In 1654 an Indian praying village was established by that name and most historical accounts have the site being chosen by John Eliot and Daniel Gookin, English missionarys to the Indians. However, according to the book Manitou by James W. Mavor, Jr. and Byron E. Dix, Gookin reported the location of Hassanamessitt was chosen by Nipmuck powwows or shamans. Mavor and Dix speculate the area would have had much spiritual significance to the Nipmuck because five rivers start their journeys to the sea from within a radius of about 12 miles. Examining a map confirms that the Assabet, Blackstone, Charles, Nashua, and Sudbury rivers can all be accessed from within this radius.
I decided to launch into lower Lake Quinsigamond at Oak Island in Shrewsbury and see how far south I could go towards Hassanamessitt.
It didn't take long to paddle from Oak Island to this embankment and small dam where it appears the Quinsigamond River begins its 5-mile journey to its confluence with the Blackstone River in Grafton....
The river grew quite narrow in between the railroad bridge and Hovey Pond (some maps show it as Flint Pond). The opening photo shows this narrow stretch of river. Reaching the end of Hovey Pond I came to this dam and spillway...
Two red-tailed hawks soared above Hovey Pond, Also seen today were mute swans, a cormorant, an eastern kingbird, numerous red-winged blackbirds, a good sized snapping turtle, and many small fish darting all around my boat. The river bottom in many places was carpeted with juniper-like plants. Aquatic flowers in bloom were white and yellow lilies and pickerelweeds.
Trash, possessing very little Manitou, was recovered along the way...
Most of it was located where folks have access to the water, such as boat ramps and areas near bridges where they fish from shore. The usual suspects were rounded up. There were 31 recyclable containers (9 redeemable) and 27 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish such as styrofoam, bait tubs, plastic bags, etc.
Total today was 58.
YTD total stands at 3364.
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