Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mishoonash in Quinsigamond

Deep into Nipmuc Country lies a four-mile long body of water called Quinsigamond. The name is said to mean "long-nose (pickerel) fishing place". The water leaving Quinsigamond flows into a river called Khetetuk (aka Blackstone) and ultimately down to Narraganset Bay in Rhode Island.
Back in 2000 a recreational SCUBA diver discovered a mishoon or dugout canoe lying on the bottom of what is today called Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts. The mishoon was in about 30 feet of water and appeared to have been filled with stones to ensure that it remained on the bottom. Since then two more mishoonash have been found in the same general area. One was radiocarbon dated to approximately 1640.
Project Mishoon is a joint project between the Nipmuc Nation and the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources to manage and preserve the three mishoonash. To find out more visit their website here. Good reading for a day much too windy to be out on the water!

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