Sugar Loaf Historical Society wins grant for new ‘Legends & Lore’ roadside marker

Sugar Loaf. The legend, in this case, says that area pioneer Nathaniel Knapp fought and killed a bear, and then was buried at the same spot.

| 13 Nov 2023 | 04:04

The Sugar Loaf Historical Society has once again been awarded a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation for a Legends & Lore roadside marker.

The marker will highlight a unique legend surrounding Sugar Loaf pioneer Nathaniel Knapp. As the story goes, during the mid-1700s Knapp encountered and killed a bear using only a hunting knife. He then asked to be buried at the site of the clash with the bear. The location is on the hill above “Knapp’s View,” the town of Chester’s public park in Sugar Loaf.

“Chester’s first municipal historian drew a map for me to follow to find Nathaniel Knapp’s grave when I was a child in the ’70s,” said Sugar Loaf Historical Society President Jay Westerveld. “He was stoked after I’d found it and was able to accurately describe it to him.”

This new award marks the second Pomeroy Foundation grant awarded to the Sugar Loaf Historical Society in 2023. The first was awarded earlier this year for Hoop Snake Hill and the legend of an enormous snake.

Launched in 2015, the Pomeroy Foundation’s Legends & Lore grant program helps communities promote cultural tourism by highlighting their local folklore and legends with fully funded markers. As of November 2023, the Pomeroy Foundation has funded more than 160 Legends & Lore markers across multiple states nationwide.

“Commemorating a colorful, original settler like Nathaniel ‘Natty’ Knapp is yet another step forward for authentic historical and cultural preservation here in ‘The ‘Loaf,’ a place of real legends that deserve to be kept alive,” Westerveld said. “We convey our sincerest gratitude to the William G. Pomeroy Foundation for ensuring these legends’ survival and longevity.”

The Sugar Loaf Historical Society plans a dedication ceremony in spring 2024 at “Knapp’s View” public park in Sugar Loaf.