Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Farmington in Hartford County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Legend of Will Warren’s Den

 
 
The Legend of Will Warren’s Den Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan M. Perrie, April 16, 2015
1. The Legend of Will Warren’s Den Marker
Inscription. In the middle 1800s, it is believed, the cave was the home of Farmington’s mystery man, Will Warren. He was a poor farmhand with no property of his own. He refused to attend the village church on Sundays and spent his free time with the few Native Americans who still lived on the outskirts of town, fishing hunting and trapping.

At that time, many Farmington farmers raised sheep and made money selling the wool and meat. One day, Will stole some sheep. Their owners were furious and announced that they would have Will whipped at the public whipping post on Main Street. Will, just as angry, set a village house and barn on fire, then ran out of town and up through pastures and orchards to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain. Farmers ran after him, their hounds sniffing at his trail. Exhausted, Will reached the top and found two Native American women who helped him into this cave. They brushed away his footprints and sat outside to hid the entrance. Will’s hunters ran right on by the cave without seeing it, and Will was safe.
 
Erected by Farmington Land Trust.
 
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 41° 41.94′ N, 72° 49.956′ W. Marker was in Farmington, Connecticut, in Hartford
The donation of Will Warren’s Den image. Click for full size.
By Alan M. Perrie, January 11, 2016
2. The donation of Will Warren’s Den
Will Warren’s Den and eight surrounding acres were given to the Town of Farmington in 1987 as the bequest of a longtime resident and leader, William Steele Wadsworth. The Farmington Land Trust helped to arrange the gift and has an easement on the property. This project is made possible by a grant from the Hartford Foundation of Public Giving.
County. Marker could be reached from Colt Highway (U.S. 6). Touch for map. The marker is found on the Blue-Blazed New England Trail, 1.2 miles south of the crossing at route 6 (Colt Highway). Marker was in this post office area: Farmington CT 06032, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Rochambeau Route 1781-82 (approx. 1.2 miles away); American Board of Commissioners For Foreign Missions (approx. 1.4 miles away); "American Board" (approx. 1.4 miles away); Farmington (approx. 1½ miles away); Farmington and the Freedom Trail (approx. 1.6 miles away); Pitkin's Basin (was approx. 1.6 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Lest We Forget (approx. 1.9 miles away); Tadeusz Kosciuszko (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farmington.
 
Also see . . .
1. Hiking history at Will Warren's Den. (Submitted on January 18, 2016, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut.)
2. Folklore of Will Warren's Den. (Submitted on January 18, 2016, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. Colonial EraNative Americans
 
Will’s stone home image. Click for full size.
By Alan M. Perrie, April 16, 2015
3. Will’s stone home
Will’s sheep also had a home here. As you face the cave and look uphill to your left, you can see the remnants of the stone wall that formed one side of their corral. Generations of hikers have explored the cave since Will left it, and generations of Farmington children have been told that, if they linger in these woods after sundown, they will hear the ghostly bleating of Will Warren’s sheep. The story usually gets them home by suppertime.
The entrance is a very small, but the den is not. image. Click for full size.
By Alan M. Perrie, January 11, 2016
4. The entrance is a very small, but the den is not.
If you have ever been in a tight squeeze, this entrance is tighter. The “squeeze” is about 3 feet long, descending down and back up. Mother Nature has been filling in the entrance over the years, so even Will might have a hard time.
The inside is like a 7 foot high stone tent, with a “chimney” and fire pit opposite the entrance.
The interior of Will’s Den image. Click for full size.
By Alan M. Perrie, January 17, 2016
5. The interior of Will’s Den
The legend says that he married one of the Native American women and lived here the rest of his life, hiking down to town every few months to steal more sheep. The cave would have made a snug, secret home, protected from wind, rain, and snow, and with enough room inside for a cooking fire and a bedroll. A small hole at the top lets daylight in and fire smoke out.
The very small cave entrance is located to the right of center, where natural light filters in. The “chimney” is behind the camera.
The 1.2 mile trail to Will Warren’s Den image. Click for full size.
By Alan M. Perrie, January 17, 2016
6. The 1.2 mile trail to Will Warren’s Den
Trailhead parking for 6 cars is located 0.1 miles south of Pinnacle Road. Follow the Blue-Blazed New England Trail to the highest point in Farmington, Rattlesnake Mountain. Will Warren’s Den is 0.1 mile south of the summit. The hike takes about 45 minutes with an elevation gain of 350 feet. If you have the time, Rattlesnake Cliffs (0.1 mile south) has one of the best views in Farmington.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 18, 2016, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 245 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 18, 2016, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement