Dungeon Rock is probably one of the most famous New England oddities. Dungeon Rock in Lynn Woods is packed with colorful stories: the legend of pirate's treasure and the quest of a rather obsessive spiritualist family who attempted to find the truth.
Prior to this visit, I and B. visited Lynn Woods for investigating Burrill Stone Tower, a tower built by the WPA in 1936. My companion pleasantly liked the place like I do, so we decided to visit another curiosity of the woods; the King of (Lynn) Rock.
The legend of Dungeon Rock dates back to 17th century. A pirate ship anchored in Lynn Harbor sometimes around the early to mid 16th century. Their boat sailed up the Saugus River to purchase goods from the Saugus Iron Works. Needless to say, it caught the attention of British Troop, and Captain Harris was eventually caught. However, a crew named Thomas Veal escaped from the capture and was said to hide the treasure in a cave deep in Lynn Woods.
Veal began to settle in the cave. But he suddenly disappeared after the great New England earthquake struck the region in June, 1658. The rumors was that he must have been trapped in the sealed cave alive with the treasure.
In 1852, a spiritualist man named Hiram Marble received the voice of Veal through a medium, giving him a clue of the treasure. He purchased the land around Dungeon Rock, and the family moved into "a two-story wood house located on the flat area just below the cave entrance." (Friends of Lynn Woods) Here we are, his quest for the pirate treasure began. He and his son began digging into the rock.
Lynn seems to possess a mysterious spiritual energy for the Hiram's alike. During the seance sessions carried out at Jesse Hutchinson's stone cottage in Lynn, the spiritualists were sure that they saw angels. These spiritually charged events eventually lead an Universalist minister attempting creating an "Electrical Infant" in 1853, only a year after Hiram set his foot on (or under?) Dungeon Rock. The Reverent believed the abundant nature's energy in Lynn would assist him to advance human life through his creation. (If you want to know more about this bizarre, fascinating story, please refer to my past post: High Rock Tower and Stone Cottage, Lynn.)
Those structures are made by the WPA, not by the Marble's.
Do you know what it is?
Hiram died after 16 years of digging and blowing up the rock. In order to pursue his father's dream, Hiram's son, Edwin kept going for another 12 years until his death in 1880. Did he find the treasure? Unfortunately, no.
Is this Edwin Marble's final resting place?
"At the top of a set of stairs beginning next to the old cellar hole, you will find a large pink piece of rock. This stone marks the grave of Edwin Marble and the end of the quest for treasure." (Friends of Lynn Woods)
This wasn't the first time for me to visit Dungeon Rock, and I had never realized there's a grave right across Dungeon Rock. The realization that Edwin Marble was buried in the spot made me feel uneasy. It's like the feeling when you realize a person has been watching you, peeping at you from a discrete place. He was a spiritualist, so he might have heard our conversation about the "obsessive 19th century family". Ouch!
Don't tell me the red dot in the middle of the photo isn't a speckle of dust!
I'm asking you, B. Who was making an Ouija board joke?
Dungeon Rock is indeed publicly open between 9:00 to 2:30, Tuesday through Saturday (as of Aug. 1, 2011). Don't ask me whether I went...We went there on Sunday; the door was locked! Anyway if I went down and showed you the picture of the cave, that would be a big spoiler for you, right!? Next time, I'll plan to visit during the opening time.
A set of inscriptions on the left side wall of the gate caught my attention. For a casual doodling, it looks like too much of a classy job. Who did it? When was it done? And why?
As the digging went on, the Marble's fund went short. In order to fund the project, they opened the dungeon to tourists for 25 cents. It became a 19th century version of an amusement park! Did a bored tourist inscribe his initial while waiting for the tour? Maybe.
Edwin Marble: "I'm watching you!!!!!!!"(Two fingers pointing at me.)
Locate Dungeon Rock @ Google Map
The Friends of Lynn Woods: http://www.flw.org/dungeonrockhistory.htm; http://www.flw.org/landmarks.html#dungeon_rock
The New England Earthquake of 1638: http://www.suite101.com/content/the-new-england-earthquake-of-1638-a127975
Weird Massachusetts by Jeff Belanger
Weird New England by Joseph A. Citro