Welcome to Tahattawan Lodge
Lodge has been a vital part of the Littleton community since
1929. We have been in our current building since 1962. Our
regular meetings are open to all regular Masons. We meet on the
fourth Monday of the month (except for May and December when we meet on
the third Monday) from September to June. We do not meet July and
August. Click the "Contact us" link, above for directions and
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
Lodge is within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is the third oldest Grand Lodge in the
Grand Lodge governs the operation of all Regular Masonic Lodges in
Massachusetts. Grand Lodge meetings are held quarterly in September,
December, March, and June. You can visit the Massachusetts Grand Lodge Web Site to learn more about its long traditions in Freemasonry and about our great fraternity.
The 14th Masonic District
Lodge is a member of the 14th Masonic District within the Grand Lodge
of MA. The 14th District consists of Lodges in Ayer, Bedford,
Burlington, Concord, Lexington, Littleton, and Lincoln. Masonic
Districts hold regular monthly meetings for their member Lodges. Our
District meets on the first Thursday of every month, July and August
excluded. You can find information on other Lodges in our district by
visiting the 14th Masonic District Web Site.
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History of Tahattawan Lodge
Tahattawan Lodge began its
formation in 1928. A chance meeting of three Masons, one from Nebraska, one
from Chelsea, and one from Turner’s Falls took place in Littleton. The names of
the Masons are unrecorded. On realizing that they were all Masons, they discussed
the fact that none had been able to attend a Lodge meeting in many years. They
discussed the possibility of forming a Masonic Lodge in Littleton and decided
to contact local Masons to further the discussion. While there was not much
interest from members of lodges in the area, those Masons in the area who did
not belong to local lodges showed great interest.
Knowing that they needed the
assistance of experienced Masons, they sought out Wor Arthur H. Frost, a local
resident and Past Master of Washington Lodge in Roxbury, MA, who had recently
moved to town. Wor Frost joined in the effort and became the group’s guide and
counselor. An inquiry was made to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and papers
were circulated to local Masons. Wor Brother Frost was assisted by Brothers
Chester T. Dolan and Alan J. Hathaway, Littleton residents.
By October of 1928, they had
obtained enough signatures to continue with the formal process. Letters were
sent to all Masons in the area notifying them of a meeting to take place on
November 5, 1928 in the vestry of the Unitarian Church. The letter was signed
by Brothers Dolan, Hathaway, and Charles A. Kimball. At the meeting, thirty-three Masons attended.
Brother Kimball presided and Brother Frost served as the Secretary. A decision was made to appoint a committee to
determine a place to meet, to examine finances, and to determine potential
A follow-up meeting took place on
November 19, 1928 with Brother Kimball again presiding. A vote was taken and
twenty-five Masons voted to form a new Lodge, four voted against. Following the
vote, two more committees were appointed: Name of the Lodge and Date of Meeting
Committee as well as a Nominating Committee for the Officers of the new Lodge.
The next meeting took place on
December 4, 1928. At this meeting, thirty-five Masons attended. It was
established that the Lodge would meet in the Vestry of the Unitarian Church and
that meetings would be on the fourth Monday of each month. The Committee on Names proposed several names
(unrecorded) and the name Tahattawan was selected, to honor Chief Tahattawan,
Chief of the Nashoba Indians. It was directed that Brother Reverend John H.
Wilson prepare a history of Chief Tahattawan and the Nashoba Indians. That
document is available under other cover and the original hand written draft is
in the Lodge archives.
The following officers were
Arthur H. Frost – Worshipful Master
Charles A. Kimball – Senior Warden
Chester T. Dolan – Junior Warden
Lenox S. Karner – Treasurer
Winthrop H. Kelly – Secretary
Clarence S. Dunham – Chaplain
Harry R. Robblee – Senior Deacon
John W. Hutchinson – Junior Deacon
The Brothers involved then began to
meet as often as possible to secure furniture, Lodge regalia, practice Masonic
ritual, and plan for the new Lodge.
The next meeting took place on
January 28, 1929, in the Vestry of the Church. RW Frank B. Crandall, District
Deputy for the Fitchburg 13th Masonic District, called the meeting
to order. He read a dispensation from the Grand Master of Masons in
Massachusetts, instituting Tahattawan Lodge as a Lodge operating “under
dispensation”. The Dispensation carried the names of sixty-eight Master Masons.
The elected officers noted above were installed in their stations. In addition
the following Officers were installed.
John H. Wilson – Associate Chaplain
William H Ewing – Marshall
Harold N. Caldwell – Senior Steward
Allan J. Hathaway – Junior Steward
John C. Robertson – Inside Sentinel
George W. Tooker – Tyler
The Lodge received generous gifts
of money and equipment from many Lodges in the area and was thereby able to
avoid having to finance any of its starting expense through debt.
During the first year, the Lodge
held ten regular meetings and two special communications. They approved twelve
applicants and raised eight men to the Master Mason degree. By the time of the
twelfth communication, the Lodge realized that they needed more space to meet.
They moved to the Littleton Town Hall.
The Thirteenth Communication of the
Lodge was held on January 23, 1930 for the purpose of Constituting Tahattawan
Lodge. At this meeting, the Grand Master, MW Herbert W. Dean and his suite
attended. The formal request to be constituted was made to the Grand Master.
The Grand Master then assented and delivered the Charter, formally constituting
Tahattawan Lodge. Sixty-six members signed the original Charter. The original
Charter is preserved in the Lodge archives.
The first meeting after
Constitution was held on February 19, 1929. The Lodge continued to meet in the
Town Hall in the years thereafter. The Lodge survived the depression years and
stayed financially viable. Eleven of the Charter Members went on to be Masters
of the Lodge.
World War II also took a toll on
the Lodge but with rare exception, the Lodge met as scheduled. Worthy of note
as a remembrance of the times is that the Lodge was unable to meet in January,
February, and March of 1943: A notice from the “Office of Price Administration”
banned the use of automobiles during that period and the Lodge canceled their
meetings for those months.
On March 13th, 1943, a
fire destroyed the Town Hall. The Lodge lost all of its belongings, aside from
the original ByLaws, the Charter, and the aforementioned history of Chief
Tahattawan, which survive still. The Lodge also has a nearly complete set of
monthly meeting notices that were donated from the estate of Brother Frost.
After the Town Hall fire, the Lodge
temporarily met in Lodges in the District, then returned to meeting in the
Vestry of the Unitarian Church through necessity. However, it was not adequate
for the number of members. The Lodge established a Building Fund during this
period in hopes of eventually purchasing a building.
As of 1954, the Lodge had grown to
In 1960, St. Anne’s church was looking
for space to build a new church. The widow of Charles Kimball, Mattie Kimball,
sold the church the land where it now resides at King Street and Mill Street.
At the same time, the Lodge endeavored to purchase the building it is currently
in, which was the existing St. Anne’s church.
Unfortunately, the Pastor of the
church at the time harbored anti-Masonic feelings which were not unheard of at
the time. He refused to sell the building to the Masons. In addition, the price
set by the church was more than the Lodge could afford. However, an incident
occurred soon after which led to the Lodge purchasing the building. A young
girl, whose family were members of St. Anne’s church, was ill with leukemia.
She required large donations of blood. The Masons of Tahattawan Lodge organized
a town-wide blood drive, collecting substantial amounts of blood and enabling
the girl to make a full recovery. When news of this charitable act reached
Cardinal Cushing in Boston, he directed that St. Anne’s sell the building to Tahattawan
Lodge, and “at a right price”. The Lodge then purchased the building for a much
reduced price. It is reported that the pastor of the church resigned shortly
thereafter rather than complete the purchase with the Lodge.
The Lodge members then set about
converting the building into a Lodge. The pews were removed. The raised
platforms for the Master’s and Wardens’ stations as well as for the
installation of the seats were constructed. A light was installed for the
Masonic Altar. The choir area was walled off, although the loft itself remains.
