Up in the Devil's Kitchen-Bristol Press, Jan. 28, 1924.


It would be interesting to know how some localities get their names. Occasionally as in the case of Dog Corner's in Whigville there is a story. The Dog Corner story is that a soldier returning from the Civil War died exhausted on reaching the corner and was found by his dog. (wrong-L.R.A.) Whether there is any truth in this story the writer does not know but it is the only explanation he ever heard.


But he has never heard a story regarding the naming of the Devil's Kitchen. If the name was recent one might have suspected that this region so wild and remote was used for moonshining and hence the name. But the name goes back into the years when moonshining was unheard of, for distilling was quite a respectable occupation and instead of hiding in remote sections like the Devil's Kitchen there was a whiskey distillery right in the center of Whigville nearly opposite the house where the correspondent now lives. It was conducted by leading citizens of the town whose descendants are still honorable descendants amongst us and therefore the writer will not mention the name.

 

However there is nothing in the fact for their descendants to blush at for the distillery was running full blast in the same days when Lyman Beecher tells us how many barrels of whiskey and rum were purchased for the ordination of a minister in the Congregational Church in Plymouth and how all but two of the clergymen became intoxicated before the affair was over. In those days the Whigville distillery had as good a reputation as the clock shop or the toy shop or other industries of this then thriving community and Volstead Acts were still unheard of. Still some refer to those as the "good old days" and think things have now gone to the dogs. A little study of the"good old days" convinces any student that the idea is a myth which still preserves in the minds of many.


But to come back to the Devil's Kitchen, to find it you take the Stony Hill Road until you reach the famous "Twin Oaks" about half way to the summit of the mountain that separates Burlington Center from Whigville. As a crow flies the distances between these two communities is not very great but it is a good five mile trip by the highway around Lamson's Corners. Reaching the "Twin Oaks" you turn to the right and if you go about a mile through the woods you come to a narrow gorge about thirty-five feet deep extending for about a mile in either direction. It is only a short distance across the gorge and the drop is very sharp on either side. In some places it is a sheer
drop over granite ledges and it looks as if it would be a bad place to go hunting on a dark night unless one were acquainted with the section. Wild grapes grow in abundance through the section and climbing straight up some of the sharp drops they afford a foothold to adventurous boys of the section who desire a real stunt in climbing.


The writer knows of no locality in this section so full of caves and holes in the rocks affording a certain refuge to wild life and the region abounds with coons, skunks and foxes. On the other side of the ravine are many hemlocks adding greatly to the natural scenery. One would expect to find a brook in the ravine of this sort but there is nothing of the kind now although it is hard to account for a sharp ravine of this size unless in former days some mountain torrent cut its way through. And cut it would have to do to cleave the granite as it has done. Perhaps it is some freak of the glacial age, the writer is not a geologist enough to tell.

 

But whatever its cause, it is one of the many interesting places to visit in this section which so freely abounds in natural charm. It might be remarked in closing that the greater part of the "Devil's Kitchen" is now owned by a
Bristol undertaker.

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