Monday, June 20, 2011

Paddling Naumkeag Waters to Nanepashemet

It all started with a name that seemingly jumped off an old map.  Specifically, the map was a topography map of "Boston Bay Quadrangle" 1903 edition reprinted in 1910.  H.M. Wilson was the geographer in charge.  I came across the map while visiting the Web site of the University of New Hampshire's Dimond Library and their Historic USGS Maps of New England collection.  Here is a link to the 1903 map.  On it above Tinkers Island on the east side of Marblehead Neck appears the name "Nanepashemet" and it seems to be a rock or small islet.  Nanepashemet was a native American, and, in his day, the most powerful leader in the area we now call eastern Massachusetts.  He was the last chief sachem of the Massachusetts federation of tribes until his death in battle with the Tarratines in 1619.  John V. Goff authored an article on Nanepashemet and his struggle with the Tarratines.  Goff's article provides a wealth of information on this important historical figure including the fact that he enjoyed spending summers on Marblehead Neck.
After reading about Nanepashemet you may wonder, as I do, why he is no longer honored as he was a century ago when a grand 5-story hotel bore his name.  The hotel burned down in 1914.  The only reminder today that he once lived here is Nanepashemet Street (on which the hotel once stood).  His name was removed from the rock/islet.  Why was it removed or changed?  After all, isn't our commonwealth named for his federation?
At any rate, I poured over my maps and charts to find the same rock, and believe it is the locale now referred to as Tom Moore Rock.  
So, on this beautiful last full day of spring, after paddling over from Salem Neck, I found myself sitting just offshore of this rock and wondering if this was the spot shown on the 1903 map.  Nanepashemet?  Or Tom Moore Rock?

Paddling just a few hundred yards towards Tinkers Island brings the Boston Skyline into view...

Interestingly, about a half mile to the northeast from Nanepashemet (aka Tom Moore Rk) is Marblehead Rock...
This more prominent rock seems like a more fitting spot to carry the great sachem's name.

The paddle over to Marblehead Neck had been most pleasant. My boat was extremely happy to be slicing through the salty waves again, and my sinuses were clear as a bell for the first time in weeks.

We'd passed some scenic spots on the way over such as Peachs Point...

And Marblehead Light...

Finding my way back to Salem Neck was made easy by the large smokestacks of the electric generating plant...

Soon I was arriving back at the City of Salem's Winter Island Park location...
This was the first time I'd launched from Winter Island Park and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice a facility it is.  Easy to get to, very reasonable rates, and helpful staff.  Glad I checked the North Shore Paddlers Network listing of access sites for, otherwise, I may not have discovered it.

Not a lot of trash was encountered today.  Hardly worth a photo, but nonetheless...
A lucky 7 pieces of trash, none recyclable.  YTD total stands at 3219.

1 comment:

Bernie Paquette said...

Wonderful journey. Thank you for taking us along-and for the history tour as well.
Bernie
www.litterwithastorytotell.blogspot.com