A History of New England: Containing Historical and Descriptive Sketches of … Mention’s our Chaugum

A History of New England: Containing Historical and Descriptive Sketches of
edited by R. H. Howard, Henry E. Crocker VOL I (CT)
Donated by Beth Northrop
pg 331 – Middle of page: At the time of the first settlement of Salisbury there was an Indian village at Weatog, the Indian name of the town, consisting of about 70 wigwams. Their trail through Cornwall to the Bantam clan at Litchfield was well known.
Bottom of page: † Chaugum, the last man of a small tribe in New Hartford, lived till near the close of the last century; and his descendants in the female line kept up the council-fires till quite recently. The descendants of his married daughter are the only representatives of the race in Winchester and Barkhamstead.
The entire Vol I can be accessed at this link:

Have created a Descendants/Ancestor’s tree for the Chagum lines – I am also excited to announce that Chief “Sun Rise” Byron Brown of the WEPIT’s are allowing their connection to this tree!

I am SUPER EXCITED to finally be able to offer a family tree we all can connect to!


Chagum Descendants Family Tree

This is all possible from the www.tribalpages.com website

You can download apps for your mobile and tablets

BUT best viewed via the computer to see the whole of the work and connections!!!

AT THIS TIME I AM ONLY CONNECTING THE BARKHAMSTED LIGHTHOUSE DESCENDANTS to this tree – it will be a later dates I will start opening to all tribes.

I will need to verify and add each and every person – if you can’t link to this tree then I will not add you – I will need ALL proof of lineage to connect you~ I have done an extensive amount of work and have many lines done – if work is needed to add you then you will need to give me time to work on it… I will need to have all info on you and your parents and grandparents (birth/death date and place) – If it entitles me having to actually do your genealogy to connect you – there will be a fee for my time!

(I can’t do everyone’s for free anymore)  I am but 1 person

I am the ONLY one allowed to add any one to this tree – so please be patient as I get everyone connected~


Send a request to join and in this section I will need contact info (in case I need to call you) Your full name/birth date and place of birth along with full info on your parents (birth/death/marriage) and I will need to know your lineage to the Barkhamsted so give me a simple run down after your parents to direct lineage as you know it

EXAMPLE: Coni Allen, Rex Allen, Alvin Allen, Ada Barber, William Henry Barber, Theodore James Barber, Grant Barber, John B Barber, Hannah Chagum, James Chagum


Once you are a member you will be able to edit your branch of the tree and connect/add your children and spouses

(beside your names is a little arrow – drops down to a edit button – from there you just fill in the blanks)

I am asking all members to help fill in their part of the tree – add photo’s (keep to a couple each – unless older photo’s of Ancestor’s, share away with those!) I am also asking for everyone to post obits to our deceased kin – I am trying to find all the burial’s and obits that we can find  PLUS they are the best sources there is! So please help and share all you can~

Our mission statement:

To bring together and connect into the “Ever-Widening Circle” descendants of
Barkhamsted Lighthouse Chagum lineage; to inform and update on the Chagum history 
and latest research to association/family members.

If you descend from any of these Native American lines then you are kin to me!!!!1

What is super exciting is that with the color coordinating,

I am able to see the line connections between all that are in my research

As per this chart (Allen, Coni Marie)

I descend from 10 of the 16 lines from chart above


I have been working with Chief “Sun Rise” Byron Brown of the Wequapaug Pequot Indian Tribe also known as the WEPIT, for well over 10 years now & he has been a tremendous help in piecing our lineages together~

He has agreed to allow me to share his lineage for the 1st time EVER ON a online family tree! I am so honored that he is trusting me with this info and he is coming on board to help with all he can! He has also agreed to provide all his documentation that is needed & he is even sharing some that I don’t have~ I look forward to many more years working with him and his family and tribe!


