The History of Sowams displayed at the East Providence Historical Society

The December 2021 Second Sunday event at the East Providence Historical Society headquarters at Hunt House featured paintings of Ousamequin (above) and Sowams by artist Ruth Major. The event provided an opportunity for people to learn the history of Sowams, the Pokanoket settlement that existed long before English colonists came in the early 1600s. Click here for a 14-minute video of talks given by Sowams Heritage Area Coordinator David Weed and Pokanoket Tribe Member Elsie “Sunflower” Morrison.

Pokanoket Tribe Member Elsie “Sunflower” Morrison (left) and Sowams Heritage Area Project Coordinator Dr. David Weed (center) go over the history of Sowams, depicted in the 1908 map by Thomas Bicknell. Both answered questions about the Sowams settlement, the construction of wetus, and the history of relations with the English.

(Above) A painting depicting a visit to the winter settlement at Sowams was on display along with a display of the Three Sisters Garden that was grown behind Hunt House in the summer of 2021 under Sunflower’s guidance. Click here for a larger version of the photo on the right.

Other displays in the room featured contemporary sketches of Roger Williams and Ousamequin as well as bricks from Anawan House in Rehoboth and the chimney of Captain Thomas Willett, an early settler in the East Providence area.