The Flaxing Place at Smelt Pond. This was the place flax was prepared for spinning into linen thread. After the flax was ripe and in condition for cutting, it was rotted or "retted", as it was usually called, to separate the fiber or strands from the parts which could not be used. A place was chosen in some clean, quiet cove on a fresh-water pond and there the bundles of flax were weighted and sunk in shallow water for water and warm sunshine to do their work. It was an ill-smelling process, this rotting of the flax, and the places where it was done, or perhaps the places which continued to be used for the longest time, were not too near habitations. The Flaxing Place on Smelt Pond was one of these, there was another at the south-west "corner" of Silver Lake, though this was not in Kingston, and they were found in other neighborhoods as well. After the flax was separated, it was broken and hetcheled or hackeled and combed until it became of proper condition to spin into thread for sewing and weaving.

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