Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Little Compton, RI

Manitou (p. 113) mentions two sites with historical significance in Little Compton, RI.  One is the cemetery at the Congregational church, which has the tombs of Benjamin Church and family.   The other is Wilbour Woods, the site of Awashonk's village.   On a sunny day, I visited these places. Below is the Congregational Church, with its cemetery crowded with very old and well-carved tombstones. In the center photo, and close to the church, are the Church family tombs, with two smaller ones for infants.
The closest double tomb is that of Benjamin Church. Mavor and Dix overlooked two other table tombs in the cemetery. One is dilapidated, and the other is the double tomb of  Captain William Southworth and his wife Rebekah . This tomb also has typical 1700s stylized angel faces.
This type of tomb is uncommon in New England, but may be derived from tombs of English aristocracy, that were often topped with a recumbent effigy of the decreased.  Mavor and Dix may be trying to make too much of a connection between the Church family tombs and the table rocks at Awashonk's village
     Wilbour Woods is the Little Compton town park that was site of Awashonk's Sagkonate winter village.
There a stream winds past an old stone row.
                                              Mavor and Dix mention toppled table rocks at Wilbour Woods.  There are a few slabs that may once have been table rocks, including the one below,

and this one, which was propped up again on blocks.
     Beside the road stands this massive slab about 7 feet tall.  There is no inscription, but it was probably set up in modern times as a memorial.  Awashonks and some  tribe members are supposed to be buried at Wilbour Woods, but the location is not marked.
Or is it?

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