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First Peoples

S.Sheppard

For centuries, indigenous peoples dwelt on Massachusetts landscapes now shared by Trustees properties. From the Wampanoag and Mashpee in the southeast to the Mohican in the Berkshires, the cultural impact of these tribes and others across the Commonwealth still resonates with visitors today.

Pegan Hill, Natick
Pegan Hill was home to a group known as “Praying Indians,” who lived, worked, and worshiped here with the 17th-century Christian missionary, Rev. John Eliot.

Mashpee River Reservation, Mashpee
This reservation on Cape Cod has been and continues to be an important place for members of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

The Mission House, Stockbridge
A century after Eliot lived among the Pegans, Rev. John Sergeant lived and preached with Mohicans near Stockbridge, where he built the home that is now the Mission House.

Redemption Rock, Princeton
In 1676, colonists captured during King Philip’s War between colonists and Native tribes were ransomed back to their families at this large rocky outcrop in Princeton. 
   
Rock House Reservation, Brookfield
For many centuries, Nipmuc hunting parties found seasonal shelter under the massive overhanging rock shelter at Rock House Reservation.

Tantiusques, Sturbridge
The Nipmuc also have a connection to Tantiusques, where they mined graphite for ceremonial paints. Colonial settlers picked up where the Nipmuc left off, and the site became a model of early Colonial industry – and a major supplier of lead for pencils.