THE FASCINATING, UNSOLVED MYSTERY OF ACWORTH

The town of Acworth sits in the west central part of New Hampshire. To the west, lies the Connecticut River which begins at the Connecticut Lakes on the Canadian border and flows south all the way to Long Island Sound. Acworth is a picturesque New England town in the mountainous section of the state. The town is divided into Acworth Center (top of the mountain) and South Acworth (in the valley along Cold River). 

Helen H. Frink's book, These Acworth Hills , tells the history of the community from 1776 to 1988. Frink's book is a wealth of information on the growth and history of this small New England community.

No one knows who found the Beehives first. It just seemed that were a conversation piece in the community. At first, many thought they were built by one of the Native American tribes in the area. Today we know this is not true. As time went by, they became less of a subject.

In 1947, William Goodwin published a book entitled, The Ruins of Great Ireland in New England, Mr. Goodwin's book was based on what he found on his property in Salem, New Hampshire which he called "Mystery Hill", or as some have come to call it, "America's Stonehenge".

In 1947, Dr. James Whittall visited Kennedy Hill ( the Acworth site) and found the very similar to the stone structures built by the Celts in northern Spain and Portugal. This goes along with William Goodwin's theory that Mystery Hill, Acworth and similar sites in northwestern Massachusetts and eastern Vermont were built and inhabited by Irish Culdee monks fleeing Norsemen or Vikings. Goodwin theorized that monks tried to Christianize the Algonquian natives living in New England in the ninth and tenth centuries.

Berry Fell, a Harvard marine biologist, who had studied pre-Christian hieroglyphics and inscriptions at several North American sites pursued Goodwin's Celtic-Irish hypothesis back into history. In Fell's book, America B. C., he concluded that Phoenicians traded extensively with Celts from the Iberian peninsula. The Celts traded furs and copper, which could have come from North America. In Fell's examination of inscriptions on stones at Mystery Hill he found one dedicated to the Phoenician god Baal and another to the Celt sun god Bel which were the same deity. 

The script was pre-Christian Celt called Ogam. This script was found at other similar sites in the northeastern United States. When fell examined the Algonquian language he found evidence of Gaelic origins for place names such as Amoskeag, Piscataqua and Queechee. Based on these findings, Fell concluded that the Celts and Phoenicians had visited and traded in New England between the tenth century before Christ and 146 B.C.

Fell and Whittall concluded that Mystery Hill was a religious shrine created by the Celts and used by the Phoenicians who came here to trade. The site's link to human or animal sacrifice has been well researched. Stone huts like the ones at Mystery Hill and Acworth faced eastward so the Bel's worshippers could see the sunrise from them on the winter solace. Whittall did not explore the possibility that the Acworth Beehives had any astronomical connections. Another Visitor to the Beehives theorized that lines drawn from each of the three remaining Beehives would intersect near the top of the hill where their is a large, flat table rock that could have been an alter.

In his book, Albins, Farley Mowat talks about pre-Viking settlers in the Northern Labrador/Ungava (mouth of the St. Lawrence River region. The remains of a stone dwelling was discovered that predates the 8th century Viking presence and is not of Inuit or Native American origin. 

There is evidence of old maps that were noted as being in the possession of the Vikings that identifies the Nova Scotia and Gaspe region of the St. Lawrence as the Huitramannaland (land of the white man). There is also the old Iroquois tale about " men in white robes". Is it possible that these settlers were Celtic Christians or even Culdees fulfilling the command of Jesus, to" go and preach the Gospel to the utter most parts of the earth". 

The theory is that the Beehives were built between 800 B.C. and they were temples rather than Dwellings. Now it's my turn to tell what a friend and I found at the Beehives. We walked up one fall day and started looking around the site. We started with the largest hut. Looking around we noticed that just below the hut were ledges with a small stone wall built in a semicircle. While I was looking at the wall my friend crawled into the large hut and started to look around. 

After a few minutes, she called out that she had found something. I went up and she told me to look in the wall on the right side of the entrance to the hut. When I found the spot she was referring to I found wedged in the stone wall mixed in with dirt and leaves a small dull stone. Taking it out and cleaning it off we found it to be some sort of crystal. Going back inside and replacing the crystal where I had taken it from. Looking around I noticed two triangular openings on the opposite wall facing the east. These openings were about two and a half feet up in the wall and about a foot apart one was slightly higher than the other. going outside and shining a flashlight through both the openings, we found that shining the light at the right angle the light would hit the crystal and the reflect on to the base stone of the far wall. 

Shining the flashlight on the base stone revealed that it was about a foot high and four feet long. Closer examination of the stone revealed that it had a flat surface covered in moss. Pressing my hand into the moss I felt certain irregularities in the stone. Not having anything to remove the moss we decided to leave it on the stone.


We next went to the top of the site where a large flat stone was in place. Taking a small steel rod and poking around the flat stone we found other stones under the large one that when struck with the steel rod gave off a hollow sound. Taking a cigarette and holding the lit end near one of the jointed stones we found a slight breeze coming out of the joint blowing the smoke away indicating there may be a opening underground. Since the stones were too large for us to lift we moved to the back side of the site. One thing that had bothered me on what I had read about the site was their was no sign of human habitation. On the backside of the site we found there were other stones stacked in an irregular fashion. If one followed the direction of the long line of stones, one would come to Mitchell Pond. If this site was a temple or gathering place then it would seem that anyone in the area would live in a sheltered valley close to water.

Could it have happened this way that people from Europe did come into the New World by way of the St. Lawrence River and then overland to the Connecticut River and then going overland through this area and down onto the Mystery Hill site?

Makes us wonder, doesn't it ???.          William Raymond
The foregoing material was written by Mr. Raymond. For those who remember him he was Chief of Police of Acworth from 1991 to 1997. He moved to Alaska where he works for the State as a supervisor for the new juvenile detention facility/