Return to 20 Dec. 2008
North of Sevey Corners  (Main)
Sunday Rock - South Colton, NY
Sunday Rock was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
7 June 2011   -   Text and small image of Sunday Rock were copied from a former
(now defunct) South Colton section of the RA(C)QUETTE RIVER BLUEWAY CORRIDOR website.
FYI --- a new Blueway Corridor information source is HERE (in PDF format).  The page is provided by the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.  Want more Sunday Rock info?     Look it up!

Home of Sunday Rock

"The hills begin here. So do the woods. The great South Woods, the Adirondacks". The Town of Colton straddles the northern boundary of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. One end of the two touches on the neat homes of St. Lawrence County; the other reaches into the woods. In the middle is Sunday Rock.
Sunday Rock

For large image click HERE
Large image was copied from the Higley Flow photos page.
Higley Flow Main page HERE

Previous to settlement in this area, the Indian trail into the mountains ran by here. In that long ago time, this 64,000 pound glacial boulder was used as a landmark by the Indians, and when the white settlers came, they used it for the same purpose. The rock was a natural landmark, and travelers were guided by the big rock in the middle of the road, and the rock separated the woods from the world.

There was no law for deer nor trout, and all the woods was one grand hunting ground. In those days, it was said that beyond the rock there was no Sunday. Camp life went on from day to day with no change. It was all one glorious holiday when Tuesday might just as well have been Saturday, and Thursday and Wednesday could change places, and Friday might begin the week for all anybody knew or cared.

The rivers, the brooks, the ponds, the mountains and the trees, the fleet deer, the rushing trout, the wild cat and the black bear ruled supreme. It was their land, and there was no Sunday. The road past the rock also served as the way in for scores of loggers and for them, here the rough and tumble fellowship of the winter camp began. Thus the big rock began to be called Sunday Rock. By whom, nobody knows but the reason is evident.

South Colton was originally called Three Falls. The small, peaceful community is nestled along the river between the South Colton and Higley Flow reservoirs. Higley Flow State Park provides outstanding camping, fishing, cross-country skiing and hiking opportunities.

Upstream from South Colton are the major Raquette River impoundments: South Colton, Five Falls, Rainbow Falls, Blake Falls, Stark Falls, and Carry Falls Reservoirs. Rainbow and Blake are in the Town of Parishville, as well as a part of Stone Valley. Farther upstream on the Raquette are Jamestown and Moody Falls, accessed by short trails from Route 56.

After a while, the rock came to stand for something else. When people from the valley passed it on their way to the mountains, they felt a sense of arrival, of having crossed a dividing line. On the other side of the rock were the woods and mountains, life was freer and easier. Saluting the rock became a kind of joyful ritual to be observed. Elders might uncork a bottle at it, and children could cut up without fear of a scolding. Hunters and fishermen had the feeling of eager anticipation as the cares of everyday life were left behind.

In 1925, when the automobile became the popular way to travel and this Highway 56 was to be built, the rock lay directly in its path. Old friends, headed by Doctor C.H. Leete of Potsdam came to the rescue. The Sunday Rock Association was formed, with 210 members from seven states, the District of Columbia, the Canal Zone and Canada giving a total of $260. For this amount the rock was moved, and a booklet entitled "Sunday Rock, Its History and the Story of Its Preservation" was published.

Who could move the rock now was the big question, but there was an answer ready: Joe Grew. Joe and his crew could move anything, and they did. The rock was moved to its new location which was on the opposite side of the road from this present location. In 1965 when Highway 56 was again remade, Supervisor George Swift organized the project and the rock was moved to its present location. This land was given to the Town of Colton by Mrs. Hilda Swift, and through her generosity, the area was enlarged to the present day park. The 1976 Bi-centennial Time Capsule is buried beside the stone.

For the many who pass by here, the Adirondacks still exert their mystical appeal. Vacationers who return to these hills, year after year, probably have their own Sunday Rock: a river crossing, a turn in the road that reveals a first glimpse of the mountains, some sign that you have crossed into a place where the calendar can be forgotten, where there is a beauty to love and the everlasting hills to savor.

The meaning of the rock has not been forgotten. Through the years people have remembered the legend and all it represented. The invisibly inscribed names of Hollywood, the Jordan, Catamount, The Plains, Joe Indian, Sevey, Huggards, Stark, Jamestown Falls, Moody and Moosehead can still conjure up thought of the comfort of camp, venison, fried trout, pancakes, maple syrup and adventure in the big woods.

It has been the continued affection of many generations which has preserved the old landmark and the legend surrounding it. Sunday Rock still separates the woods from the world, and the message from those who preserved it is still clear. "The woods are better" -- a sign right next to the rock.