Fall River, MA, took its name from the Quequechan or "Falling River" of the Pocasset Wampanoags. I have often wondered how Fall River looked centuries ago. This 1812 map of Fall River shows the Quequechan river flowing from Watuppa Pond to a small pond, and then falling nearly straight down the steep slope to a pond at present-day Battleship Cove. The map shows that the area with Long Pond (now Firestone Pond) has a massive boulder and some partially submerged boulders named the Peaked Rocks. Unfortunately, these are long gone.
Philip's History of Fall River describes the pond at the brink of the falls. On the south shore of the pond was a huge conglomeration of boulders known as Cleft Rock, which extended to present-day Bedford Street. A narrow path went about Cleft Rock, and Main Street passed through the cleft. Here is my imagining of the falls, looking east to the hill on County street where Rolling Rock still stands. Lookout Rock at Weetamoo Woods was the model for Cleft Rock.
The Quequechan river powered the mills of Fall River through the 1800s. A dam was built across the falls, and then raised two feet in 1826. This flooded the river and Watuppa Pond, but afforded consistent water power for the mills. The last water-powered mill burned down in 1974.
This photo was taken by my father in the early 1960s. It shows the Quequechan river flowing from under some mill buildings on Second street near the post office. Even though I was very young at the time, I still remember how bad the heavily contaminated river water smelled.
Here is the view from a ledge beside one of the falls, looking toward the sun setting over Mount Hope in winter.