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A perfect evening at the park - Thursday, July 20

After the prolonged rainstorms of the previous days, it was a pleasure to arrive at the top of Mt. Prospect to revel in dry air, clear skies, wonderful views and...our newly installed sign showing off the masterful photography of Fletcher Manley. This sign shows the names of the mountains and their elevations and it was funded by our Weeks State Park Association courtesy of the Pat Nelson bequest.

There is also a similar sign that has been installed at the East Overlook.

We were in for a special treat this evening because Dr. Robert Goodby, Professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce University, came to the park to talk about his experiences (almost 40 years) excavating Native American archaeological sites in New England.

Typically neglected or denied by conventional history, the long presence of Native people in southwestern New Hampshire is revealed by archaeological evidence for their deep, enduring connections to the land and the complex social worlds they inhabited. Dr. Goodby talked about the Tenant Swamp Site in Keene, with the remains of the oldest known dwellings in New England, as well as the 4,000-year-old Swanzey Fish Dam which is still visible in the Ashuelot River. And many others.

Dr. Robert joked that he would present a semester's worth of material in about 12 minutes and it seemed he wasn't far off. He is not only passionate and expert in his subject, he is an accomplished speaker and teacher - exactly the kind that a student would hope to have. His book is engaging, very well illustrated with photographs and diagrams and it's a good read.

More information can be found on his website:

We were treated to a beautiful sunset as the sun dipped behind Umpire Mountain in Vermont. Burke Mountain is just a bit behind and to the left.

As if the sunset weren't enough beauty for one evening, when we were leaving the summit, we caught a glimpse of the crescent moon behind the tower.

Next week's program is about the most devastating New England Hurricane of all time:

The Science and History of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938

Dr. Lourdes B. Avilés

Interestingly, last week's presenter, Elaine Swett, told us that one of the three approved rockhounding sites in the White Mountain National Forest, Moat Mountain, wasn't discovered until after the hurricane of 1938 had blown down trees and exposed that area.

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