Burying Hill Rocks

For years, Westporters have marveled at the pop-up rock sculptures appearing randomly at Schlaet’s Point (on the Hillspoint Road curve just north of Soundview Drive, on the way to Elvira’s).

Eventually they collapse, from the effects of wind and tides. Nice while they last, they’re mostly the work of Jerry Kuyper.

Now he’s got competition.

Billy Senia — the popular Old Mill Beach gate guard — created this rock sculpture at Burying Hill Beach:


It’s less visible than the ones at highly trafficked Schlaet’s Point. But it’s just as intriguing.

We look forward to more of Billy’s work. At Burying Hill, he’s sure got enough rocks to work with.

23 responses to “Burying Hill Rocks

  1. I love this <3

  2. Hooray for theses natural sculptures. All of life is about balance and the
    visual effects of these unexpected “sculptures” is a gift to us and the
    environment. Keep with your vision and remind us of the beauty in small
    things such as rocks and how they can impact us senses.

    Julie Fatherley

  3. Lovely, Inuksuk — like.

  4. Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

    Love it. We met Billy in September when we visited Westport and had a wonderful conversation with him. We loved what he was doing to keep the beach pristine and his “rock garden” near the entrance. I am so glad that he has branched out to this wonderful creation. Keep it up Billy.

  5. Sharon Paulsen

    Yes! What Bob/Julie Fatherley said!

    (Watching the pole numbers start to trickle in on MSM, so it’s nice to distract myself with “landscape” art).


  6. Susan Hopkins

    Very special.

  7. Bonnie Bradley

    In Litchfield County there are many stacks of stones like this. It’s said that the Indians made them to mark trails in the woods and convey information. People make them today as tradition and decoration, as far as I know.

    • That’s very interesting Bonnie! I have never seen them there… Nor did I know Natives made these (despite having a lot of Native friends & former boyfriend). I LOVE the Litchfield Hills. If you live there I’m a bit jealous…

  8. I hope to make a big H tomorrow

  9. Bonnie Bradley

    Zoe – yes, there are many stacks of stones to be seen on local properties here, at least in southern L.C., and I’ve heard the indian origin story several times but have no actual docuentation. It sounds reasonable ‘tho.

    For what it’s worth, I have an “indian” door on my 1788 house: two layers of planks – one laid vertically and the other laid horizontally: supposedly impervious to arrows because of the opposing grains of the wood. 😊

    (Side note: I say “indians” because that’s what they call themselves… at the Institute for American Indian Studies in nearby Washington, CT and in South Dakota where I’ve visited several times – if you go don’t miss Custer State Park, near Rapid City, especially the buffalo roundup on the first weekend in October. Fabulous! But “Natives” sounds fine too – not meaning to criticize or correct you at all. Just the designation the ones I’ve met have used.)

    • Re. ‘Native’ vs. ‘Indian’. Thanks for the advice! Card carrying brown person here — involved in civil rights for that for more than half my life now. (Literally the American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee gives you a card!). I have always had Native friends. Good friends. Inc. my first boyfriend after high school & members of AIM & musicians in NYC etc. A lot of older Native American Indians — baby boomer & older call themselves ‘Indian’. Then ‘Native American’ became in use by activists in the 70s. (Around the same time as ‘African American’). Then post baby boomer Natives just left off the word ‘American’. Also done because a lot of people feel that ‘American’ is a word representing their colonisation. (& hence call America ‘Turtle Island’ etc.). My friend Xavier however was younger than Baby Boom & used the word ‘Indian’ because he is a ‘Yaqui Indian’ & the two words have always been in use together. It just depends on the person & their politics & the setting & the tribe & how old someone is etc.

      People call me an ‘Arab’ but I am not technically an ‘Arab’. (I am Syrian Lebanese. My grandfather spoke Aramaic). Yet it takes too long to explain so I use that word in certain circumstances (as our culture is partially Arabic). However if they use the words ‘Middle Eastern’ I know they are afraid to use the word ‘Arab’ — because they obviously think ‘Arab’ has a negative meaning. We never use the word ‘Middle Eastern’ about ourselves. The only people who use that word re. themselves are more recent immigrants w/ a restaurant etc. who are trying not to frighten off customers by using the word they call themselves & their food: ‘Arab’! So funny! (Angering but funny).