Chief “Sun Rise” like us descend from the Chagum’s

We are from James Chagum of Barkhamsted and he descends from Samell Chagum of Block Island that stole the canoe~

Coni’s Notes:

Our James of Barkhamsted MAY be the son of (*)GREAT James Chagum and wife Janey1 (whom I believe is a Sachem/Ninigret) or James could be the son of (**)Samell Chagum (who is either a brother or son of Great James – I believe brother) who stole the canoe on Block Island. MY THEORY is I BELIEVE James is actually the son of (***)Janey2 the DAUGHTER of GREAT JAMES & Janey1 (Ninigret) Chagum – I think our James of Barkhamsted is ACTUALLY James HAZARD as per his Grandmother’s Janey1’s WILL – she gives all her lands in Block Island & RI to her beloved Grandson James Hazard and it is at this time our James of Barkhamsted disappears – we know our Molly changed her name (still have no clue as to her parents & a big mystery) only seems correct that James did also~

It is at this time he changed his name back to his family name of Chagum (Shawgum).

Either way I have worked all the angles of this and each time it brings me back to this tree.

I am still updating and adding info to all the Chief’s so you will see this is changing every day til I get it all set up~

Historical Redemption Rock, Find An Old Indian Cave, Interesting Fish Facts & Hymns by Thomas Commuck


The herald. (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, September 27, 1896, Page 20, Image 21 – Image provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA


The times dispatch. (Richmond, Va.) 1903-1914, July 25, 1911, Page 5, Image 5 – Image provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA


The New York herald. (New York, N.Y.) 1920-1924, January 02, 1921, SECTION FOUR, Page 5, Image 52 – Image provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC


The Washington times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, December 04, 1921, SUNDAY MORNING, Image 13 – Image provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC



Tales of Connecticut – How the Connecticut Indians lived, how they were ruled, and what customs they had…


The Bridgeport times and evening farmer. (Bridgeport, Conn.) 1918-1924, February 15, 1919, Page 6, Image 6 – Image provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT

Tales of Connecticut

How the Connecticut Indians lived, how they were ruled, and what customs they had are matters that will never cease to be interesting. Those who sometimes in this age preach a philosophy of trial marriages will be pleased to note the Connecticut Indians gave this institution a long trial, and found it not a good institution. The Kaiser will note that the system of government he admires, had been tried by the Connecticut Indians, and in this state shown to be a failure. The Indian sachem, or king was an absolute ruler. He received advice, but he alone gave the decision, and this given was scrupulously obeyed.
Connecticut Indians followed the customs of Prussia even to the extent of requiring that their king should be noble on both sides. William the Conqueror, who was the son of a tanner’s daughter, would not have met the requirements of nobility of blood demanded of a ruler of Connecticut Indians. The Sachem was often accuser, and Judge. He was also executioner, for the culprit would assent to no punishment, unless it was death, except
at the hands of his prince. When a young Indian wished for marriage, he presented the girl with whom he was enamoured, with bracelets, belts and chains of wampum. If she received his presents they were married, for a time upon trial. If they pleased each other they were Joined in permanent marriage; but, after a few weeks they were not suited, the man, leaving his presents, quitted the girl and sought another wife and she another husband. In this manner they courted until two met who were agreeable to each other. Before marriage the consent of the sachem was obtained, and he always Joined the hands of the young pair in wedlock. The Indians in general kept many wives and never thought they had too many. This especially was the case with their sachems. They chose their wives agreeably to their fancy, and put them away at pleasure. When a sachem grew weary of any of his wives he bestowed them upon some of his favorites, or chief men. The Indians, however, had one wife who was the governess of the family, and whom they generally kept during life. Husbands and wives, parents and children, lived together in the same wig wams. The Indian government generally was absolute monarchy. The will of the Sachem was his law. The lives and interests of his subjects were at his disposal, but in all Important affairs he consulted with his counsellors. When they had given their opinions they deferred the decision of every matter to him. Whatever his determinations were they applauded his wisdom and without hesitation obeyed his commands. In council the deportment of the sachems was grave and majestic to admiration. They appeared to be men of great discernment and policy. Their speeches were cautious and politic. The conduct of their counsellors and servants was profoundly respectful and submissive. The counsellors of the Indian kings in New England were not only the wisest but largest and bravest men to be found among their subjects. They were the immediate guard of their sachems, who made neither war nor peace, nor attempted any weighty affair without their advice. In war and all great enterprises, dangers and sufferings, these discovered a boldness and firmness of mind exceeding all the other warriors. To preserve this order among the Indians great pains were taken. The stoutest and most promising boys were chosen and trained up with peculiar care in the observation of certain Indian rites and customs. They were kept from all meats, trained to cuarse fare and made to drink the Juice of bitter herbs, until it occasioned violent vomiting. They were beaten over the legs and shins with sticks and made to run through brambles and thickets to make them hardy; and, as the Indians said, to make them more acceptable to Hobbamocko. These ministers of state, were in league with the priests or powaws. To keep the people in awe, they pretended, as well as the priests, to have converse with the invisible world; and that Hobbamocko often appeared to them. Among the Connecticut Indians, and among all the Indians in New England, the crown was hereditary, always descending to the eldest son. When there was no male Issue, the crown descended to the female. The blood royal was held in each veneration that no one was considered as heir to the crown but such as were royally descended on both sides. When a female acceded to the crown she was called the queen squaw. There were many petty sachems, tributary to other princes on whom they were dependent for protection, and without whose consent they made neither peace, war, nor alliances with other nations. The revenues of the crown consisted of the contributions of the people. They carried corn and the first fruits of their harvest of all kinds. Beans, squash, berries, roots and nuts were presented to their sachem who went out to them and by good words and some small gifts expressed his gratitude. They made him presents of flesh, fish, fowl, moose, bear, deer, beaver and other skins. One of the counsellors was commonly appointed to receive the tribute. By these gifts the table was supplied. He kept open house for all strangers and travellers. Besides, the prince claimed an absolute sovereignty over the seas within his dominion. Whatever was stranded on the coast, all wrecks and whales floating on the sea and taken were his. In war, the spoils of the enemy and all of the women and royalties of the prince conquered belonged to him who made the conquest. The Sachem was not only examiner, Judge and executioner in all criminal cases, but in all cases of Justice between one man and another. In cases of dishonesty the Indians proportioned the punishment to the number of times the delinquent had been found guilty. For the first offense he was reproached for his villariy In the most disgraceful manner; for the second he was beaten with a cudgel upon his naked back. If he still persisted in his dishonest practices and was found guilty a third time, besides a drubbing, he was sure to have his nose slit, that all men might know and avoid him. Murder was in all eases punished with death. The sachem whiped the delinquent and slit his nose in cases which required these punishments; and he killed the murderer unless he were at a great distance. In this case, In which execution could not be done with his own hands, he sent his knife by which it was effected. The Indians would not receive any punishment, which was not capital from the hands of any except their sachem. They would” neither be whipped, beaten or slit by an officer; but their prince might inflict these punishments to their greatest extremity and they would neither run, cry nor flinch. Indeed, neither the crimes nor the punishments are esteemed so infamous, among the Indians, as to groan or shrink under sufferings. The Sachems were so absolute in their government that they condemned the limited authority of the English governors. The Indians had no kind of coin; but they had a sort of money which they called wampum, or wampumeag. It consisted of small beads most curiously wrought out of shells and perforated in the center so that they might be strung on belts, in chains and bracelets. These were of several sorts. The Indians in Connecticut, and in New England m general, made black, blue and white wampum. Six of the white beads passed for a penny and three of the black or blue ones for the same. The Five Nations made another sort which were of purple color. The white beads were wrought out of the inside of the great conchs, and the purple out of thee inside of the mussel shell. They were made perfectly smooth and the perforation was done in the neatest manner. Indeed, considering that the Indians had neither knife, drill or any steel or iron instrument, the workmanship was admirable. After the English settled in Connecticut, the Indians strung these beads on belts of cloth in a very curious manner. The squaws made caps of cloth rising to a peak over the top of the head, and the forepart was beautiful with wampum, curiously wrought upon them. The Six Nations later wove and strung them on belts which they .gave in their treaties as a Confirmation of their speeches and the seals of their friendship.

