Hayward’s New England Gazetteer (1839) page 366
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•The following account of a visit
to this hermitess, is taken from a
Poughkeepsie paper.

“Yesterday I went to visit the
hermitage. As you pass the south-
ern and elevated ridge of the moun-
tain,and begin to descend the south-
ern steep, you meet with a perpen-
dicular descent of a rock, in the
front of which is this cave. At the
foot of this rock is a gentle descent
of rich and fertile ground, extend-
ing about ten rods, when it instant-
ly forms a frightful precipice, de-
scending half a mile to the pond
called Long pond.- In the front of
the rock, on the north, where* the
cave is, and level with the ground,
there appears a large frustrum of
the rock, of a double fathom in size,
thrown out by some unknown con-
vulsion of nature, and lying in the
front of the cavity from which it
was rent, partly enclosing the
mouth, and forming a room: the
rock is left entire above, and- forms
the roof of this humble mansion.
This cavity is the habitation of the
hermitess, in which she has passed
the best of her years, excluded ;
from all society; she keeps no do-
mestic animal, not even fowl, cat,
or dog Her little plantation, con-
sisting of half an acre, is cleared
of its wood, and reduced to grass,-
where she has rai-ed a few peach
trees, and yearly plants, a few hills
of beans, cucumbers, and potatoes ;
the whole is surrounded with a
luxuriant grape vine, which over-
spreads the surrounding wood, and
is very productive. On the oppo-
site side of tills little tenement, is a
fine fountain of excellent water; at
this fountain we found the wonder-
ful woman, whose appearance it is
a little difficult to describe :* indeed,
like nature in its first state, she was
without form. Her dress appeared
little else than one confused and
shapeless mass of rags, patched to-
gether without any order, which
obscured all human shape, except-
ing her head, which was clothed


with a luxuriancy of lank grey hair
depending on every side, as time
had formed it, without any covering
or ornament. When she discover-
ed our approach, she exhibited the
appearance of a wild and timid an-
imal ; and started and hastened to
her cave, which she entered, and
barricaded the entrance with old
shells, pulled from the decayed
trees. We approached this humble
habitation, and after some conver-
sation with its inmate, obtained lib-
erty to remove the palisadoes and
look in; for we were not able to
enter, the room being only sufficient
to accommodate one person. We
saw no utensil, either for labor or
cookery, save an old pewter basin
and a gourd shell, no bed but the
solid rock, unless it were a few old
rags, scattered here and there; no
bed clothes of any kind, not the
least appearance of food or fire.
She had, indeed, a place in one cor-
ner of her cell, where a fire had at
some time been kindled, but it did
not appear there had been one for
some months. To confirm this, a
gentleman .says he passed her cell
five op'six days after the great fall
of-jpnow in the beginning of March,
that she had no fire then, and had
not been out of her cave since the
snow had fallen. How she subsists
during the severe season, is yet a
mystery ; she says she eats but lit-
tle flesh of any kind ; in the sum-
mer she lives on berries, nuts, and
roots. We conversed with her for
some time, found her to be of a
sound mind, a religious turn of
thought, and entirely happy in her
situation; of this she has given re-
peated proofs by refusing to quit
this dreary abode. She keeps a Bi-
ble with her, and says she takes
much satisfaction, and spent much
time in reading it.”

Riley, Me.

Oxford co. This is a township of
rough and unprofitable land, with
few inhabitants; near to, and south


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