It is believed that the stained glass windows from the East end of the building
were removed at that time but no record exists of their disposition or whether
the church took them when they moved. An office for the Secretary was
constructed downstairs. Gifts of carpeting and other ornaments were received
from William North Lodge in Lowell. This work was all done within two years.
Following the conversion, the Lodge
was dedicated by the Grand Master, MW Lawrence E. Eaton and his suite. This
took place during the term of Wor Fred Cunningham, on June 9, 1962. The gavel
belonging to Wor Cunningham and used at the dedication is stored in the Lodge
archives and was used again at the 50th year rededication of the
Lodge building in 2012 (see below).
In the mid-1970’s, the Lodge
conducted discussions with the Ida McKinley Chapter of the Eastern Star
regarding the Star using the Lodge for their meetings. With an agreement in
hand, the Lodge members then began modifications in the function hall area
adding storage and a bathroom for the Ladies. The kitchen was remodeled and new
dining tables and chairs were purchased. The newly built “candidate’s room” and
secretary’s office were carpeted.
Around this same time the Lodge
also became home to some similar other local Fraternal organizations including
the Littleton Grange #420, Littleton Junior Grange #111, the Rebecca’s, and the
Ladies of the Oriental Shrine.
Form 1961 to 1973, the Lodge
engaged in significant fundraising endeavors. These efforts helped to improve
the building as well as pay off the mortgage.
In 1977 the parking lot was paved,
greatly improving the gravel lot during inclement weather.
By the late 1970’s membership was
over 250 members.
In the late 1970’s the Lodge engaged in a fundraising
opportunity provided by Brother Donald Priest, a local apple farmer in Groton.
Brother Priest allowed the Lodge brothers to pick up dropped apples at the
farm. The apples were then sold to produce cider. The Lodge was able to raise a
substantial amount of money through this effort and used it to pay for most of
the renovations and repairs needed. Bonds were also issued to members for more
substantial repairs that had to be completed along the way.
During this period the Lodge also
conducted annual Fruit Sales. The Fruit for the sales was obtained through the
connections that our Secretary, Wor Gerry Germain, had in the wholesale fruit
business. Fruit was sold to members and local residents. The proceeds were used
to provide for Fruit baskets sent to the Lodge’s widows and “shut ins”. The
sale also provided funding for the Service Committee during the year to pay for
flowers for the Lodge’s widows and similar needs.
The Lodge encountered frequent
problems with groundwater after large storms. A sump pump installed in the
front of the Lodge was overpowered on several occasions, leading to several
inches of water filling the Function Hall floor. During the term of Wor Al Gay,
a project was undertaken to correct this. Under the direction of the Senior
Warden, Brother (at the time, now RW) Ken Atkins organized a project. A trench
was dug around the building and drain tile installed. Brother Al Robinson, and
his son Brother Carl Robinson donated the heavy equipment labor required to do the
job with the Lodge members providing the manual labor. This update has
continued to serve the Lodge well and water problems have not occurred again.
The list of Brothers involved included those mentioned already as well as RW
Don Baker, Wor Henry Pruden, Wor Charles Motolla, Wor Roland Pendlebury, and RW H. Arnold Wilder.
During the 1980’s, the Lodge took
out a mortgage to cover some needed repairs to the ceiling, the heating system,
and other areas. This mortgage proved to be a serious burden on the Lodge
finances as is noted later in this history.
During the 1990’s, all the groups
that had been using the Lodge in addition to the Masons began to dissolve or
depart. The Demolay Chapter that had been founded and managed by Demolay Dads
RW Ken Atkins (then Wor) and Wor Robert Parsons closed due to a lack of
membership. The Order of the Eastern Star and the Rainbow Girls moved to Ayer
to the newly renovated Caleb Butler Lodge building as it was closer to their
membership’s locations. The Littleton Grange closed its chapter. The Ladies of
the Oriental Shrine also stopped meeting. As a result, Tahattawan Lodge became
the sole regular user of the building and remains so as of 2013.
In 1995, the Lodge was struck by a
minor disaster, which actually led to some very positive developments: The
heating system stopped working in the dead of winter. It was re-started, but
the pipes had frozen and split. As the system warmed back up, water flooded the
Lodge room. It ruined the carpet and damaging the ceiling tiles in the function
Always eager for a silver lining in
any clouds and with some insurance money in hand to cover the carpet and
ceiling damage, the Brothers decided to embark on a larger restoration and
renewal project in the Lodge room and function hall. This began a series of
enhancements that greatly improved the Lodge Room visually.
During the summer of that year,
under the direction of Wor Dennis Breen, a collection of Brothers began the
renovations. The carpet was replaced. The ceiling, walls, and chairs were
painted. Columnar woodwork with lintels was installed on the side walls. The
project took up almost the entire summer, but the Lodge was ready in early
September for the first meeting.
During this renovation, Wor Bro
William Harland Sr began a mural in the East behind the Master’s area. The
mural represented the view from King Solomon’s Temple. Work on this mural was continued by Brother
Bill over the next several years, and was completed in the mid-2000’s.
During 1995, Fort Devens in Ayer
officially closed as an active duty military base. The Lodge had long had a
strong connection with the base, with Wor Brother Gerry Germain and RW Brother
Don Baker having served as Master Sergeants there. The base had been supplying
five to ten new candidates each year. Previous to the closing of the fort, the
Lodge had approximately 220 members. This number began to decline with the
closing of the fort and loss of the candidate stream. Over the next ten years,
the Lodge re-stabilized at about 170 members, a level that it has continued to
The following year, in the summer
of 1996, a large team of Brothers took on the project of building a “portico”
for the Master’s area. The portico was designed by Brothers Lavin and Breen.
They incorporated the “Letter G” assembly that had been installed behind the
Master during the original building renovations in the 1960’s as the
centerpiece of the new portico. Framed areas were designed in for the planned
inclusion of the lighted Emblems (Symbols) of the Master Mason degree.
The mantle that had been installed
in the Master’s area during the 1960’s renovations was removed and preserved
for later use. While removing it, the Brothers discovered that there was a
small area behind it where the original stenciled artwork with gold leaf
from the church of 1916 had been covered
over. After brief discussion, it was decided that this should be preserved
rather than covered over. A small curtain system was designed to accommodate
covering the area visually and was incorporated into the sides of the portico.
During the same summer, a group of
Brothers undertook the project of clearing the overgrown field next to the
Lodge and returning it to a useable area, with eventual plans for a picnic area
and other uses. Brush and trees were removed. Brother Carl Robinson graded the
area and added loam and grass was planted.
The next year, during the summer of
1997, the Brothers undertook a project to renovate the Kitchen. The current
design was very cramped, and as functions like the monthly breakfast continued
to grow in volume, there was not enough space to work. The Brothers moved the
front wall out several feet to provide more space, rearranged cabinets and
counters, added storage, and installed a
commercial dishwasher and a new refrigerator.
In the late 1990’s, following some
financial analysis, the Lodge determined that it and the Corporation were
running in the red and quickly drawing down our accumulated reserves from past years. The Brothers came
up with some new fundraising ideas, including an Annual Yard Sale managed by
Brother Jim Gordon as part of the Masonic Awareness/Activities Committee. In
the following years they added the annual Plant Sale, as well as an annual St.
Patrick’s Day Dinner. Combined with better fiscal management, the Lodge was put
back “into the black”, the mortgage was paid off, and the Lodge’s financial
picture greatly improved.
Blood drives continued at the Lodge
from back in the 1950’s until the mid 1990’s. The drives were moved out of the
Lodge as more space was needed to accommodate the large number of people
attending. However, poor support from the Red Cross for the volume of people
attending the drives began to hinder the program. After over five years of
difficulties, the Lodge made the decision to end the program as the Red Cross
was unable to provide more resources and the long wait times were reflecting
very unfavorably on the Lodge. It is hoped that we can one day restart the
Around 2002, the Lodge started an
“Angel Fund”. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to
school children in area schools based on requests from school administrators.
