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Mount Greylock, the state's highest peak, is site of a wizarding school in famed J.K. Rowling's wizard series.

Rowling Picks Mount Greylock as Site of Fictional Wizarding School

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ADAMS, Mass. — The state's highest peak was revealed on Tuesday to be the location of a school of wizardry.

J.K. Rowling, author of the immensely popular "Harry Potter" series, released a short story on Tuesday on the history of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at

"It stands at the highest peak of Mount Greylock, where it is concealed from non-magic gaze by a variety of powerful enchantments, which sometimes manifest in a wreath of misty cloud," she writes of the hidden granite castle.

The North American version of Hogwarts was founded by Isolt Sayre, an Irish woman of wizarding heritage, who fled to the New World on the Mayflower disguised as Muggle boy to escape her wicked aunt.

She fled the Pilgrims, who had little truck with witchcraft, and later saved two boys whose wizard parents had died. Her journey crossed with that of James Steward, a "no magic," who also had left the Pilgrims behind. The two married, and raised the boys and their own children, creating a school for witchcraft in Massachusetts.

"Isolt and James both lived to be over 100. They had seen the cottage of Ilvermorny become a granite castle, and they died in the knowledge that their school was now so famous that magical families all over North America were clamouring to educate their children there," Rowling writes.

Four wooden carvings at the school represent the houses, via the magical creatures Isolt encountered in the New World: the Horned Serpent, the panther Wampus, the Thunderbird and the Pukwudgie. (No Wizard Gruulach, however, who made his appearance as the protector of Mount Greylock at this past weekend's Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival.)

This chapter is latest in Rowling's "History of Magic in North America" that's being released piece by piece this week. No word if Mount Greylock will make it into the current trilogy of films based in the United States, which begins with "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" this fall.

The story doesn't give the secret entrance to Ilvermorny — perhaps via the Berkshire Scenic Railway?

Tags: books,   fantasy,   fun stuff,   wizard, witchcraft,   

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Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Mulls Possible Expansion

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
ADAMS, Mass. — The solid waste district is hoping for a decision from North Adams, and possibly Dalton, before considering service contracts.
The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management Commission on Thursday discussed the bid process for servicing the district and, with the possibility of North Adams coming on board, Program Coordinator Linda Cernik wants to ensure they use every resource available.
"This is a very, very important bid coming up. There can't be any mistakes, any hiccups, nothing. With the possibility of North Adams joining the district, and maybe Dalton, we have to get this right," Cernik said. "We met with Williams College and the four students doing the study (about North Adams joining the district) and they are going to present to the City Council in December."
The possible inclusion of North Adams and Dalton would be especially convenient this year as both municipalities' solid waste contracts expire on June 30, the same date as the district's.
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