Tuesday, September 6, 2016



Donald A. Windsor

Here is a photo of a stone foundation in the Lincklaen State Forest in its eponymous town. It is located on the east side of Hyer Road, just south of Springer Road. I took this photo on our Bullthistle hike Sunday 4 September 2016.

Notice that all four of its walls are caved in. This cellar hole is becoming a dimple in the forest floor. The usual process of disintegration is that the northern wall caves in first. The winter sun melts the ice in and behind it and then the water refreezes at night. This repetitive freezing and thawing ultimately collapses the wall. Next to come down are the east and west walls. Finally, the south wall caves in. The process is similar to folding up a donut box. The cellar hole becomes overgrown with vegetation and becomes camouflaged.

The 1855 map labels this foundation as belonging to H.C. Burdick. The 1863 map shows it as H.D. Burdick. Burdick is a common name in this area. Burdick Settlement, now Lincklaen Center, is up the road northerly about 2 miles. The Burdicks moved here in 1804 (Smith). The 1875 map has it as H.P. Marble. This foundation was probably built in the 1840s so it has been there for over a century and a half.

As a caveat, these maps were not drawn to an exact scale, so jumping from one to another is not an exact action, especially when there are name changes. House sites could remain constant but the houses could have been totally rebuilt.

Chenango County has many old foundations and the one featured here is just an example. Each foundation represents its own story. Unfortunately, most of these stories have vanished.

Reference cited:

Smith, James H. History of Chenango County. 1880. Page 483.