Born in Devonshire, England, Hugh Cole came to Plymouth with his family in 1633 as indentured servants and was hired to tend to his neighbor’s cows for 50 bushels of corn a year. In the 1650s, Hugh was hired as a highway surveyor which brought him into frequent contact with Pokanoket Chief Massaoit. In 1667, he purchased 500 acres of land from him on the west bank of the Mattapoisett (now Coles) River. Following the King Phililp War (1675-1676) which forced him to relocate to Portsmouth, RI, he returned to what was then Swansea to build a farm on the east bank of the Kickemuit River where only the well now remains.
A monument to Cole sits on Crab Pond just off the bike path behind the Kickemuit Middle School where there is an explanatory historical marker (click to enlarge).
The monument is located on the bike path about 300 yards from Alymum Road.
Dr. David Weed opens a 2010 ceremony to mark the reinstallation of the plaque.
Photos on the left show the monument in 1917 when it was first placed. The original bronze plaque was subsequently stolen. At some point in its history, the well had a stone surround as in the undated photo below. The well was covered in 2010 to prevent further vandalism.