cradle knoll n chiefly Nth, esp NEng
1 also cradle heap, ~ hill: A small mound or hummock with a depression beside it, usu occurring in wooded or formerly wooded land and being the remains of an uprooted tree. Cf clay root n, cradle hole n, DCan (cradle hill) 1820→, DPEIE (cradle heap) 1963
1810 MA Genl. Court Acts & Resolves 441 ME, The said road to be cut and cleared four rods wide, one rod of which shall be made passable for wheel carriages by cutting the stumps level with the ground, taking down the cradle-hills, and making all the necessary causeways and bridges for that purpose on the said road. 1824 Woodstock Observer & Windsor & Orange Co. Gaz. (VT) [13 Jan 2]/5, In this situation he was dragged . . over logs [and] cradle knolls nearly half a mile. 1852 NY Daily Times (NY) 8 Nov 7/1 neOH, Every tree, stump and log, possessing a suspicious cavity, underwent the closest scrutiny; every bush and thicket thickly foliaged, every fir and cradle knoll, was visited as the band pressed onward. 1869 (1870) Kellogg Ark 9 ME, She [=a ship] works like an old logging sled among the ‘cradle knolls.’ 1892 Christian Union 46.1182 NEast, [He] threads his way between cradle-heaps covered with fern and bracken, and . . finds himself in a berry-patch that opens upon the woods. 1900 Robinson Danvis Pioneer 47 wVT, During the season of sugar-making. . . Stumps, logs, and wintergreen-clad cradle knolls began to show above the snow. 1905 U.S. Forest Serv. Bulletin 61.34, Cradle knolls, small knolls which require grading in the construction of logging roads. (N[orth] W[oods], L[ake] S[tates].) 1939 LANE Map 38 (Hill; knoll) 1 inf, eME, Cradle-knoll, in a pasture; 1 inf, sNH, Cradle-knoll, a very small knoll. 1940–41 Cassidy WI Atlas, Cradle knoll. 1968 DARE (Qu. C17, . . A small rounded hill) Inf NY92, Cradle knoll. 1968 Post–Crescent (Appleton WI) 26 July 5/4, People living in northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan are familiar with small mounds and depressions called cradle-knolls found in pastures and forest lands. 1969 DARE Tape MA58, Cradle knoll is a hump. The land’s never plowed. And that’d be a New Englander, probably, because in the west they wouldn’t have those cradle knolls, in prairie countries. . . It’s a small hump in the ground, not more than two or three feet high, not a hill; there’d be hollows between, just kind of undulating. 2011 in 2021 DARE File—Internet seMI, The area is currently golden rod field with something I call cradle knolls (large humps about 6′ in diameter and 2-3′ tall[)]. I suspect at one time trees were tipped over in an attempt to clear the field? 2020 Ibid NY, I’ve had a couple of years that we got a early snow that developed a crust. The beech nuts dropped and the wind blew the[m] into depressions and cradle knolls.
2 = cradle hole n.
1869 Orleans Independent Std. (Irasburgh VT) [23 Mar 3]/4, The accident resulted from a cradle knoll in the road, but, owing to the depth of the snow, it would be next to impossible to make the road in good condition. 1888 Freeborn Co. Std. (Albert Lea MN) [1 Feb 5]/4, The Geneva road . . is almost impassible owing to the continuous “cradle-knolls.” It is absolutely dangerous to drive over it, and the difficulty is one that might easily and quickly be remedied with plow and scraper. 1912 in 2001 Hunter Keeper 52 ceMI, About 10 AM, Momzie & I started with Dandy and the cutter for Bevins. . . On way home found the roads quite good except near Shelby or the heavily traveled roads were gouged out very badly in cradle knolls.