We’re starting a new series called Oddities Uncovered. In it, we’ll show you stuff we find while out on the bikes that very few people know about.

Have you ever been on a road trip and discovered something you didn’t know or hadn’t seen before?  Things like the Caddilac Ranch or the World’s Largest Ball Of Twine?

You have?  Well so have we and we’re not covering that kind of stuff.  We’ll bring you things that we stumble upon while riding and are not well known.

It could be a place, something about a person or just something very unusual that few people know about.

Phineas Gage

So for our first post, we’re bringing you the story of Phineas Gage.  I found Phineas in the small town of Cavendish, Vermont.  We’ll actually, I unexpectedly found his story there.

While riding, I decided to take a short break in a small park.  As I pulled over, I noticed a large stone with a bronze plaque on its face.  Curious, I walked over to see what it said and found Phineas’ amazing story.

The plaque to Phineas Gage as found in Cavendish, Vermont.

The accident

You may not know that Gage is well known in the journals of neuroscience, neurology and, psychology.  How did Phineas rise to fame in these texts?

The “Cut” for the Rutland and Burlington Railroad where Phineas Gage was injured.

Well, working as a blasting foreman for the Rutland and Burlington railroad, he survived an explosion that drove a large iron bar completely through his head from under his left eye through the top of his skull.  The accident took place in the tiny town of Cavendish.

The plaque shows Phineas’ injury.

What’s even more amazing is that he lived a further 9 years after the accident.  Gage was able to work as a farm hand and even traveled to Chile to work as a long distance stagecoach driver.

Medical journals

Gage’s survival became the stuff of legend for medical journals.  There were many records (some true and some false) about the changes Gage experienced as a result of the accident and how such an injury affects a person and their capabilities.

Gage became so famous in these circles that his skull is preserved at the Warren Anatomical Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ultimately, the town of Cavendish felt that Gage’s accident should be commemorated and created this monument in its small park.

The tiny park and monument to Phineas Gage as found in Cavendish, VT.

So this is the complete story of Phineas Gage and the town of Cavendish, Vermont.

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