To date (2013) the program has provided eyeglasses, books, shoes, special
classes, dental work, special camp fees, and other donations in excess of
$12,000 to children in Littleton, Groton, and Westford schools.
In the early 2000’s, Brother (later
Wor Brother) Andy Anderson (an operative mason) took on a project to brick up
the unused windows of the Lodge. A few years later, Wor Brother Andy Anderson
started a project with the help of his grandson, an Eagle Scout who needed to
fulfill his scouting requirements: together they installed a brick handicapped
ramp for the front of the building.
In 2004, Brother Gordon A. Bowker
redrew the Lodge logo. The previous renditions had been copied and re-copied
over the years and the only printable logos were in poor condition. His hand
drawing was scanned in and converted to electronic format for necessary printed
and electronic communications. His original artwork hangs in the Function Hall.
During the summer of 2008, the
Brothers returned to the Lodge room projects. Columns and a portico were
erected in the Senior Warden’s area .The Junior Warden’s area was also
renovated and the mantle that had been removed from the Master’s area over ten
years before was installed atop a new set of columns designed to compliment the
other woodwork in the room. Brother Peter Yapp took on the project of
renovating the Fire Escape: new treads were installed to replace the rusting
structure and the entire staircase cleaned and painted. Later in 2009, the roof
was re-shingled by a commercial contractor.
In the summer of 2011, a project
was undertaken to add a “handicapped ramp” in the Function Hall area. The
existing steps were troublesome for all and impossible for anyone in a
wheelchair to navigate. The ramp project was managed by Wor (then Brother)
In the summer of 2012, a flagpole
was added to the front of the building. The flagpole was dedicated to Brother
Lyman “Dusty” Krohn, who had passed away in 2010 following a stroke he suffered
in the Lodge driveway just after leaving a Lodge event.
Also during 2012, Wor Brother
William Harland Sr presented the Lodge with the long awaited “stained glass”
Master Mason emblems he created. They were installed in the portico over the
On June 16, 2012 under the
direction of the presiding Master, Wor David R. James, the Lodge celebrated its
50th anniversary in the building by having the building
re-dedicated. A committee of Grand Lodge officers, led by the Grand Master, MW
Richard James Stewart, conducted the “Carpet Ceremony” and re-dedicated the
building in a public ceremony with many Masons and their families in
In December of 2012, under the
direction of Wor Dennis E. Gibbons, the Lodge sealed a gavel-like time capsule
with memorabilia and documents from the Lodge enclosed, with a planned opening
on the 100th anniversary of the Lodge building in 2062.
Aside from the handicapped ramp in
front, a single front door (as opposed to the church’s original double doors),
the bricking of the covered windows, and the small “entry shed” in back, the
exterior of the Lodge has remained relatively unchanged from its original
appearance in 1916.
A History of Tahattawan
Chief of the Nashoba Indiansby
Rev. John Henry Wilson
First Chaplain of Tahattawan Lodge A. F. & A. M.
Web Editor's Note:
studying works of history, it is often necessary to consider not only
the historical context of the subject, but the historical context of
the work's author as well.
were two Tahattawans in the year 1646 when John Eliot, Apostle to the
Indians commenced his work of Chritianizing the Savages at Nonantum
which is now Newton, Mass. Old Tahattawan the father, was chief of the
Nashoba Indians. Nashoba meaning "Between Two Ponds" in the Indian
Language, situated between Lake Nagog and Long Pond in what is now
Littleton. Old Tahattawan was an heroic figure among the Indians. He
could remember when there were no white people in Massachusetts. He
could remember when first Blaxton came to settle at Trimount on the
Bay, now known as Boston. He remembered the great plague of 1618 when
all the Indians of the cape had been destroyed by disease, 'till
between the tip of Cape Cod and the Piscattaquis River not an Indian
village remained and in 1646 his little tribe of some fifty or sixty
was the furthest east of any. Old Tahattawan had daughters in 1646.
