Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sacred Ground

McCook Point Park, Niantic, CT

The Nehantic (Niantic) Indian Tribe was one of many tribes that inhabited southern New England during European settlement in the 1600's.  They were an Algonquin speaking tribe closely related to their neighbors, the Pequots, Mohegans, Montauk and Narragansett.  Due to the incursions of the Pequot tribe, the Nehantics were split into two divisions with the Western Division becoming subject to the Pequots, while the Eastern Nehantics were absorbed into the Narraganset.  After the Pequot War of 1636 there were only about 100 members of the tribe left and they merged into the Pequots and Mohegans.  They were declared extinct in 1870 and their reservation sold.  Their burying ground was sold shortly thereafter and is now a part of the Crescent Beach Community of East Lyme, CT.  Many of the remains discovered here were re-interred in Union Cemetery in East Lyme.  Local construction has uncovered remains as late as 1988 around this area.  I'm sure there must still be Nehantic blood in today's Pequots, Narragansetts, and Mohegans.  

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