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Indian Hill Cemetery – Come See the Trees LbNA #68443

Owner:Everyone Outside Contact Inactive
Plant date:May 16, 2015
Location: Indian Hill Cemetery (corner of Washington & Vine St)
Found by: Mim (4)
Last found:May 26, 2024
Last edited:Nov 30, 2015
This letterbox is a joint venture between Spandrelf and Everyone Outside.
Spandrelf carved the stamps & made the notebooks. Everyone Outside placed the letterboxes. We both love trees…so many things about them fascinate us. We hope you have fun finding the letterboxes and enjoy the trees and the wonderful view of the area from the top of the hill.

Come see the beautiful, big trees at Indian Hill Cemetery. You don’t need to know how to identify trees to appreciate the magnificence of some of the wonderful, large trees here. You also don’t need to know how to identify trees to find any of the four letterboxes in this series, but read carefully (hints at the end as need). As of October 2015 a variety of trees at Indian Hill have signs that identify the tree and provide some information about it.

To find the first letterbox (Pin Oak), walk west up from a street called Vine. Bear right at the fork and find many tall Oaks on the right all in a line. With your back to the second Pin Oak so you can see, go looking north between Hendrick and Yi, to the right of Greig and under a small Spruce tree.

To find the second letterbox (Mockernut) continue your trek south past Hubbard’s columned ‘house”. Pass tall White Pines and small Dogwood trees away to your right. Walk south on the road with a line of big Sugar Maples nearby to the east. Continue on and find Burnham’s stone bed where lions roar. From the lions, look southwest for Vanderbogart’s cross and see a tall Mockernut Hickory with a large hole, near Bengtson. Look between the roots & under a rock for the second letterbox.

To find the third letterbox (Ginko), go back to the road & continue south and pass more maples & a giant white oak. Past Wrabel’s Obelisk, look for a large Ginko with fan shaped leaves. From this tree (that has changed little since the time of the dinosaurs), look west the Davage heart. The third letterbox is under another Dwarf Alberta Spruce by the Reverand’s side.

To find the fourth letterbox (Sugar Maple), wind up the hill. If you continue on the road until it levels out and then head north past some Eastern Redcedars, you will see some of the oldest gravestones at Indian Hill Cemetery. Continue north to the top of the hill, passing a lovely, large, smooth-barked European Beech with copper-colored leaves. The hilltop is a large grassy mound with no gravestones — a sacred high point for the Wangunk people. Near the top to the north find two tall Douglass Fir trees. From between the Firs, walk towards Paddock’s Obelisk to a beautiful Copper Beech. To the east of this beech with snakey roots, find a large, old Sugar Maple on the other side of the road. To find the fourth and last letterbox, look behind a trap door between the Maple’s roots.

To get back to Vine St. wind down the road to the north or take your time meandering enjoying beautiful trees, some CT history or just this quiet contemplative spot. I hope you took or will take the time to marvel at the many gorgeous examples of large wooden life forms with whom we share this amazing planet. You are welcome to return to Indian Hill. It is a great place for a walk or time to enjoy quiet reflection.

This letterbox was placed before the May 17, 2015 Indian Hill Tree walk, with the thought that some on the walk might come back to enjoy it. The Celebrate the Trees project at Indian Hills Cemetery is being partially funded by a grant from the Rockfall Foundation. Rockfall is a wonderful small foundation that has some environmental programs and offers small grants to many groups doing good green work in Middlesex County.

If you need more information to get you started or you want to learn more about what trees are here…read on. To find the letterboxes enter Indian Hill Cemetery off Vine St. Follow the road up the hill. At the first major fork, bear right by a red maple tree. If you went left you would pass the office with a lovely Norway Spruce in front. Past the red maple is a line of lovely, big oaks of the Red/Black Oak Family (all have leaves with lobes that are pointy). If you look carefully you can see the leaves and bark of the trees are not all the same. Can you see the first tree (the large oak on the right just past the red maple) and the third tree have different bark than the second one? Look closely & you will see the leaves are different too. The first oak in the line is a Pin Oak. The second is a Black Oak. The third & fourth are also Pin Oaks…most of the rest in the line are Pin Oaks, but there are a couple Red Oaks thrown in too.

There are over 30 species of trees here at Indian Hill Cemetery. As you walk southward from the first to the second letterbox you pass many more beautiful trees. Even if you don’t know the names, take a moment to admire them. Soon we hope there will be labels on many of the trees, so people can learn more about what is where. If you take the high road by Hubbard’s mausoleum you will see Japanese Maples & Red Maples. If you follow the low road to the west, there will be more Oaks to the left and many different ones to the right including Tupelo, Sassafras, Black Cherry & White Pine. The roads meet by 4 small Dogwood trees. Two are our native Flowering Dogwoods and two are the oriental Kousa Dogwood. Can you see how different the Kousa Dogwood is with it’s peely bark that is orange in places? Where the roads meet, there is a line of large, old Sugar Maple trees on the east side (left). Did you know that to make 1 gallon of maple syrup you have to boil down 40 to 60 gallons of sap from a Sugar Maple tree? The second letterbox is in a large Mockernut Hickory. Given the size of the hole it is amazing this tree looks so healthy. The Hickory trees have what is called compound leaves. This means that each leaf is made up of a number of leaflets…so what you might think was 5 or 7 leaves is only one.

Keep your eyes out for many more trees as you walk. Which ones do you like the leaves best? Which ones do you like bark best? Which on would you like to pick as a place to sit & rest under?

Note: The Sugar maple letterbox is fairly close to the paved road, and if you prefer to stay on the paved roads, you can locate it by navigating uphill to find the road that encircles the mound at the top, and stopping beneath the tall firs. The brownstone chapel near the main entrance will once again be within view.

Hike length: 1 mile