One, the elder, was Tassansquaw, and her, he had given in marraige to
the young warrior Chief Waban, the steadiest and most reliable of all
the Chieftains in the East, and it was Waban who became the first
convert of the Reverand John Eliot to Christianity. The other daughter
was unmarried, but in great demand. Beautiful, young and for an Indian,
accomplished. And there was also his only son, the young Tahattawan.
Tahattawan was "light", so the historians tell us, in his youth, a
merry, happy go lucky lad, not yet in the habit of taking life
seriously but he was early married to the more solid daughter of the
great sachem Wamesit and that helped to steady him. The English called
her Sarah. His young sister, the pretty one, they called Rebeckah,
though her real name was Naanasquaw.
In 1645 the Nashoba Indians
applied to be made a Town, but the English, presumptuously claiming the
whole land, declined to allow of it. Then Waban, the newly made
Christian, intimated to his father-in-law that the English might well
be afraid of an Indian Town, a collecting place where thousands of wild
savages might easty assemble and grow in strength and old Tahattawan
saw the point, yet he knew also that the only way the Indians could
hope to survive would be to keep together. Scattered they could easily
be defeated and depleted. Together they might learn the white man's
superior culture and stand a fairer chance beside his greater
intelligence and knowledge. His whole tribe, small as it was, did not
agree with him. In vain he wasted his eloquence on them. He said to
them "What have you gained while you lived under the power of the
highest sachems, after the Indian fashion? They only sought to get what
they could from you and exacted at their pleasure your kettles, your
skins and your wampum; but the English, you see, do no such things;
they only seek your welfare and instead of taking from you they give to
Poor credulous Tahattawan. He believed it and he kept at
them 'till he gained some converts to his way of thinking. His only
ambition in his life was to save his people from the fate that was
bound, sooner or later, to engulf the primitive American Indian.
took council with his son in law, Waban. He advised the old man to
become Christian. Surely the white men would not fear Christian
neighbors whatever the color of their skin. So he listened carefully to
the Apostle Eliot and sought out the teaching of Chnst and found it
beyond words wonderful and beautiful. He became a Christian, not in
words only, but in deed and he went back to the Nashobas and taught
them. His son smiled and went a hunting. But his young daughter, whom
he rechristened, Rebekah, on her conversion, fell in love with the
message of Christ and the youth who came to teach the word. The first
Christian Minister, an Indian named Naaniskcow and who, when he had
become Christian, had himself [named] John Thomas. It was a love match
on both sides and the old Tahattawan gave them his blessing. It was a
wide departure from custom for him. He was the son of a chief, his wife
had been a chiefs daughter. He had married his daughter to the son of a
chief and his son to the daughter of a chief, and young John Thomas
was, though a steady, sober and pious youth, only the son of a common
everyday Indian, who was murdered by the Maquas, a hostile tribe, while
fishing for eels at his weare. But John Thomas and his father were both
Christians and the young man was serious and conscientious in his
efforts to teach the Nashoba Indians.
It was in 1651 that the
Natick Grant allowed to the Christian Praying Indians at Natick and
this Government was planned according to advice of Jethro to Moses in
the Old Testament to make them rulers of hundreds, of fifties and of
tens, a sort of regimental military type of rule. The Indiansat Nagog
did not follow this detail out, as they were not even a hundred in
number and they had a good chief.
However, somewhere early in the
sixteen fiffies, or thereabouts, old Tahattawan was gathered into
Abrahams bosom and left his son to take his place, who, to the wonder
of the white men, upon assuming the authority, assumed all the digruty
and strength of character of his father. With the constant friendship
and devotion of his brother-in-law, John Thomas, he, now being known as
John Tahattawan, ( his name, like his father's spelt a dozen different
ways by the English) wisely and efficiently governed his people in the
country of the Nashobas. between Nagog and Long Pond.
