Stone Mysteries Explored at the Opacum Land Trust Dinner

“Scattered throughout the woodlands and fields of the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada are tens of thousands of stone monuments. These stone constructions have been the subject of debate among archaeologists and antiquarians for the past 75 years.”

The mystery of the stone piles and structures that dot our countryside will be the program at the 6th annual Opacum Land Trust fall dinner happening on September 18th at the Barn at Wight Farm in Sturbridge. Doors open at 5:30 pm- enjoy your favorite beverage, bid on our silent auction (featuring local treats, treasures and activities), meet and mingle with Opacum volunteers and supporters, and find out more about the important conservation work of your local land conservation organization.

Opacum Land Trust is a volunteer-led non-profit, working in south-central Massachusetts and adjacent regions to conserve natural land, forests, farms and open space for outdoor recreation.  Opacum cares for just over 2,000 acres of conserved land and continues to work with landowners, towns, state and federal agencies to protect high-priority natural resources and land for the public’s benefit.  Named after the rare marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum, found on its 300-acre Opacum Woods conservation property in Sturbridge, Opacum Land Trust relies on donations and grants to carry-out its conservation work.  Proceeds from this dinner will support Opacum’s mission.

Attendees of the event will enjoy a delicious dinner & dessert by the Table 3 Restaurant Group (owners of the Duck, Avellino, and Cedar Street Grille).  Following dinner will be a program by Dr. Curtiss Hoffman about his extensive research on the mysterious stone structures found across our region, featured in his newest book Stone Prayers: Native American Constructions of the Eastern Seaboard.

Dr. Hoffman will present 4 controversial views on the creation of these structures.  Were they built by farmers removing rocks from their fields?  Are they efforts of pre-Columbian transatlantic voyagers?  Are they simply the result of natural deposition by glaciers or erosion?  Or were these constructed as sacred places by indigenous peoples of the region?

Dr. Hoffman holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and since 1973 has directed field operations at archeological sites in southern New England.  He is an emeritus professor in the Dept. of Anthropology at Bridgewater State University where he has taught since 1978.  He is the past president of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and served as the editor of its Bulletin. 

Join us to hear Dr. Hoffman discuss this highly debated topic.  Autographed copies of his book will be available to purchase. 

Tickets for the event are available through September 8th at or for more information, visit or call 413-245-1175. Proceeds from this event support the conservation work of Opacum Land Trust.

Stone Pile in Monson, Massachusetts, Photo courtesy Opacum Land Trust
Stone Pile in Hardwick, Massachusetts. Photo courtesy Opacum Land Trust

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