Life & Death * Wry Observations on Dry Politics * Flying Squirrels & Other Silly Bits * Quaint Colloquialisms * DIY Projects, Work Bees, & No Cavities! * Until The Worm Turns * A Real Straight Shooter


1. Val Boyko - June 17, 2015

Great post Nancy – and punch line 🙂

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

Here’s to following our intuition to see where it leads!

Val Boyko - June 17, 2015

Wise woman wise!

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

Intuition always points us in the right direction.

2. L. Marie - June 17, 2015

Did your grandfather keep a journal?
I agree with you! A book can be so life changing. I read a fiction book about a man in China and wound up going there to teach English for a summer.

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

I expect my grandfather did keep a journal or calendar of events to refer back to from time to time. These excerpts (and the ones in previous posts) are from (weekly) letters written to my dad.

That’s a wonderful example, Linda. Books open doors . . . and windows.

3. Don - June 17, 2015

Fascinating Nancy. That structure is wonderfully mysterious.

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

Imagine discovering it as a child ~> perfect for rainy day picnics!

Don - June 17, 2015

The kind of thing we would have had a ball in. 🙂

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

Our secret hide out!

4. Crowing Crone - June 17, 2015

“And so we drift into summer”. I loved that line.

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

My favorite line too!

5. suzicate - June 17, 2015

One book (the right one) can change a lifetime or even many!
This post is interesting and makes me want to explore the druids, thanks.

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

Smithsonian Channel just started a new series ~ Mummies Alive.

The current episode deals with a dismembered mummy found in an Irish Bog which dates back 2400 years to the days of the druids. The conclusion ~> a ritual sacrifice of a king who didn’t manage to bring favorable weather to his people.


Grannymar - June 17, 2015

Deasest Nancy, we are still waiting for the favorable weather! 😉

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

Be glad that you’re not King then . . . or the peasants would be asking for your head!

6. anotherday2paradise - June 17, 2015

Such fascinating stone chambers. I have seen similar structures in England. They really stir the imagination. 🙂

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

They do make one wonder . . .

7. Jill Weatherholt - June 17, 2015

I loved this, Nancy! In the past, I’ve always enjoyed when you post excerpts of letters written by your grandfather. He was quite the character.

nrhatch - June 17, 2015

Thanks, Jill. Glad you enjoyed another small glimpse at some of my grandfather’s interests. I’ve enjoyed sharing him on SLTW.

8. Behind the Story - June 17, 2015

Druids in the United States! That’s a new thought for me. Your grandfather certainly had wide-ranging interests.

nrhatch - June 18, 2015

He enjoyed life-long curiosity ~> much more fun than living a “ho hum” existence crowned with a “been there, done that” apathy.

Always be questioning.

9. Tiny - June 18, 2015

He was such an interesting man, your grandfather. I remember him from an earlier post too. These stories give food for imagination… and dreams. Thanks for the tip on the mummies on smithsonian channel.

nrhatch - June 18, 2015

Thanks, Tiny. I agree. He was interesting because he was interested in people, places, and things outside himself. Life wasn’t a narcissistic race to see how many selfies he could post. :mrgreen:

We’ve watched two of the mummies episodes ~ one in the Wild West and one in the Irish Bogs. Both seemed a bit redundant and repetitive, going over the same info time and again:

“And now . . . for the attention impaired . . . we’ll show you the same animation sequence for the 47th time . . . “

But the forensics is fascinating and the druids were spine chilling.

10. diannegray - June 19, 2015

I love these mysteries, Nancy. And I love hearing about your grandfather – he sound like a man before his time.

nrhatch - June 19, 2015

Maybe it just seems that way because we are getting more stoopider? :mrgreen:

If we brought an average citizen from 1,000 B.C. to the present, they would be far brighter than the average Joe of today:

“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to suddenly appear among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companies, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas, and a clear-sighted view of important issues.”

Gerald Crabtree, a geneticist at Stanford University, whose findings were published in the journal Trends in Genetics.

To read more:


11. brickhousechick - June 19, 2015

What a great family keepsake and memory! And it’s not too far from my neck of the woods! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

nrhatch - June 19, 2015

My pleasure, Maria. Vermont is a great state surrounded by the beauty of New England.

12. Three Well Beings - June 20, 2015

I’ve never heard of these stone chambers, Nancy. How fascinating. Isn’t it interesting that your grandfather had such an open and curious mind. 🙂

nrhatch - June 20, 2015

Books open our minds beyond the confines of our living rooms!

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