David Weed describes the history of Burr’s Hill Park

Burr’s Hill Park has always held a special fascination for Warren resident David Weed who moved to a house on the edge of the Park in 1980. Click here for a 28-minute YouTube video in which Weed tells the history of the Park at the Warren Preservation Society Annual Meeting (photos below) held on June 17, 2021.

The sand mounds on the north side of the Park are often mistaken for Native American burial mounds. They are actually the remains of glacial till that used to cover the entire Park. The Pokanoket buried their dead here in the 16th and 17th centuries because it was easier to dig graves in the sand and gravel they found here. The location was also chosen because it faced the Southwest, where the souls of the dead were thought to return.

The sand mounds that used to be where the Park parking lot sits now can be seen in this early 20th century photo looking north on Water Street. The Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad was constructed along the east side of the Park in 1854 and was converted to the East Bay Bike Path in 1992. (See photo below, right).

Forty-two Pokanoket graves were exhumed in 1913 by Charles Carr. The contents of the graves were catalogued by Susan Gibson from Brown University in 1980. The contents were collected and returned to a single vault buried in the Park in 2017 by members of the Wampanoag Repatriation Confederation with the cooperation of the Town.