On November 2, from 12:30-3:30, Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association (WHPA) will be leading a walk to the historic sites on WHPA properties in Athens and Grafton.
These historic sites connected with the mining of soapstone include the remains of a mill, slag heap, boarding house for the workers, barn for the oxen, and multiple quarries cuts in the land. While mining there ceased in the early 1900s, there is interesting evidence remaining of this historic industry. Early Grafton pioneers first discovered and quarried this deposit of soapstone in 1784, carving pieces into household items such as foot and hand warmers, ink wells, and hearthstones.
On the hike, see the remains of the historic Goodridge and Smith Soapstone quarries, quarry pools, cellar holes, mill foundation, and old roads. This area, which is adjacent to the Turner Hill Wildlife Management Area, has significant wildlife habitat including wetlands and very productive beech/oak/cherry mast stands.
The hike is moderate, there may be some water in the old roads depending on previous weather, watertight boots recommended. The walk will begin at Athens Pond in Athens on Route 35 (6 1/2 miles north of Townshend or 3 1/2 miles south of Cambridgeport on Route 35). Hike leaders are Camil Roberts and Andrew Toepfer. Please register with Andy Toepfer at 802-869-3379 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association and upcoming events, visit their website at windmillhillpinnacle.org