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Anybody here into New England Native American history?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Cecil, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Got a copy of an old file from the very early 20th century of a body of water I grew up near in Massachusetts. In the old file is the original Native American name before the white settlers renamed it, and then was subsequently renamed by the U.S. military when it became military property. Was just curious what the NA name meant, but no responses yet from a local Native American and linguist. I've contacted two local museums with a reply from one but no idea what it means.

    Was thinking someone here in New England is into Native American history and might know a historian I can contact. It seems a lot of taxidermists are into this kind of stuff.

    Yeah I know this isn't specifically taxidermy but I no longer post in Current Events.

    Btw the Native American name of the lake that is now protected and undeveloped except for a swimming beach is Shabokin. Was changed to Hell Pond by the White settlers probably due to it depth in relation to surface area, and then to the trite Mirror Lake by the military.

    Here's what it looked like in 1911 and isn't much different today.



  2. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I love that old stuff, and NA artifacts, but I cant help you with your request. I dont think anyone minds this in this category, either.

  3. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Shabokin was spelled in Many different ways.but for your answer I think I found the answer for you Cecil.

    Shabokin Pond, Worcester County, Mass. Natick, ''place of the

    departed" (chepiohkomuk) or "hell." Variants, Shabikin,

    Shabbiikin, Chabikkin.
  4. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Thanks Bill.
  5. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Sometimes local lore and true accurate history gets kinda diluted in translation. My example would be, looking for info on whats called a grooved ax. Locals will tell me of "tomahawks". Stone artifacts started thousands of years ago, and european influence and metals came so much later, as recently as hundreds of years ago. I hope you find your answers, maybe Brian aboves post is it.
  6. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Thanks Brian. I have subsequently found the same in a publication about Harvard Mass (the town) that is just east of there. Is that where you got the info? The curator of the Fort Devens Military Museum sent me a couple of pages. Next time I'm out there I'm going to have to make a visit and take pictures for my dad that was in 10th Special Forces there, which is part of the museum.

    I was a military dependent there from 1968 to 1971 and the pond was just a walk through the woods, and I spent a lot of time there. Learned a lot about fishing there. Always felt the lake was special but not sure why. Even saw ghosts as it was getting dark, but I'm sure that was my imagination. We were also stationed at a Kasern in Germany that was used in WWII by the Gestapo and I saw ghosts there too. LOL

    What a lot of people don't know is the post has a very macabre history too. It was ground zero in the U.S. for the Spanish Flu Epidemic plague that killed 50 million people all over the world. A lot of guys also were inducted into the military there in both WWI and II never to come back. And it housed German POW's.
  7. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    You're right Bill. Similarly my twin is a railroad historian and author and when it comes to history he is very very careful not to use something in his books until he can verify it and has researched it to death. Even among academics many mistakes are made and we seem to constantly be revising pre European settler history. I was blown away to learn recently that there were probably millions of Native Americans on the South American and North American continents that waxed and waned in numbers. Some seemed to disappear overnight.

    Don't know if it's true but was told that in at least one NA village a whiteman had to bath first before showing up to trade as the NA's didn't care much for the stench. If you think about it, it makes sense. How close could a NA get to wild game smelling to high heaven? And the whiteman had weapons that could reach out much farther (at least at first.)
  8. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    **Don't know if it's true but was told that in at least one NA village a whiteman had to bath first before showing up to trade as the NA's didn't care much for the stench. If you think about it, it makes sense. How close could a NA get to wild game smelling to high heaven?**

    Actually the Native Americans stunk too .... just a different kind of stunk.


  9. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Perhaps but from what I've read I'd have to have my sense of smell deactivated if I was a time traveler into the past in European and colonial days, as bathing only a few times a year was not unheard of with the early europeans at least. They just dumped things on to cover the smell. And carried special bouquets with them at public events to mask body odor, which is how the wedding tradition started.The early Queen Elizabeth had 1 inch of make up on her face when she died. Apparently she just keep adding it and never washed it off.

    Anybody here ever smell a human being that has not bathed in a long time? Used to work at grocery story where a mentally ill guy came in once in a while. Oh my God the stench was horrible! The closest thing I can compare it to is the rotting flesh of a road kill.
  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Sadly, we burned out our olfactory nerves long, long ago. Every gut a deer and get a good whiff? Try a rabbit or squirrel OR HUMAN. We all smell the same inside. But outside, we all smell different. Growing up I was told that I should eat sulfur tablets. They were supposed to leech through the body and repel insects. It's said that a meat eater smells different than a herbivore. Our noses still smell the smells of what our ancients smelled, but as we've "developed", our brain manages to discount itself and not flag those smells any longer. The brain is a stupendous organ. Ask anyone who's been attacked by an animal. Ask someone who cut his foot off with an ax. There is no pain. None. I looked down and watched the blood gurgling out of my foot but was puzzled as to why there was no pain when stepping on a tack would have left me screaming. The brain discounted that feeling as it had survival at the forefront. It's the BRAIN and not the nose.
  11. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Yes cecil.thats where I found the info.i too love this topic.i find it very interesting. I wish you the best in finding out more info.i bet that area sure seen some very spooky things.
  12. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Cecil...call Elizabeth Warren, she's a Native American and lives in Taxachusetts and should be able to answer your questions from first-hand experience.
  13. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Now JL you need to do your homework. Her family roots are originally from Oklahoma. And most Okies will tell you that Native American ancestry is very common there.
  14. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I would guess that it was Anglicanized from "Shabokin " meaning hell , to "Hells Pond"
  15. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Makes sense to me.

    Thanks Joey.
  16. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    The same thing happened to my town of Chunky. Originally, it was "Chanki Chitto". Meaning "ball field town", where the Choctaws played their game of "chanki ". Early settlers heard it and spelled it as Chunkey. When the railroad came through, it was changed to "Chunky ". Now the entire world thinks our town was named after a candy bar!