Boston Shines cleanup in Roslindale unearths mystery object

Mystery in Roslindale

Our own Dan Farnkoff reports that during a cleanup at the DeForest Street urban wilds/cliff today, volunteers unearthed this thing and wondered what it is.

Anybody know if it's something other than the axle of a rear-wheel drive car?

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      Drive axle

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      Definitely a drive axle, but it's far too simple (and seemingly small, although scale in the picture is difficult to tell) to be that of a car. Maybe a small tractor or something.

      Take a walk up by RL

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      There's probably 10+ rotted out cars. Plus if you really want to consider yourself a local you need to find all 6 caves.

      Caves?

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      Where are these caves, exactly? Within Stoney Brook? You've piqued my spelunking interest!

      Welch's Woods in WR

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      That's what we used to call the place when I was a kid. It's between thw quarry (WR Crushed Stone) and the "urban wild" that Roxbury Latin recently bought. Bordered by Centre/Grove/Washington/Lagange/St Theresa's Ave.

      Theres a tiny "pond" near the Washington Street side, which was great for pick up hockey games in the winter but pretty much dried up in the summer. And a jumble of rocks that we grandiosely referred to as the Seven Caves, in Tom Sawyeresque fashion. In retrospect, they're pretty clearly the same rock foundation as the quarry. And if there are actually seven legitimate caves, then Indian Joe is likely still alive and stalking them all.

      Check it out, take a walk, it's a fun place to explore.

      Welch's Woods

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      Been in NY for the last 65 or so years, but remember well the "woods" and "welch's pond" and the "caves". there was also a swamp in the area and where there is now a huge hole (quarry) in the ground is where Welch's pond was located. Excellent place to go hunting for whatever (22 rifles and bb guns) were common in those days in that area (during the 1940s).

      Kids used to go skinny dipping in the summer and float around the pond on the many logs that had been dumped in there. Used to see 2-3 ft long carp, horned pout, perch, pickerell, frogs. The quarry was still operating then, but it was out of sight - blocked by a 150-200 foot hill. However, when blasting took place you had to take cover as small rocks used fly over the hill. There used to be a military and or police shooting range in the area.

      Yep, rear axle

      As others have said, definitely a drive axle.

      I had a similar discovery when I was in the backyard of our house in Roxbury a few years back. I saw a metal object, checked it ouy, and wondered why anyone would bury a brake rotor in the backyard. I couldn't pull it out, kept digging, and after a while I was the proud owner of a full (rusty) 5 foot long rear axle. Boggles the mind what someone was thinking.

      We found....

      ... all sorts of big old metal stuff buried in our Roslindale backyard. Wonder what else we'd find if we rented a metal detector.

      I doubt they buried it

      If you're the lazy type of person who would dump trash on your own, or someone else's property, are you really gonna make the effort to bury it? Let stuff sit around long enough and Nature will bury it for you.

      Ha, so not just a Cambridge thing then!

      I was digging up the backyard to put in a bush and had the exact same experience. Found the lug nut first and thought it was a brake drum. Kept digging... and nope, that's a whole car axle!

      Fun side note - the prior owner's family lived there for 60 years. He told me that his Dad buried a washing machine in the backyard somewhere! Luckily I haven't found that one. This is in the Inman Square area BTW. Side note #2 - there are copious amounts of broken glass that keep surfacing in the garden area.

      Transportation ghosts

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      There used to be a barn behind the house I grew up in in Brookline. We moved in early 70s, it burned down mid 50s. The house was 100 years old at the time, so there had actually been horses stabled it this barn. For several years after moving in we regularly dug up nails and horse shoes while working on the garden.

      That's roughly the equivalent, right? :)

      Yard middens

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      ..are readily found in wooded areas near old homes.

      They predate public dumps and transfer stations.

      There are also ancient Native American shell middens found along rivers where shell fishing was good like tidal estuaries where oysters were plentiful.

      Rummaging through them in search of old bottles was a popular kid past time when I was a sprout.