A Micro-History of Hopkinton’s Turbulent First Years

By HHA Vice President Lorraine Tarket-Arruda

Back Then

In the year 1669, the town of Westerly was in its infancy. The Town Council records refer to what would become Hopkinton as the “vacant lands”.

The area was in turmoil, for although the white man had legally purchased land from Native Americans, neither party realized what the consequences would be.

In 1675, after seeing their hunting and fishing grounds, as well as their cornfields taken over by the white man, hostilities erupted and in June 1675 King Philip‘s War broke out. Named after the recognized leader of the Indians, Metacom or Philip, as the white man called him, it was to be the bloodiest battle in the Colonies history.

By August 1676, the end of the war, 600 Colonists had been killed along with 3,000 Indians. King Philip’s War, (Please Google it.) eradicated most Native American tribes in southern New England. The war opened up the “vacant lands” in Hopkinton, and slowly the white man moved in.

And here we are today, with many races now living peacefully within our continuing to change Town.

Learning about “Back Then”, & everything in between up to our day

For the past fourteen years, on a daily basis, I have had the opportunity to read through the old Town Council records in Hopkinton. I have entered all my notes into my laptop and divided them into categories.

Each quarter, January, April, July and October, I choose a subject from one of those categories and write a story for “The Notebook”, the Hopkinton Historical Association’s newsletter. (Anyone is welcome to contribute an article on a Hopkinton subject for publication.) The “Notebook” was so named for my little notebook I carry in my purse and use frequently to write historical “tidbits” in.

The “Notebook” made its HHA debut in April 2010, and has evolved into eight pages of historical information from the settling of Hopkinton, old roads, wars, why “things” happened, old pictures, and many other subjects too numerous to list.

From my immersion in our Archives, I know The Town of Hopkinton is rich in history, and more is being uncovered everyday. Come join us on these quarterly adventures and sign up for a membership to receive “The Notebook.”