Saturday, October 13, 2012

Take A Hike – Sagamore Hill

By John Nye Cullity

In her excellent History of Bourne 1622-1937 (published in 1937), historian Betsy D. Keene makes the following statement on page 207: “In records of many early settlements mention is made of a ‘Sagamore Hill’, sometimes called ‘Powwow Hill’.  Usually the highest hill near an Indian encampment was used as a meeting place by the sagamores, or sachems.”  She goes on to describe the well-known Sagamore Hill in Monument (Bourne) that was once located just east of the Cape-side approach to the Bourne Bridge.  This historic hilltop was removed in the 1930s for filling in the bridge approach.

Here in Sandwich we have another Sagamore Hill.  Though buffeted by machinery over the years – first by plows and harrows, later by army bulldozers building a camp and large gun installation, it still stands.  A visit to its rounded, grassy top can be a surprising experience.  There’s a lot of history on this site, and a lot of wildlife, for it is now a nature preserve.  The Sandwich Conservation Trust is sponsoring a walk to Sagamore Hill this coming Sunday the 14th, at 2 PM.  The area is adjacent to Scusset State Beach, but is owned and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Sunday’s walk will be led by SCT trustee Cliff Irving, but I’ll come along as well, to chime in with historical notes.  From the Sagamore Bridge, take Scusset Beach Road to the large parking area that services the canal fishing pier.  The walk will be cancelled if there is rain.  If you have questions about the walk or the Sandwich Conservation Trust, call me at (508) 888-7629.

This view is from a stereo card  taken by Minnie Cook (1854-1932) around 1880, from a spot near the Saddle and Pillion Stones near the west end of Tupper Road.  The small farmhouse is still there.  The outline of Sagamore Hill appears on the horizon.

When:     Sunday, Oct. 14th at 2 p.m.
Where:    Adjacent to Scusset State Beach


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