Ancient petroglyphs, Captain Kidd’s buried treasure and a strange medicine woman named Molly who healed townspeople with her knowledge of herbs. These things all have one common thread. Perched atop Spooner Hill, the Molly Fisher Rock has remained shrouded in mystery since it was first documented by a Yale President in 1789. The following is excerpted from: THE MOLLY FISHER ROCK by Clifford Spooner
THE MOLLY FISHER LEGEND
Born in the year 1750, she grew up to womanhood as the country grew, and was reported by our grandparents to have been beautiful as well as a good woman. She never married and never had a home of her own as far as was known around here. *She came into the community at times when no one expected her, and if anyone was sick, and especially among the poor, she might appear out of the unknown almost, and care for them with her uncanny skill with herbs, and on their recovery disappear as suddenly as she had come. She was kind to the needy especially and, like Robin Hood, gave to them not only care and attention but articles of substantial value that as she went from house to house she obtained from their more prosperous neighbors.
Some called her a witch and thought her to be endowed with powers somewhat supernatural. Some feared her and others regarded her as possibly lacking in mental ability. The last was probably correct. Whatever her story might have been the people of the community were all kind to her and took her into their homes for a time, always allowing her to come and go as she wished and never tried to stop her or inquired into her affairs more than enough to be neighborly.
THE LEGEND PART
About three miles south of the village of Kent, on the road to South Kent, lies a farm which in years gone by belonged to Barnabas Hatch. The land on the west side of the road and between it and the Housatonic River rises abruptly to form a mountain, now known as Lane’s Hill on top of which, at an elevation of 650 feet above sea level we shall find, if we know how to locate it what is known as the Molly Fisher Rock.
The name of the rock comes from association, as it was always said that Molly Fisher always visited it when she came here and that she had been heard to say that chests of gold had been buried near it by Captain Kidd. When questioned as to the means of obtaining the treasure, she always maintained that if it was unearthed it would be by someone who kept absolutely silent, as to utter a word while searching it would forever preclude all possibility of success.
One attempt at least has been made to obtain the Kidd gold. A hundred and twenty-five years ago, a man of good address and apparently of ordinary intelligence, who said he came from Vermont, appeared at the home of Micah Spooner and obtained board there, paid his board for a week in advance, purchased tools and after having received permission from the owner of the land on which the rock lay he began excavating for the treasure. He labored steadily until near the end of the third day, when he appeared very hurriedly and in a dazed condition at the home of Micah Spooner. He related a strange story of discovering after digging to the depth of several feet, an iron chest or box about fifteen inches square, and that carefully digging all he could around it, he proceeded with great exertion, as it was very heavy. to slowly raise it out of its bed and elevate it toward the surface. It was a long and hard job and when he had it nearly to the top of the hole he was very tired and stopped to rest and gain strength for one more trial which he hoped would enable him to roll it out of the hole and to firm ground and then the treasure would be his.
While holding it thus he said he spoke some word out loud. what happened he could scarcely tell. The chest was wrenched violently from his grasp and sunk at once from his sight into the earth. Loud groans and shrieks were heard. Blue, green and red flames appeared about him and he found himself enveloped in sulphurous smoke which nearly suffocated him and he felt himself thrown forcibly from the excavation. After a time he came back to consciousness. How long he was gone he had no idea, and he looked around. The big hole he had dug was nearly full of dirt and there was no sign of any chest. He took his bar and tired to see if he could hit against the treasure anywhere near the top of the chest, but the bar was thrown from his hands this time and he left his tools there and hurried away down the hill and told of this experience.
He would not be persuaded to go back but took his clothes and departed for Vermont or elsewhere as quietly and apparently as poor as he had come. His tools were found near the rock and the ground showed that he must have moved a large quantity of earth while there. Some people who went up there to look said that they could faintly smell brimstone but there was no sign of the chest or the gold.
Who can say what really happened but this is the stuff of Legend. To learn more, go to THE KENT HISTORICAL SOCIETY WEBSITE.