by J. A. Buxton
Chapter I - Indian History of Quaboag
|Chapter I – Indian History of Quaboag
Historic Quaboag Plantation Map
The Indian villages were usually located near the various trails that passed nearby, such as the Bay Path. The country around Lake Wickaboag was a good camping site for the villages. There were lakes teeming with fish. The adjacent plain was unsurpassed for a planting ground, and the neighboring hills and swamps were filled with game.
After the Indians’ departure, the ground contained evidence of their long occupancy. Two steatite kettles, in perfect preservation, were found by Gilbert F. Lincoln, and they are now in the Amherst College cabinet. The most unmistakable evidence of habitation is the presence of fire. Before contact with the white man, the natives used for culinary purposes, vessels of wood, bark, clay, or stone. To seethe their food, these were supplied with cold water, into which heated stones were put, one after another, until the water boiled. These stones were usually about the size of a quart measure. A couple of bushels of them were placed in the center of the wigwam, on which their fire was built, and thus they were constantly ready for use. From repeated heating and cooling, the stones acquired the reddish, honey-combed appearance, which makes it easy to distinguish them.
A good camping site, connected with this Wickaboag village, lay to the southeast, about three-fourths of a mile, and just across the river. Heaps of “chips” indicated that this was where the Indians made their arrow and spear points, knives, piercers, and so on. Many of these articles have been found in the earth around that location.
A burial place of the clan is located on the bluff at the northeasterly end of the lake. Since this is too far removed from the main village, it is believed that these interments were made to meet some emergency, such as a battle.
It is believed, with good reason, that Wassamegin (Massasoit), the old sachem of the Wampanoaga, came to this village about 1657 and was the ruler until his death. Evidence also shows that this was the residence and domain of Shattockquis, the sachem who was in power and signed the deed that gave the land to the settlers in 1665.