King’s Rock and Sachem’s Knoll in Swansea

“On the west side of Market Street, Route 136, near the Swansea-Warren line may be found King’s Rock on Sachem’s Knoll where Indians from all over New England used to celebrate their victories in tribal wars and talk about their peace treaties. In this rock can be seen a hollow where Indian women ground their corn for the feast.” [from The Swansea Stage Coach, 1976]

    

King’s Rock property owner Tim Johnson of Johnson’s Market on Market Street in Swansea points out a feature of the rock to Swansea Historical Society president Carl Becker on a survey of the location with Helen Tjader.

    

A balanced or “perched” rock (or possibly a drum rock similar to one in Warwick) that may have been placed by aboriginal people sits on the east side of Route 136 (Market Street) across from King’s Rock. Used as a calendar rock, it may have been used to mark celestial events like the vernal equinox and the position of the stars or possibly to signal events held at that location..

   

The rock is across Route 136 from D’Allesandro Farm and can be seen from both sides of the highway. A hollow in the center of the rock, now filled with moss, may be where aboriginal women used to grind corn. According to Alan Week’s 1920 book, Massasoit of the Wampanoags, “There is still shown in the town of Warren the Pokanoket’s grist mill, consisting of a natural flat table rock into which grooves have been cut or worn by use, where the women of the tribe ground their corn by rolling round stones over it, these movable stones being operated by rolling them like a wheel about a shaft thrust through a hole drilled in the center.”

 

Click here for the RWU Historic Preservation Plan where King’s Rock is mentioned on page 20.

Click here for a detail from an 1852 map of Bristol County that shows King’s Rock.

Click here for the reference to King’s Rock in The Swansea Stage Coach on page 9.

Click here for a description of King’s Rock in Otis Wright’s History of Swansea, 1667-1917.

Margaret’s Rock and Cave and Wigwam Hill are located 1/2 mile to the east on D’Allesandro Farm

 

Click on the map for a larger Google map.