Tavern of the Damned Redux - Smiley's Revenge
How Geocaching Works
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
Stagecoach travel in the olden days tended to be a risky undertaking. The routes were sometimes plagued with thieves and highwaymen. The abandoned Old Berlin Road in Sudbury was such a route, and the existing foundation along it was the site of a tavern where many a traveler arrived, yet not as many left.
As the reputation of the inn’s danger grew, it fell into disrepair. A subsequent owner, exploring the basement, found 13 skeletons – probably the remains of victims of the notorious Captain Lightfoot, a known highwayman, and his gang.
There is a parking lot for this Sudbury Conservation land at 42 22.603 71 23.557. There is also room for one car at a trail head at 42 22.648 71 23.372.
The trinket contents of the geocache are appropriate to this theme. Perhaps ... all the victims have not yet been discovered – as a matter of fact, one of them should still be there to assist you. If you give the cache container a sharp pull, he will help open it.
If you have time, you might want to visit the Haynes Garrison Marker at 42 22.730 71.23.365
KING PHILIP WOODS CONSERVATION LAND
The King Philip Woods Conservation Land was purchased jointly by the State Department of Environmental Management and the Town of Sudbury in 1987. The 81 acre conservation land consists of two parcels. On the easterly side of Water Row is 57 acres of Sudbury River floodplain with over 1,300 feet of frontage on the Sudbury River. With the exception of a scenic viewing area, this portion of the parcel is not open to the public to ensure preservation of the wildlife habitat value of the floodplain. The westerly side of Water Row is mostly a forested upland with diverse topography, trails, a small pond and bog, and several interesting historic foundations.
The abandoned Old Berlin Road, historically an important stagecoach road from Boston to
Lancaster, is now a dirt road running through the upland side of the parcel from Water Row to
Old Sudbury Road. A short distance in from Water Row, on the right of Old Berlin Road, you will
see the foundation of an old tavern. This was a 2’/2 story structure about the size of the Wayside
Inn. It was here that the stagecoaches stopped to renew both man and beast before continuing
their journey. It became a popular spot in the middle of the 18th century for certain unsavory
"Gentlemen of the Road~’ namely highwaymen and horse thieves who were led by the notorious
Captain Lightfoot. The Captain and his friends had plied their trade on the highways of England
too successfully and for reasons of personal health were forced to leave their native land.
Subsequently it was noticed that several travelers who left by stage for Lancaster failed to arrive at
their destination, and warnings were posted advising travelers of the hazards of stage travel. With
suspicion leveled at it, the tavern became unpopular as a stopping place and gradually fell into
disrepair. A later owner investigating a stone in the basement unearthed 13 skeletons —
apparently the unfortunate travelers who never made it to Lancaster. Some have said that when
the moon is over the river and the mist creeps in, if you listen carefully you can hear the stagecoach
rolling along and who knows — maybe even a hoarse voice calling "stand and deliver’.’
On April 21, 1676, Sudbury, Lancaster, and Marlborough were burned to the ground by
marauding Native Americans under the command of the Wampanoag Chief, King Philip. A feeling
of impending crisis sent the Sudbury settlers to their six garrison houses. By 6:00 a.m. that fateful
day, a force of 1,000 to 1,500 Native Americans under King Philip infiltrated the woods, burned
the isolated farmhouses, and attacked the garrisons. None of the garrison houses remain today,
but the foundation of the Haynes Garrison House can be seen on the adjacent town-owned
parcel. It was to the Haynes Garrison House that the two Concord survivors of the Native
American massacre at the Four-Arch Bridge (at the Sudbury River in Wayland) fled for refuge.
Here, the defenders showed such courage and fierce determination to defend their homes, that by
1:00 p.m., the Native Americans gave up and faded into the woods. Perhaps the increasing
frequency of musket fire from the direction of Green Hill drew the discouraged Native Americans
over Goodman Hill to the main engagement. There, King Philip and his warriors finally
overwhelmed the colonials that afternoon, but failed to consolidate their victory and began the
slow descent into final defeat of the Native American peoples in southern New England.
*Includes excerpts from "Sudbury, Massachusetts Historic Tour" The Sudbury Press 4/75
The following link will provide a map of the King Philip Woods conservation area: (visit link)
Gur pnpur vf uvqqra va gur fbhgu pbeare bs gur rnfg jnyy. Lbh jvyy or noyr gb frr vg orsber lbh rkpningr. Fzvyrl pna nffvfg lbh va erzbivat gur yvq.
Loading Cache Logs...
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum