Sachem’s Rock where Osamequin traded with Myles Standish for Satucket lands in 1649

A prominent landmark along the Satucket River, Sachem Rock is a large outcropping of bedrock called Wonnocoote (Wonnocooto) by the Pokanokets who inhabited the area before 1649. Shortened to “Cootah Hill” in the early part of the 20th century, the rock apparently acquired the name Sachem or Sachem’s Rock as early as 1800. Satucket is an ancient word meaning “the place between rivers” or alternately “the place where rivers meet,” the Satucket and Matfield Rivers, which merge in the southern portion of today’s East Bridgewater to form the Town River, which in turn flows south through Bridgewater, ultimately joining the Taunton River. After a period of negotiations with the local Native authorities, Duxbury representatives Myles Standish, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth obtained a deed for the Indian land within the Duxbury New Plantation from the Massasoit Ousamequin on March 23, 1649. Massasoit himself had chosen the site where the transaction was to take place, and signed the deed for the land with a mark in the shape of a hand. The territory conveyed on that day was considerably larger than the original eight-mile grant recommended by colonial authorities. The deed specified it to be fourteen miles square—extending seven miles north, east, south and west from the fishing weir on the Satucket. In payment, the sachem received “7 coats, . . . 9 hatchets, 8 hoes, 20 knives, 4 moose skins, and 10 and a half of cotton.”