We live in a deep valley ringed with hills like a souffle that has fallen in the center. Carved into the deepest recesses of the valley, the Credit River runs discreetly by, largely unseen behind a screen of the scrubby bushes and deciduous trees. Even the telltale sound of rushing water is all but obliterated by the constant drone of traffic speeding through the valley. Though neither particularly deep nor remarkably wide, the Credit River’s swift current, especially when swollen by spring showers can be a significant force to be reckoned with.
The area once had the gothic name “the Wolf’s Den” because of the shadowy wolves that were supposed to have haunted the heavily forested valley. When European settlers first arrived the wolves posed a threat to livestock and it was considered unwise for humans stray to far from home after dark without a gun or an axe. The government dealt with the problem by offering a bounty on each wolf killed and encouraged settlers trap and shoot them.
Early descriptions of the area recount that the valley’s tall stands of white pine towered some one hundred feet in the air and stood so thickly together that they were almost impossible to fell. The first settlers harnessed the river’s power to clear land and saw timber for their homes. A small village, complete with a post office, timber, grist and woolen mills grew up on the banks of the river. Many years later the village was renamed “Huttonville” after the area’s most prominent founding family the Huttons.