Hampton's Aged Turtle

By Rev. Roland D. Sawyer, Kensington

"Some Account of the History of Earlier Hampton
and its Daughter and Neighbor Towns"

Hampton Union C. 1958

One of the stories that Zacheous Brown used to tell Asa Warren Brown of Kensington, and which Asa told me in 1894, was the finding of a large and aged turtle that would weigh 12 to 15 pounds, in 1840. Zacheous scratched his initial Z.B. and date on the turtle's back, and named it Winnicumet."

In 1857 Warren Dow found the same turtle and scratched his initials W.D. on the back and let it go.

In 1881 Amos Leavitt found the turtle, and did like wise, placing A.L. and 1881 beneath the others

In 1905 Leavitt again found the same turtle, weighed at 18 lbs. and took it into the Natural History Rooms in Boston where its age was estimated as 150 to 160 years.

Leavitt then liberated the turtle, and its next finder was Phil Blake Sr., in I think 1928, found the same aged turtle.

There could be no mistake for when Amos Leavitt liberated it in 1905 he had an inscribe silver tag riveted to the shell with its name "Winnicumet."

When Blake found it, the plate was gone but the revet holes and space where the plate had been was clearly marked.

When the Hampton correspondent wrote about its finding by Blake some one else in Hampton came forward and said he had found the same turtle in 1910 and the silver tag was then intact -- the name of this party is lost to me.

Now assuming the Boston Natural History people were correct and the turtle was perhaps 160 years old in 1905, he was paddling around in his youth in 1745.

The great age of turtle is well established and I do not doubt that perhaps old Winnicumet is somewhere now living a secluded life in his old age of 225 years!

A year ago last summer, 1957, my little granddaughter, Thorn, found a spotted turtle, which had my marks upon it as found by my children the first summer we camped here, 1907, so he was at least over 50 years of age.