Sunday, October 13, 2013
BOMOSEEN - BOOM TO BUST TO BODACIOUS BUNNIES
The town of West Castleton was abandoned long ago due to the boom to bust slate quarrying from 1850 to 1930, when the Great Depression slammed the proverbial nail in its coffin.
There was once a mill, quarryman's houses, a store and even a a school house (No. 9) was part of this community.
Demand for slate declined and the town basically disappeared. Slavic, Irish and Italian immigrants were the main occupants.
One can still see the site of the quarry operation from the eastern shores of Lake Bomoseen, and if you go to the area, a few standing houses, old foundations and rubble are still visible.
"The story goes that one night in the 1800s, 3 Irish slate workers from West Castleton obtained a rowboat and decided to row to a tavern on the east shore to entertain themselves. But they never showed up. The next morning, their rowboat was found floating empty on the open waters of West Castleton bay, but no trace of their bodies were ever found. Locals say that on certain moonlit nights, the phantom rowboat can be seen moving effortlessly across the waters of Lake Bomoseen, making no disturbances in the water."
"But if phantom rowboats don’t grab your attention, this mysterious body of water has a far stranger tale woven into its web of folklore. Towards the north end of the lake is a surprisingly undeveloped island (apart from an estate on the very southern tip). The island is long, densely wooded and rests a mere 30 feet away from the lake’s North West shore. But this island is known for something far more mysterious than its idealized lakeside seclusion."
"It is here where Vermont’s entire population of giant rabbits are said to reside. As the name implies, they are distinctive because of their size, and more noticeable, their glowing red eyes. But how did the entire population of this elusive sub culture become to be contained on such a small island in Lake Bomoseen, and why? Joseph Citro’s The Vermont Monster Guide offers an explanation; in a pure Darwinian principle, they somehow hopped the 30 foot jump from island to mainland, and couldn't get back. The bigger rabbits were the only ones who could make the jump, leaving the biggest of the big trapped on the isolated chunk of land in Bomoseen’s murky waters."
What happened next however wasn’t so bizarre; they did what rabbits did best, and multiplied. As the years progressed, they became bigger and stronger. Legend has it that some have seen rabbits as large as Volkswagons and Saint Bernards somewhere amidst the dense evergreen foliage that climb the shores. But these rabbits are by no means new phenomenon. As a matter of fact, the Abenaki may have in fact told tales of these oversized rabbits on the island. And today, it is not uncommon to see curious campers and adventurers boating and kayaking around the island trying to catch a glimpse of these unique cryptids – and as far as we know, they are harmless. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that residents began calling the narrow landmass Rabbit Island." http://urbanpostmortem.wordpress.com/