An Ideal Setting for Native American Habitation
OVERVIEW 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 town.
CONTACT AND PRE-CONTACT PERIOD
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 Contact Period regional core extending from Buzzard’s Bay to Narragansett Bay, and native population concentrations along the Acushnet, Paskamansett, and Westport rivers.
WAMPANOAG FAMILIES OF DARTMOUTH AND WESTPORT
Watch a video of a presentation by Andrew Pierce documenting some of the Wampanoag families of this area.
LOCAL NATIVE AMERICAN PLACE NAMES