Kate Kenny notes; 7/31/21; ex Sara.

Notes from Kate Kenney’s
(UVM consulting archaeologist)
visit to Krusch Nature Preserve on 7/31/21

  • Butts family owned property from 1843-1899 (KK has family photographs)
  • Wisconsin Glacier was 1 mile deep over this part of Vermont (2 miles deep over Montreal). Its terminal moraine was at Long Island/Cape Cod
  • Retreated ~14,000 years ago, and left new environment by 10,000 years ago.
  • Basal till = crushed below glacier, depositional till deposited on the retreat, along with the glacial erratics.
  • Landscape here was shaped by the meltwater – Glacial Lake Vermont dropped by ~300 ft over a very short span of time (week?) as the result of ice dam breaking; seawater came in because the ground had been depressed by the weight of the glacier (land is still rebounding)
  • At its peak, the glacier increased ~2 ft a day
  • Showed different layers in soil core (O, A, E, BH). Top = organic matter (O). Exposed till = angular rocks. Powdery sands = lake sands. Low areas = silt. (A). (E) = iron/manganese leaching out in this level. Quite distinct layers. Silt travels easily in water . . . indicative of low velocity. Sand . . . indicative of higher velocity.
  • Paleo-Indians ~10,000 years ago, Woodland Indians most recent. Mostly too steep around here for settlements. Plus there are other more suitable sites closer to Lamoille (e.g. behind Cupboard Deli)
  • ‘Forest Forensics’. Multiple trunk trees = something killed lead shoots, e.g. insects, porcupines. Barbed wire fences = cattle/horses. Square mesh fences = sheep (sheep would get caught in barbed wire). Barbed wire was initially experimented with in 1860’s, used in VT from 1870’s, but illegal in VT until 1880’s [Tom Wessel book]. Birch and maple stumps are gone within 35 years. Hemlock last longer. Pillow and cradle = holes made from tip-ups, mounds created by build-up of material against fallen trees. Suggests land is unlikely to have been actively farmed = untouched forest. Deep ploughing during 1850’s. Farmed land = smoother, with distinct drop at boundary.
  • Wetland = Berkshire sandy loam. Inundated with water, prevents tree growth. May be pocket of different material from surrounding areas.
  • Duff layer can form in ~10 years. Reaches stable depth as it is broken down and incorporated into lower soil layers.
  • Different channels that Dragon Brook may have taken over the years before settling on current route. Left evidence as deeper channels through woods. Probably ‘braided channels’ originally. Can see where it has changed course.
  • Cleft in bedrock/ledge where waterfall is. Erosion is smoothing out surrounding rock.
  • Soil core on edge of Pines suggests area has been farmed in the past. Also less distinct pillows and cradles here c.f. earlier part of trail.