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Entries in South Portland (1)


Week Eleven: So it turns out there was an actual massacre...

Internet research revealed some colorful history behind Massacre Pond, which is where I assume Massacre Lane gets it name (being so close to the pond and all):

Now a peaceful destination in Scarborough Beach State Park, Massacre Pond (formerly called Black Point) was once the site of a horrific scene and is now haunted by a restless spirit. The bloody ghost of Richard "Crazy Eye" Stonewall has been seen by several visitors at the pond where he was buried in Oct. 1697. Mr. Stonewall's wife and infant son had been killed by Indians, and he avenged their deaths by joining the military and killing every Indian he found.

What's interesting to me is that it's named after the "massacre" of two settlers by a displaced native people, not the massacre and further displacement of all said native peoples. 

But anyway. A different perspective:

By October, 1676 Scarborough, a town with three settlements of more than 100 houses and 1,000 head of cattle, had been destroyed -- some of its people killed and others taken captive by Native Americans.  These settlers tried repeatedly to rebuild but peace was impossible.  In 1690, the town was abandoned due to Native American uprisings, with inhabitants going to Portsmouth and other settlements further south.

The second settlement of Scarborough is regarded as dating to 1702.  A fort was erected on the western shore of Garrison Cove, Prout's Neck.  Other stockades were at Spurwink and Blue Point.  The Hunnewell House was known as the “outpost for the defense of Black Point.”  Richard Hunnewell, and eighteen other men were killed in 1703 at Massacre Pond.  This incident took place after peace negotiations had been made.

(Link to the rest here.)

So I suppose nineteen people is somewhat more of a massacre, but it being historically accepted that the Native Americans got a raw deal, I'm surprised how sympathetic to the settlers these accounts seem to be. 

And yet another perspective:

In 1681 a second garrison was erected at Black Point about a half mile north of Great Pond (later known as Massacre Pond), because the "neck" was too far away to be accessible to the settlers in time of trouble. Troubled peace broke into open hostility again in 1690 when the French in eastern Maine joined forces with the Indians and destroyed the settlement of Falmouth. Anticipating enemy advance on Scarborough, the settlers fled to Portsmouth and beyond and town records were taken to Boston, where they remained until 1720. It would be twelve years before settlers returned to Scarborough.

(Link to the rest here.)

The French did what? I grew up in South Portland, just north of Scarborough. How bad is my history that I didn't know this at all? 

So. This is all very interesting. But what to do with it...?