Hudson Valley Mailbox

Where in the Hudson Valley…?

One typically wouldn’t think twice about holes in the ground, but the mysterious stone chambers alongside Route 301 in Putnam County evoke plenty of excitement. Though not many know of their origins — Hudson Valley reader Bob Chapman suggests they were created “to produce charcoal for processing iron” — there’s no question as to their abundance all over the county. Congrats to our winner, Ron Walsh of Wappingers Falls, who was the first to identify this particular cavern. You may need lucky pennies for our next puzzle, which features a fountain whose sister appeared in a famous Tom Hanks flick.

My husband and I lived in Putnam County for 20 years and have been to many of these chambers — they are truly amazing.
Leslie Duerr
Via E-mail
There are at least 44 in Putnam alone.
Gene Booth
Kent Lakes
There are also two more on Ninham Mountain by the fire tower.
Tricia McPartland
Via E-mail
I lived on a farm in the ’60s on Route 17K between Montgomery and Bullville, and there was one of these chambers up the road. Another was on Route 84 just west of Middletown. Many years ago I read an article that expressed that these structures are Druid in origin, and that they can be traced from the Carolinas up to Maine in a pattern significant of some ancient cultural/religious practice.
Mr. “M”
Via E-mail

Camper Conundrum

Every day when I drive westbound on I-84, I see an old camper in the woods at mile marker 56.5 (a little past the rock with the red car painted on it). I cannot figure out how in the world it was towed there. It baffled me so much that I got a map and drove from Mountain Top Road to Grape Hollow Road to see if I could determine how it got there, but no luck. Before I go crazy, can someone tell me how long it’s been parked there, and how it got there?
Ann Valentino

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This is a toughie. Readers, without subjecting yourselves to trespassing charges, feel free to chime in if you’ve got the inside scoop on this weird Winnebago.

Correction: The Scala sun hat, featured in our June Shop Talk, is priced at $22, not $42 as we had printed. The hat is available at Rhinebeck Department Store.

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