STONE WINGS is a web journal about New England history and folklore. New England has a great deal of both.

DSCF2573My home is in the rolling hills where Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island butt up against each other. This land of stone walls, cellar holes, and family cemeteries “town meeting country,” Clarence Webster called it  practically oozes artifacts and lore. But all of the New England states, maybe even a bit of New York and Canada, are open for discussion here.

The death’s head figure at the top of the page is from the headstone of Ephraim Jons (Jones), who died in 1710 and was buried in South Burying Place, Concord, Massachusetts. It inspired the name STONE WINGS. I am sure there’s a metaphor there somewhere.


All images including winged death head logo © Kent Spottswood 2012                                                                                                                        


  1. Mark Wright · · Reply

    Kent, thank you for your articles earlier this year dispelling myths about Bathsheba Thayer Sherman. I am researching my family’s genealogy, and in my efforts to find out more about my 5th great grandparents Rowena Ballou Sherman and Asahel Sherman, I have recently been in touch with a historian in Burrillville. Last week, she told me about the hysteria that has bubbled up over the supposed witch that was the Shermans’ daughter-in-law Bathsheba. I am descended from Judson Sherman’s older brother Duty, who left Rhode Island for Ohio. But given that Duty and Judson’s parents are buried on the same lot as Bathsheba, I feel I have a personal stake in this story. I am most troubled that a parade of witch seekers (a group that likely includes potential vandals) have been flocking to the burial site. It’s disturbing to think that so many people have a distorted notion of Bathsheba and perhaps the Sherman family because of a Hollywood horror flick and a salacious book on which it is based.

    I live in Texas, but I eagerly anticipate traveling to that corner of New England sometime soon. I hope I that the hysteria has dissipated by then. Seems like Salem should’ve taught us not to go around accusing folks of witchcraft. But the allure of the paranormal causes people to toss aside factual evidence, such as documents of a person’s life, in favor of a devilish folktale. The past has so many interesting stories to offer. I’m not sure why we can’t be satisfied with learning about the real lives of our New England ancestors.

  2. Spider · · Reply

    I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. Congratulations! Check this post for the details. http://spinningwebbs.com/2014/05/25/liebster-award/

    1. Thanks from the bottom of my inkwell, Spider.

  3. John McNamara · · Reply

    Great article about Quidnessett Rock. I grew up in quidnessett and it has lots of history. As a young boy I was left to my own devices to explore and entertain myself. I completely agree with you and appreciate your article. On this cold, snowy, January day I made for a great read, especially reminding me of my own boyhood adventures in Quidnessett and Pojac Pt. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks, John. You made my snowy afternoon a little more pleasant with your note. Plus I needed the nudge. I’ve have a stack of stories piling up on my desk.

  4. Ruth DeAmicis · · Reply

    Kent, also having lived in that area and knowing a bit about it, I really enjoy your blog. Would love to share notes and contacts some time. And trying to keep up with the writing and researching IS not only challenging, THAT’s the fun part!

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