May 01, 1869 – Newspaper article’s abt Old Sam Choggins


The Albany register. (Albany, Or.) 1868-18??, May 01, 1869, Image 1 – Image provided by University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR

Susan Shepard Notes: It is by Ambrose Bierce and meant as humor.  The various tidbits were eventually collected into a book called “The Fiend’s Delight” in 1873.


The daily dispatch. (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, March 15, 1869, Image 3 – Image provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA


American citizen. (Canton, Miss.) 1864-1890, March 27, 1869, Image 1 – Image provided by Mississippi Department of Archives and History


The Montana post. (Virginia City, Montana Territory [i.e. Mont.]) 1864-1869, April 16, 1869, Page 4, Image 4 – Image provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT




Podunk Is Really A Town

Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, March 31, 1907, INSURANCE SECTION, Page 3, Image 35

Image provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE

Mary Webster’s Death Notice – died at home in Silverton – Due to old age.

Mary (Wilson) Webster

Barkhamsted Lighthouse Descendant

Daughter of William Preston Wilson & Harriette West

b: Jan 1827 (Barkhamsted, CT) – d: Dec 24, 1901 (Silverton?)

m: Solomon Marsh Webster on Oct 06, 1850

in Southington, Hartford, Connecticut, USA


The Daily morning journal and courier. (New Haven, Conn.) 1894-1907, December 25, 1901, Image 1 – Image provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT


I have the PDF version of this – if interested email me at chagumdescendants@gmail.com for a copy

