Sunderland — Natural Features

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      Sunderland is rich in natural beauty, in which mountain, plain, and stream present varied and attractive features. The noble Connecticut forms the western border of the town, shut in on the west by the towering hills of Whately and Deerfield. In the east are the fertile plains in Sunderland's valley, overshadowed on the distant east by a range of rugged mountains, among which Mount Toby* rears its majestic head 1000 feet above the lowland. This noted eminence is a favorite place of resort in the summer and autumn seasons; and upon its apex there has been erected for the convenience of visitors a tower (known as the Goss Tower) 70 feet in height and containing six floors, of which the uppermost is "the observatory," where a fine telescope is at the command of the student of nature. A well-kept highway, leading from the base to the summit of the mountain, gives ready access to the tower.
      In the thick woods which envelop Mount Toby upon every side are found charming cascades and glens, and many inviting spots, which have been improved by the hand of art, and which have given to the region thereabout the name of "Sunderland Park."
      In the north part of the town, not far from Mount Toby, there is a noted natural curiosity called Sunderland Cave. It is a cavern in the side of a hill, and said to be 56 feet in depth, and to extend about 150 feet into the interior of the hill. The sides of this cavern are formed of conglomerate rock, consisting of rounded stones of various colors, embedded in and resting upon a basis of micaceous sandstone. The cave extends east and west, and is covered at its bottom with huge fragments of rock.
      The smaller streams of the town are Long Plain, Mohawk, Dry, Great Drain, and Cranberry brooks.

* Also known by its Indian name, Mettawampe.

These pages are © Laurel O'Donnell, 2005, all rights reserved
and cannot be reproduced in any format without permission
This page was last updated on
05 Aug 2005