      It’s like ‘Black’ & ‘African American’. Neither is wrong — though most people call themselves ‘Black’. Except when they use the words ‘African American’… sometimes…

      Museums are not the best place to get to know people of colour. Your home & kitchen table is a better place. Native people are everywhere — a bit hard to miss. I prefer to get to know people vs. study them.

      • Thanks for the education. 💙

        • x Billy Senia

          Sorry. I’m assuming you are being sincere & not sarcastic — especially due to the <3 you left. Honestly a lot of what I say in life is w/ love & laughter — but that doesn't translate at ALL well online! So I was afraid this post re. Indian vs. Native American etc. in answer to a comment would come off not in the spirit it was meant. It's just that I hear non-Native people arguing about this all the time — when REALLY it's just younger generations adopting/changing the language & that's all! Hahaha — vs. political correctness etc. Although "Red Indian" the British term IS racist because of the "red" part. (As if people had different skin colour — which they of course don't. Just like the term "yellow" for Asians).

          I am not posting here anymore — but I wanted to answer your comment. My personality doesn't translate well to the screen I think! Joking & smiling & tone of voice etc. is absent online.

    • PS: A park named after Custer is not the greatest place to get to know the feelings of indigenous peoples there/here either! Lots of love sent from me to you Bonnie — your house sounds very interesting. As I said I love the Litchfield Hills. <3

    • PS: It was a bit more frightening than “arrows”. Your door certainly would have been made w/ very skillfully wielded hatchets in mind. (Although it seems a bit late for those attacks — the year you give?). You would be interested in the history book: ‘The Unredeemed Captive’ by John Demos (knopf 1994). My mom gave it to me ages ago. I am coincidentally reading it now.

  10. Bonnie Bradley

    I have to go with the benchmark 06880 motto – “Just saying…” re my door.

    In Colonial times these little New England towns were sparsely populated and isolated. The conflict between Colonials and Natives were fierce and tragic. As recently (to the period we’re discussing) as February 1704 the horrific Deerfield Massacre, where 47 men, women & children were killed and half the town burned by Natives had taken place. For both sides fear, rumor, insecurity and danger on every side were very real. Cultural conflicts were rife and often violent: In just one documented pre-Revolution incident the new, young priest of the nascent Episcopal Church was thrown from his horse, beaten “and left for dead on the Roxbury road” in Woodbury by members of the Congregational Church. Although I do not know of any recorded Colonials-Native strife here, perhaps all of the above influenced the residents’ concerns about safety in general.

    Maybe my door came from another house, maybe it was made later to replicate a door which had previously filled the space. Who knows, with a house as old as this? Anyway, it’s a great little house, never structurally “improved,” and with original 12-over-12 windows, etc. I love it.

    One more thing 😊: For 14 yrs. I’ve been a docent at the 1750 Glebe House in Woodbury. Guided tours May-October, maintained and run by all volunteers except our director. Amazing story about America at the time of the Revolution. There’s a website. Ask for me for your tour if you call them and we’ll go for lunch afterwards.

    • Good morning Bonnie! Was this post for me (Zoe)? It went to ‘Dan’ (in my inbox). I thought you said the door was from 1788? That’s why I was a bit surprised. Now I see that was the year of the house. It would make sense to reuse sturdy doors.

      I have no car — otherwise I would love to see the house at which you are a docent. Thank you for telling me about it. I’ll look it up. I’m a history obsessive also. You would really enjoy the book I wrote of (in last post). It really describes exactly what you have. It is about the kidnap of Deerfield’s Rev. Williams daughter by French Indians (& French AND Indians) & how once she married an indigenous man & became a mother she did not want to return to “white” puritan society. It describes the type of nightmarish attacks you have written of. There was horrid violence on every side.

      Love & Peace to you this morning Bonnie <3

  11. Bonnie Bradley

    Thanks Zoe – weird that the email went to “Dan” 🙄… Just tapped the usual Post Comment. Oh well.
    I’ve read “The Unredeemed Captive,” several years ago – found it terrific and amazing. Think I may re-read now. Meant to mention it but was obviously too caught up in the moment.
    ❤️ Love & Peace to you, too.