The Old “Lighthouse” and the Strange Tribe of Barkhamsted – Only Two Mournful Survivors of itThe Connecticut Courant, Hartford Connecticut Jan 24, 1900
Was it Founded by a Runaway Wethersfield Girl and a Disappointed Narragansett Indian – Theories as to an Interesting Bit of Early Connecticut History (Special to the Courant) Winsted, Jan 24. A generation or two ago, the “Barkhamsted Lighthouse´´ had a widespread notoriety. It was a queer name to be clinging to a wild spot among the rocky hills of Northwestern Connecticut, sixty miles from the sea. Inquires into its history when they were made by the curious came too late; the true story of one of the last Indian resorts in the state will perhaps never be unearthed, Enough was learned, however to invest the place and people with a kind of romantic interest and many versions of the origin of the founders of the colony and its name grew up. The following is at present the most generally accepted account. Married a Narragansett. Changham was a Narragansett Indian born on Block Island. A young white women of Wethersfield had been forbidden by her father to marry the man of her choice. Reckless in her disappointment she declared, in spite, that she would wed the first man, white or black, who offered himself. Changham heard of it, proposed and Molly Barber kept her word. The strangely mated couple were privately married and then fled. They went over Talcott Mountain to Farmington and then up the river into the depths of the Green-woods as the great forest of what is now Litchfield Country were then called. The settled at Ragged Mountain in Barkhamsted on the upper waters of the Tunxis. Here Changham built a wigwam or hut in which they lived. Years afterwards the Hartford and Albany turnpike was constructed along the river. The stage drivers on the lonely Road passing the place at night and always seeing gleams from the cabin fire shining through the cracks the only light in miles. began to call it the “Lighthouse´´ – and so it was named Changham and his wife raised a family of eight Children whose descendants became the lighthouse tribe. The pretty but willful Molly lived to be 105 years old dying in 1820 and came to be known as old Granny Changham.
The Romance of It –This is substantially the story as given by William Wallace Lee of Meriden historian of Barkhamsted his native town and is one which he considers plausible and prosale. In the latter view, however, it is possible that the able writer falls to catch the spirit of the Lighthouse legend. Even if there were nothing romantic in the rash vow the secret marriage and the hurried flight of the civilized girl, the abandonment of his ancestral home by the Narragansett – descendant of the most powerful tribe of Indians in New England – would be enough to give it color. And then later in his book, the historian speaks of Changham´s grave as “the resting place, so far as we know, the last of the Narragansett´s´´ If Changham had indeed been the last of the race New England would have no spot no more fraught with historic suggestions that the hillside where he sleeps. But it is possible that Changham may not have been Narragansett at all. Historians of neighboring towns do not sustain this theory of his coming. They hold rather that he was “the head man of the last remnants of a tribe of Indians who lived along the Farmington or Tunxis River“ and that the council fires of the tribe kept up for a long time by his descendants were the mythical lighthouse.
Lighthouse a Signal? – Yet the theory is not wholly acceptable to impartial judgment.  There is no evidence that the relations between Changham whoever he was and the first white settler of Barkhamsted were ever unfriendly. Nevertheless at the very time when he was living in peace with others in the neighboring town of New Hartford a few miles down the river the handful of settlers had “a house which was forted in” which they were often obliged to resort for safety from the attack of the hostile Indians. Little as is known therefore of the natives which were indigenous to this section (Connecticut histories do not class them with the strong Tunxis Indian at the mouth of the river with whom William Holmes opened trade in 1632 (?) for that purpose sailing (?) bravely by the Dutch Fort at Hartford though ___dered (?) In New York or be fired upon. there is still ground for belief that Changham was not one of them. but was an alien and friendly to his white neighbors. The lighthouse in fact may have been his signal fire to the paleface when danger from the other Indians threatened. Some such belief seems to have been current years ago. Henry L. R. Jones, a former resident of Barkhamsted, writing from Kansas to the Centennial committee of in 1879 (?) says: “I have often met those who had heard of the old beacon light that stood stark and `one upon that old hillside as if to warn the screeching gulls of danger.´´ But who if neither Narragansett nor native, was Changham? To what ancestry did the blood of the half-breeds’ whom he left behind him, revert? They flourished at the lighthouse, wild and rand, a rough and roistering colony, for generations. Their doings were many and strange, but actual crime like that of the murdered Mossock; the exploits of whose ugly band of half-breeds’ gave the name of Satan´s Kingdom to their resorts further down the river below New Hartford, was never laid at their door. Were they from a less savage strain? Eventually the Lighthouse people began to degenerate through intermarriage, They became degraded and in their latter days were “a band of bleached-out basket-making and root gathering vagabonds.´´ Their cabins became fewer and more miserable as the race died out. Finally the remaining members were dispersed and their habitations utterly disappeared.
The Sole Survivors
There are now living, however, near the village of Riverton, a mile from the Lighthouse site, old Sol Webster and his wife, the only survivors of the tribe in that section. Their poverty is extreme. The man says he is about 80 years of age; he may be much older. The women is several years younger. Both are lineal descendants of Changham´s daughters but do not seem able to untangle their genealogies. However, the old man has recollections of many traditions of the tribe. He replies promptly when asked about his ancestor, that his grandfather told him that “Changham was an Indian who came from England with Columbus when he discovered America.´´ He is so persistent upon this point that a theory has been formed that the statement may have some basis of fact and that the mysterious Changham was of Spanish-Indian extraction.
Over 200 Buried Old Sol, as he is called speaks with sadness of his people and of the time when he says thirty-two families lived in the the Lighthouse settlement. He tells with homely pathos that in the woods near the place there is an old Indian graveyard where over 200 of his tribe are buried. The visitor to Ragged Mountain finds it as he says. It is a spot of natural beauty. The mountain is pushed back a little giving room for the Lighthouse flats beside the river. In the brushwood on either side of the road an occasional lilac bush betrays the site of a former hut. To the east on a sandy wooded knoll may be discovered but only by search, vestiges of the ancient cemetery. Few of the graves are marked and these merely by a small stone set on end. Not one has an inscription. Little hollows show that some of the graves have been raided. All trace of the burying ground must be lost in the course of a few more years, but as it is now no place can be more typical of the extinction of the red men’s race than is this somber graveyard of Changham and his tribe.

Note from Coni:  Solomon Webster died just a few days after this was printed.


Update on Russ Allen – R1b – L21 SNP Pack

UPDATE on my Uncle Russ Allen’s DNA: Thru FTDNA (familytreedna.com)

We have updated his R-Z2542 SNP’s (R1b – L21 SNP Pack) and this is what they have came back with: Your Confirmed Haplogroup is R-Z2542 – Haplogroup R-P312 is the descendant of the major R-P25 (aka R-M343) lineage and is the most common in Central Europe, Spain, France, Portugal, and the British Isles.


Via John B Robb – Administrator, ALLEN Patrilineage 2 Project

You will find all of the Y-Chromosome STR DNA haplotypes posted on the main ALLEN DNA Patrilineage 2 Project page in this haplotype chart, with copious, detailed analysis of the the DNA elsewhere on the page.  One of the main points that I make in the “Principles of DNA Analysis” section is that FTDNA’s pairwise haplotype Genetic Distance numbers have only a very weak correlation with closeness of actual relationship and should be disregarded.  Like so many statistics thrown at us today, not only by the ignorant media, but by scientists who need better grounding in statistics, pairwise haplotype comparisons, even across 111 markers, represent too small a sample size to yields genetics distances that are statistically significant.

You will find complete, vetted, and up-to-date ancestries of each project member on the project Descendancies page, and clicking on the project number of any member wherever it is a link, will take you to their particular ancestry on the page.

I have put hundreds of hours into building up this page, and in researching or validating the underlying genealogies, and I keep it up to date to the extent that the members keep me up to date on their research.  Why not take advantage of it?

John Barrett Robb

Note from Coni: Our project number (which you can find in the project directory) in  this project is  A-26.  This is the main Allen project I am involved in with Uncle Russ’s DNA. John has done so much work for us all and I can’t thank him enough for all he has done & continues to do~

Via Anthrogenica – Genetics & Anthropology Discussion Forum

The new FTDNA R1b-L21 SNP Pack is best described as the R1b-L21 Top-Layer and Misc Subclades SNP Pack. You could think of it as a backbone or orientation panel but it is much more of a stocky, short bush than a long backbone. This Pack is the early branching of L21, DF13, DF63, etc. A couple experimental SNPs, i.e. ZZ10, are thrown in. People with haplogroup labels R-L21, R-DF13 and R-Z2542 should definitely consider this.

What is a Single-nucleotide polymorphism via Wikipedia.org

The upper DNA molecule differs from the lower DNA molecule at a single base-pair location (a C/A polymorphism).

A single-nucleotide polymorphism, often abbreviated to SNP (pronounced snip; plural snips), is a variation in a single nucleotide that occurs at a specific position in the genome, where each variation is present to some appreciable degree within a population (e.g. > 1%).[1]
For example, at a specific base position in the human genome, the base C may appear in most individuals, but in a minority of individuals, the position is occupied by base A. There is a SNP at this specific base position, and the two possible nucleotide variations – C or A – are said to be alleles for this base position.
SNPs underlie differences in our susceptibility to disease; a wide range of human diseases, e.g. sickle-cell anemia, β-thalassemia and cystic fibrosis result from SNPs.[2][3][4] The severity of illness and the way our body responds to treatments are also manifestations of genetic variations. For example, a single base mutation in the APOE (apolipoprotein E) gene is associated with a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.[5]

Russ Allen’s Y-DNA Certificate

Via FTDNA – Kit # 366700


Russ Allen’s Y-DNA – Haplogroup Certificate



Email from a close DNA match of my Uncle Russ Allen abt our Allen DNA

Hi Coni,

As Russ Allen’s Terminal SNP is Z2542 it appears you have run the Big Y for Russ Allen. I have also run the Big Y.

You might want to join the R1b Project. I also joined Alex Williamson’s special project through the R1b project.

Alex has us as DF13 – ZZ10. Not a whole lot is known about the ZZ10 subglade.

It appears our Allen group is again unique in that there are a number of DF13 folks, we are rare at the ZZ10.

It is the same with our Y – STR’s. We have a 13 at DYS426. Only 1.9% of the total population has the value 13 at that marker. Our R subgroup d is the only Allen subgroup with 13 at DYS426.

Sometimes it’s neat to be unique, sometimes not.

A DNA Cousin,

Dick Allen


Oh, I ran across your web site – very well done!

Pahke’s Cave – Chagum Connection


Pahke’s Cave, Hartland, Connecticut – Also known as Wright’s Cave

In the December issue of the Lure the story of “Pahke’s Cave, the Home of Orrin Wright,” was related as told by the late David Gaines of East Hartland.

Since that time Harold Thorne reports a number of groups have visited the ancient and historic cave.
On October 24, 1941, the Clearview School from Harwinton with their teacher, Florene B. Smith, visited the cave and with them was Mrs. Elnora Snow of West Hartland. Mrs. Snow is the daughter of John Hoadley Miller who was first selectman in Hartland in 1854 when he took the children from Pahke’s Cave. Mrs. Snow related the story of the taking of the children of Orrin Wright from Pahke’s Cave as it had been told her.

On the very day my father was elected first selectman as per final count of the votes late in the evening, the other two selectmen urged my father to get Orrin Wright’s children from the Cave at once. My father hesitated, but they finally persuaded him that he should act immediately, so, without going to his own home, he drove with his horse and business wagon over to West Hartland and as near the Cave as possible, though almost a half a mile away. He then followed the narrow trail to the Cave and as First Selectman informed Mr. and Mrs. Wright that the children must go with him as they were receiving no schooling and were receiving very poor care in such a hole. Mr. and Mrs. Wright very sorrowfully gave up the ten children and Mr. Miller took them to his home.

Now Mr. Miller had but recently been married and in addition he had not consulted his wife before he went after the children, so when he arrived with the ten, long after dark, he had two very serious problems on his hands – his wife and the ten children. Finally the children were quartered in the attic for the night. What to feed them was another problem but mush and milk solved this. In the morning John, one of the children, was gone and Mr. Miller was not to be found. After breakfast of mush and milk, Mrs. Miller decided, with her mother, to take the horse and wagon and spend the day at Hartland Fair, for Hartland had a fair of its own each year in those days. The day passed very pleasantly, but when they were ready to go home, their horse and wagon was missing.

After a very long wait Mr. Miller appeared with the horse and wagon saying he had spent the day finding homes for the children and that all but one was placed out.” Some of these children are still living as successful as others who had better opportunities when children. The water, as storms sweep the lonely hillside, has washed dirt and rubbish into the Cave so the room inside is not as large as it was one hundred years ago when Pahke and her tribe his in its depths from the hungry wolves.

Orrin Wright and his wife found the cave a lonely home with the children gone and were soon persuaded to move into a house “made with hands.”Scan_0001

Donated by Ruth Vela – Lewis Mill’s Granddaughter


Tonia Allen Gould

Children's and Young Adult Author and Founder of the FInding Corte Magore Project

Jessica's Family Tree

This site is dedicated to the ancestors of the Johnson, Booker and Petruff families of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Pennsylvania and thier connecting lines of lineage.

Echo's of Lost Footsteps

My quest of finding my ancestors (& a bit of my life)

They Were Here

Searching for Forgotten Forebears - A Work in Progress

Under the influence!

Myths, legends, folklore and tales from around the world


the spaces between

Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society

Serving the interests of genealogists since 1967

"Ever Widening Circle"

Quest for my Native American Roots

The Red Cedar

Essays on Heritage and Culture