John Eliot, the apostle, himself took a hand and petitioned the
government of Massachusetts for the Nashoba Indians and this time with
such success that for the 6th time he was able to report the
establishment of a new town of Christian Indians. If all men had been
of his type, the Indian problem in our land might have had a different
In 1660 John Tahattawan and John Thomas, his
brother-in-law, the teacher and minister, were signers of an agreement
with the town of Concord known as Concord's second grant.
time the little Indian Town of Nashoba was well known in Massacusetts.
A contemporary writer described it at that time as follows:
this village, as well as in the other old Indian plantations, they have
orchards of apples whereof they make cider, which some of them have not
the wisdom and grace to use for their comfort, but are prone to abuse
into drunkeness, and although the laws be strict to supress this sin,
and some of their rulers are very careful and zealous in the execution
of them, yet such is the madness and folly of man naturally, that he
doth eagerly pursue after that which tendeth to his own destruction,"
young Tahattawan, John, did not live long. He concientiously did what
he could as Chieflan or Sachem for the fifteen years or so he held that
office and with his brother-in-law, held the morals if the Indians
high, as compared with others. Drunkeness and theft were comparatively
slight among the Nashoba Indians, who, owing to Tahattawan and his
wonderful family, became described by a visitor of that time, as sober.
industrious and honest.
At the death of John Tahattawan before
1670, Pennekennit, or Pennahannit became chief. I do not know his
relationship to Tahattawan. Young Tahattawan died leaving a daghter,
Sarah, a widow named Sarah and a young son, a child, the last of the
Tahattawans who was killed at the age of twelve, November 15, 1675 at
Wamesit, near Lowell, when a party of fourteen white men armed with
muskets, from Chelmsford, went to the Indian Camp and wantonly fired
upon them in retaliation for the burning of a barn of which the Indians
were suspected. Five women and children were wounded, among whom was
the boys mother, Sarah then a widow for the second time, having had as
her Second husband Oonamog, ruler of the praying Indians at Marlborough.
happened the first year of the King Phillips War, which was also the
last year of the residence of the Nashoba Indians at Nagog. And the
King Philips War has nothing to do with the story of the Tahattawans.
They never lived to see it. Old Tahattawan left three grandsons by his
two daughters, the wife of Waban, and the wife of John Thomas. Of these
three grandsons little is related of moment, except of one, Thomas
Waban of Natick, son of Waban. Of the father, a contemporary historian
wrote in 1674
He is a person of great Prudence and piety. I do not know any Indian that excells him. He
was living in 1684 but died at Natick the following summer. Waban's
son, Thomas Waban of Natick, signed in 1714, a deed to the heirs of
Col. Peter Bulkeley and Major Thomas Hinchman of half of Nashoba
Plantation. The two other heirs of Tahattawan who signed were John
Thomas, and John Thomas, Jr. grandson of the old Tahattawan, both then
of Natick. The town records of Natick were written at one time by
Thomas Waban in the Indian Language and he was also Justice of the
Peace in that town.
Such is the story if the Tahattawans, father
and son. The King Phillips War scattered the Nashoba Indians far and
wide and the tale of their dispersion is a tragedy. The last of the
tribe, a humble squaw named Sarah Doublett was allowed 500 acres in
1714, which land was called the Indian New Town or Indian Farm, now
called New town. But she remained there all alone until 1734, when, as
the only heir, old and blind, she petititoned to sell it to pay her
maintenance and it was granted for that purpose to Elnathan and Ephraim
Jones of whom the latter sold it to a man named Tenney.
in his day, put up a great struggle for the preservation of that part
of his race which was comnitted to him. He was one of the truly
remarkable heroes of his time and people. His heart was set upon
leading his, people to a higher religious and social and cultural
sphere. He failed because of circumstances beyond his control, but even
in failure it might be said of him, and inscribed as his epitaph, as
gloriously as of any Christian Martyr that ever lived.
|"||I have fought the good fight,|
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith."