Agricultural Activities

The development of early Westport included the creation of Euro-American farms on large tracts of fertile land in the southern section of town.  Following a pattern seen in other coastal New England towns, settlers likely chose lands that had been cleared and cultivated by Native Americans during the Woodland and Contact periods.  The reports of […]

Continue Reading

African American Context

African-American residents of Westport played a vital role in the history of the town.  The keeping of slaves and indentured servants may have been practiced in the early town, though in general the Society of Friends did not support the slave trade.  The prominence of Quaker leaders in Old Dartmouth led to a 1716 debate […]

Continue Reading

Over view of Native American presence in Westport

Westport’s recorded histories contain numerous references to Native American settlement and activity areas and the existing archaeological record for the town supports this presence.  Native people who utilized Westport’s abundant natural resources most likely remained in the area well into the historic period, especially given the slow and highly dispersed colonial settlement within the present-day […]

Continue Reading

Contact and Pre Contact Period

Contact Period (1500–1620) The first documented accounts of Native and non-Native interactions along the shores and harbors of Old Dartmouth (the original territory from which Westport was subdivided) indicate that these areas were inhabited by Native American groups affiliated with the Wampanoag tribe (Denison 1879; Ellis 1892; Howland 1907). The MHC (1982) notes a large […]

Continue Reading

Recent Archaeological Excavations at the Waite-Kirby-Potter Site

This project was supported by Community Preservation Act funds granted by Westport Community Preservation Committee http://www.westport-ma.com/cpc/index.html Project work completed by Christa M. Beranek and Katharine M. Johnson Fiske Center for Archaeological Research, University of Massachusetts Boston Introduction The Waite-Kirby-Potter House has long been considered important as one of Westport’s oldest buildings, and it is depicted […]

Continue Reading