Touisset Wildlife Refuge, Warren

Touisset comes from the aboriginal name Toweset, which is translated variously as “at the old field” and “at the corn field.”  Before the arrival of European settlers, and evidenced by shell piles and arrowheads unearthed by later residents, Touisset Point was, at least seasonally, inhabited by American Aboriginals who enjoyed the bounty of the land, air and water. [most text on this page is from “Touisset Point and Community Club History“, by Rick Massie]

The word Kickemuit, also from the American Aboriginal lexicon, has undergone a number of different spellings over time, including, Cecamuet, Kecamuet, Kickimuit and Kickamuit, translates in English to “at the great spring,”  referencing a freshwater water source near the banks of what is today the Warren River

 

The meeting and mixing of freshwater from the inland sources of the Kickemuit and Cole Rivers and saltwater of Mount Hope and Narragansett Bay refreshed and fed by the Atlantic Ocean tides creates breeding grounds, nurseries and habitats for a wide range of marine creatures and aquatic vegetation, which, in turn, provides sustenance for many land-based creatures and a variety of birds. Chace Cove (above) was known as the summer camp of the Massasoit Osamequin.

   

Several hiking trails open to the public run through the Touisset Marsh Wildlife Refruge that can be accessed from the parking lot of the Touisset Fire Station at the end of Touisset Road (see map below).

   

Both marsh and open fields can be found along the path laid out by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.

   

The development of Touisset Point as a summer community  began in the 1870’s when some Rhode Islanders and others bought or rented farmhouses as summer homes. Among the early summer folk was Theodore Francis Greene who later became Governor of Rhode Island (1933–1937), served as United States Senator (1937–1961), and after who the State’s main airport is named.

   

(Above) An historic marker at the east end of the bike path that starts on Long Lane describes the history of Touisset in three panels: Pre-Colonial Wampanoag, Colonial, and Modern Era. Click on photo for a larger image.

The Touisset Marsh Wildlife Refuge can be accessed at the parking lot of the Touisset Fire Station at the end of Touisset Road in Warren, RI.

Click on the map below for a Google satellite map of the Touisset Marsh Wildlife Refuge location.