Skógá River, Iceland - Skógafoss; Lynn, MA - Dungeon Rock
In the beautiful country of Iceland there are a couple of dozen waterfalls, but none of them compare to the great Skógafoss located in Skógar. Skógafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in the country; from where the water flows over to the splash down is a sixty-meter fall and stretches twenty-five feet wide. Because of the constant mist that rises up there is always a rainbow or even two that glow amazingly across the fall. This waterfall is also an attraction for treasure hunters. Legend has it that Þrasi Þórólfsson was the first settler in Skógar around 900 CE. He was known as a great warrior, but most certainly greedy in his old age. When he believed that his life was coming to an end, he decided that he was going to take his money with him. He filled a chest with all of his gold and valuable items and sank it into the water under Skógafoss. Time and time again people have claimed they have seen it, but then would glance away and could not find it again. One man was able to get a rope through a ring on the side of the chest, but as he was pulling it up the ring broke off and the chest sunk back down. The man that was left with just a ring brought it to a church in Skógar where it hung on the door; since then the church has been demolished, and the ring is held at a the Skógar Museum.
In 1658 an all-black ship appeared in the harbor of Lynn, MA. Four men and a chest lowered from the ship, and they were quickly named pirates throughout the town. The men sailed up the Saugus River to the iron works to purchase tools such as hatchets, shovels, and shackles. The tools were crafted as they were getting paid in silver. The pirates set up camp on the Saugus River in the spot which is now known as Pirate’s Glen, but word got out that they were staying there and British soldiers went out to look for them. Three were captured and hung, but one was able to escape. His name was Thomas Veal, and he escaped deep into the woods and started living in a cave. Over time he lived in peace as a member of the Lynn community. One day, a sudden earthquake shook the Lynn area, and a large rock tipped forward permanently sealing the cave entrance and trapping Veal and his treasure forever. This location is now known as Dungeon Rock. Although the area was searched for years no one has been able to find the treasure.
The two men, Þrasi Þórólfsson and Thomas Veal, share much in common with the great Viking Erik the Red. In the Icelandic Erik the Red’s Saga, Erik is banned from Iceland due to a few murders and has to set sail with his followers to new land. They ended up in Greenland, which was undiscovered until his time. When he arrived in Greenland he left his mark by naming new towns after himself and family just as Þrasi left his chest that now plays a part in Icelandic heritage, as does Dungeon Rock in Lynn Woods.
Hjálmarsson, Jon R. "Gold Under Skogafoss." Icelandic Times, Feb. 2016, icelandictimes.com/gold-under-skogafoss/.The Vinland Sagas: The Icelandic Sagas about the First Documented Voyages Across the North Atlantic. Translated by Keneva Kunz. Penguin, 2008.
Lovell Mumford, Student, Fitchburg State University
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Description by: McKenzie Lambert, Student, Fitchburg State University