Chief Gray Lock legend draws scrutiny

To the Editor:

One wonders where the historical myths about Chief Gray Lock originated. The Eagle's story ("Bascom Lodge opens with Abenaki Festival," May 29) about the opening of Bascom Lodge is almost completely incorrect.

The chief was a Worenoke Indian, not an Abenaki, although he lived among the Abenakis in Vermont after 1676. He never lived on Mount Greylock and probably never actually saw the mountain.

There were no English settlements in Berkshire County in 1712, when Gray Lock began his raids into Massachusetts. He operated from his fort near Missiquoi Bay at the north end of Lake Champlain and usually led a small number of warriors (four to 10 men) against the eastern towns of Northfield, Hatfield, and Rutland.

The early Berkshire settlers called the mountain "Saddle-back," and there was no reference to an Indian named Grey Lock being associated with it.

Lion G. Miles, Stockbridge