Cushetunk - February 2018

This Milanville bottomland abutting the Delaware River also border Calkins Creek, just south (right) of here. Cultivated as meadow and farmland for generations, it brings to mind Connecticut  families who  trekked here in the 1750s and named it “Cushetunk.”

To them, familiar items in the picture would be its patch of corn stubble; the track of a dirt road; and the dark loom of New York hills across the Delaware River.

Imagine, too, that giant white pine logs were stacked here in winter, beginning in the 1770s. And how, come spring, Daniel Skinner and others wrestled them into Calkins Creek and out to the big river -  to peg them into giant rafts they’d steer 170 miles to Philadelphia shipyards.

One guess about “Cushetunk” is that it derives from a Leni Lenape term “ksch-itchuan” or “foaming water” - which is apt for the rapids at Skinners Falls, just below here.  

 

 

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