Although they are not archaeologists, Clarence J. and Harry F. Bousquet have unearthed the works of antiquity on their farm off Tamarack Road. Excavating for peat, they have uncovered a bit of civilization which probably antedates the first English inhabitation of American soil. Their discovery is a beaver dam — completed, they believe, more than 1000 years ago.

The extensive farm of the Bousquets includes a swamp of more than 30 acres. Here it is that the two brothers have sunk a shaft 12 feet to unearth valuable peat deposits. When down about seven or eight feet their shovels contacted with the twisted debris of sticks, stones, and mud nicely preserved by the peat.

Though no fossils of beaver have been found, all other signs indicate their former inhabitation of this particular area. Several stumps were taken out which show clearly the teeth marks of the aquatic rodents. The carefully woven sticks in the dam show unmistakably the dexterous work of the beavers.

Gil Middleton, golf professional of the Pittsfield Country Club, inspected the peat bog Sunday and was highly pleased with the quality of the material unearthed. He reports that the peat is high grade and would make a good substrata for greens. A layer of peat under the top soil of the green, he says, would be ideal. Since the Country Club is not at the present time laying out new greens it will have no use for the peat but the latter may be marketed outside of Pittsfield. Good peat sells for $2.50 a hundred pounds.

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.