Four women tour three indigenous locations in the Sowams Heritage Area

Four women, who call themselves the “Broad Scholars” and who explore various locations in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts, joined Sowams Heritage Area Coordinator Dave Weed to explore some 17th century locations, including King’s Rock, pictured above, in Swansea. The rock was known historically as the “National Grinding Stone” where indigenous women would grind their corn by rolling a rock across a groove in the top of the rock. Click here for a nine-minute video of their tour.


Margaret Vigorito and Paula Bissell stand on King’s Rock and look across Route 136 south of Johnson’s Market in Swansea at an indigenous ceremonial rock that sits atop a granite ledge known historically as Sachem’s Knoll. They note that the glacial erratic rock was clearly placed there by humans as it it propped up by smaller stones placed under the rock.


The women climb Abram’s Rock behind the Swansea Town Hall, a location with an historic tie to Metacomet or King Philip who occupied the area in the latter half of the 17th century.


Janice Velozo and Patricia Lang look at the Quequechan River where it emerges briefly behind a mill and exits under the Braga Bridge in Fall River. The area was part of Queen Weetamoo‘s territory prior to the King Philip War in 1675-76.

Click here for a nine-minute video of their tour.