The Hopkinton Historical Association provides educational materials describing the local colonial, native american and indigenous history, along with archeologic research. In addition, we provide personal assistance for help wth local genealogy and cemetery research.
On October 7, 2017, the unique Manitou Hassannash (man’-it-two has’-san-nash) Preserve, part of the Hopkinton Land Trust, was dedicated in a tribal ceremony conducted entirely by indigenous people in accord with their beliefs and traditions. Officiating were: Doug Harris, Elaine Thomas and Dawn Dove with her three grandsons, Sherenté 17, Nkéke 14, and Yoyatche 6.
One hundred people visited the Ceremonial Stone Landscape Day display area during the six hours the event was on. Many of those came to witness the ceremony, hiking the 1 mile round trip to observe the talks, prayers and songs in this solemn occasion.
A year ago last spring one of the stone posts across from Town Hall was accidentally broken. HHA members made a temporary repair with masonry adhesive, but that gave way this spring. A few weeks ago we received some grant money from the state and began the repair process. We took the broken post and several wrought iron straps that had come off other posts to the Comolli Granite Co. to see if repairs could be made. Richard Comolli assured us that the repairs were possible and gave us a reasonable estimate of the cost. On August 23rd, the repaired post was reset into the ground and straps were replaced on the posts from which they had come. Now all the stone posts are whole and in place and each post has a wrought iron strap to hold the chain. Over the coming year we hope to be able to to replace the chain to match the original that was strung between the posts way back in 1861!
In the 1700’s the Hill family owned much of the land that was to become the village of Hopkinton City. In May of 1789 Major Benjamin Taylor bought a small house lot from Josiah Hill. The lot was only 13 sq. rods and was on the north side of the road going from Hopkinton City to Woodville. Benjamin Taylor had married Mary Thurston, the daughter of General George Thurston and Dolly (Cottrell) Thurston. Their property abutted Taylor’s new lot to the west. The Thurston’s large house is now 496 Main Street. Mary’s father had served in the local militia during Revolutionary War. After the war he was appointed General of Washington County’s militia. Benjamin had also served in the militia during the war, earning the rank of Major.
A history of the area’s farms and families
By Richard G. Prescott
“Narragansett Country” at one time covered nearly all of what became Hopkinton, R.I. including the land along Lawton Foster Road #1. Narragansett tribal members have said that before colonial contact the Canonchet area of Hopkinton had been a valuable hunting resource and an area of spiritual importance to the tribe #2. Despite the passage of time, stone structures or cairns, thought to have been built in pre-colonial times, still remain in the woods along Lawton Foster Road near the village of Canonchet #3. Mary and James Gage describe a cairn as “An intentionally built compact and carefully constructed mound, heap, or pile of stones consisting of one of more stones. It is either (1) placed on the ground, or (2) placed on top of a boulder, or (3) placed on the exposed bedrock, or any combination thereof” #4. Continue reading “Along Lawton Foster Road”→