Harrisville, Lewis County


Since discovering at the age of 12 that dowsing for water worked for him, Ed Chartrand of Harrisville has helped hundreds of people by “witching water” in the North Country and beyond. Dowsers believe they can detect hidden water veins, as well as buried objects and currents of earth radiation, without the use of any scientific apparatus. Called water witching because of the many mysteries that still surround this practice which goes back to medieval times, there are many theories about why it works for some and not for others. With no other explanation for his talent than “it’s a gift from the good Lord,” Ed, now 86, has strong opinions about what works and what doesn’t. He uses a large, freshly-cut crotched stick and paces off the location to dig for water and determine how deep a vein is. Ed invites skeptics to watch him work and judge for themselves.

  • Award Inherited Traditions
  • Award Year 2009
  • Location Harrisville, NY (Lewis County, Black River Valley)
  • Categories Farm & Home