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Tobacco and Onion Fields, Connecticut Valley
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Connecticut River Valley was among the valleys and basins that formed as the giant supercontinent of Pangaea stretched, cracked, and broke apart over 200 million years ago. About ten million years ago, the Valley floor began to warp upward several thousand feet. Old streams ran faster; some began cutting across soft rock and encompassing other streams. It was in this period that the Connecticut River formed, running two hundred miles from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to the Atlantic Ocean. As ice glaciers melted and receded, a huge lake formed. When Lake Hitchcock drained about 10,000 years ago, the Connecticut River began cutting into the old lakebed and forming flood plains. The soil in this region is deep and extremely fertile with organic matter. It has been farmed for thousands of years, first by the Native Peoples who came to this region over ten thousand years ago, and later by European settlers. This postcard of tobacco and onion fields highlights the fertility of this ancient river valley.
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