SOUTH COLTON -- Sunday Rock in South Colton has been added to the Register of Very Special Places (RVSP), an inventory and register of cultural landmarks kept by Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, TAUNY.
Mary Jane Watson, Sally Swift Thomas, Marion Swift Thomas, and Evelyn Riehl recently accepted the RVSP plaque for Sunday Rock from Varick Chittenden, one of TAUNY’s founders. The women, led by Sally Swift Thomas, were all part of an effort to preserve Sunday Rock, and recently achieved its inclusion on the state register of historic sites.
At 11 feet and 64,000 pounds, the oblong boulder known as “Sunday Rock” has been the stuff of local legend for more than hundred years. It has been important to the people in and around South Colton for just as long. Twice, in 1925 and 1965, local citizens rallied to save it from demolition during highway construction, and it is now safely located in its own small park by Route 56.
Stories of how the landmark got its name vary. Some accounts suggest it marked the point where the law and order of civilized communities to the north stopped and “there was no Sunday” because lumber camp life and work were the same every day of the week. Others tell of a preacher, seeking to bring the gospel to the people in that part of the woods, being told not to bother going past the boulder because beyond it there was no Sunday. Somewhat later, the rock began to stand for the freedom, sport, and leisure of the woods and mountains to the south of it.
A nomination to the National Register of Historic Places is pending.
TAUNY’s cultural landmark program encourages and trains local citizens to nominate and document places such as diners, general stores, barber shops, Grange halls, and community gathering places that have special meaning to those who use them. Once nominated, approved, and documented, sites are included on the RVSP website (link from www.TAUNY.org) and presented with a slate plaque acknowledging their inclusion in the register.
For more information about RVSP and other TAUNY programs and activities visit the TAUNY website. For additional information about this summer’s plaque presentations, contact TAUNY intern Hannah Harvester at 386-4289.
Photos of the plaque presentations can be seen in the Photo Gallery at www.TAUNY.org.