What are the stone mounds arranged in mysterious piles that abound in the Nipsachuck forest where hundreds of years ago English settlers fought with Native Americans? Are they burial grounds? Does anyone care? Read on for some thoughts on an old mystery.
In the island town of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, inhabited by some 10,000 people, stands Nipsachuck woods, a mystical forest of willow, maple and oak trees with much historical significance to the local native Indian population. According to Wilfred Green, the 70-year-old chief of the Wampanoag Seaconke tribe, the stone mounds comprise part of one of the nation’s largest massive Indian burial grounds. The true significance of these stones are at the heart of a festering conflict between developers and native Americans that dates back four hundred years to the first English settlements. Despite this, all parties agree even if reluctantly, that the woods where the chief identified the stone mounds some two years ago is culturally and historically significant for the indigenous Indian tribes.
Historically, these stone mounds mark the spot of the three battles in King Phillip’s War, which was the bloodiest conflict of 17th century New England. It lasted one year and at its end 600 English settlers and 3,000 Indians lay dead on the battleground. The aftermath of this bloody conflict led to westward expansion by more Europeans.
So what’s in a bunch of old stones?
How dare anyone ask?
What do YOU think about this?