Providence College Professor, cultural historian, and nearby property owner Keith Morton led a group on a walk to the site of Margaret’s Cave just over the northern border of Warren in Swansea, MA on October 22, 2022. This is one of many walks organized by the Sowams Heritage Area Project to teach people about the land once inhabited by members of the Pokanoket Tribe and the subsequent settlement by English colonists in the early 17th century. Click here for a 52-minute video of the walk.
Keith began the walk with a description of the farmland that surrounds the outcropping of stone where Margaret’s Cave is located. He explained that the area was once traversed by a stage coach route that ran through the now wooded area in the 18th century.
As the East Providence Historical Society Co-President listens, Keith recounts how Roger Williams was nursed back to health in the winter of 1636 by one of the Massasoit Ousamequin’s wives who was called “Margaret” by the colonists. Williams wrote that he spent 14 weeks in the wilderness after his banishment from Salem due to his radical ideas. In the spring he went up to Omega Pond in present day East Providence to start a farm where he was told by the Plymouth Colony that he had to move across the Seekonk River where he founded Providence and Rhode Island.
Professor Morton talks about the ecology of the area as Dave Cousins, Robert Watt and Swansea Town Planner John Hansen listen. The tour ended with a view of the adjacent farmland that is currently under cultivation by Four Town Farm and others who lease the land.
Click here for a walk with author James Warren
Click here for a walk with member of the Pokanoket Tribe