The third and final walk in the summer series will be at Nockum Hill on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 6 p.m. It is the only area in Barrington with a significant combination of agricultural, environmental, historical and religious factors. A peninsula at the northeast border with Massachusetts, Nockum Hill contains the town-owned 75-acre Doug Rayner Wildlife Refuge, recognized as the major nesting place of the state-endangered Diamondback Terrapin.
Nockum Hill’s fields have been farmed for over 350 years. From 1692-1848, the Allen family raised grain, corn, and cattle. Then from 1848 to 1920, the West family expanded the 60-acre Allen Farm to over 125 acres, adding market produce. In the 1940s, Walter G. West ran a Riding School. At the entrance to Nockum Hill stands a Monument to the 1663 First Baptist Church of Swansea, Massachusetts, organized by Pastor John Myles, a major proponent of religious toleration in colonial America. Records show that this Meeting House, standing by 1669, was the first building of a Baptist church in North America. Jason Lawrence, a member of the Barrington Preservation Society, will lead this historical walk. The easy walk will last about an hour.
The walk is sponsored by the Barrington Preservation Society in partnership with the Barrington Public Library, the Barrington Land Conservation Trust and the Appalachian Mountain Club. It is free and open to all. Register by calling the library’s reference desk at 247-1920 X2 or online at http://www.barringtonlibrary.org/adultevents.htm.
Participants will meet at the walk site by 6 p.m. WE ARE NOT MEETING AT THE LIBRARY.
Directions to Nockum Hill (a.k.a. Doug Rayner Wildlife Preserve): Parking is at the area of the white gate on George Street, near the tall boulder at the turn of the road. No parking should take place on the interior of the refuge. Here there is a sign naming the refuge for E. Douglas Rayner, a distinguished naturalist and native of Barrington who knew the area well and played a significant role in its protection.