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Welcome to Tahattawan Lodge!

What is Freemasonry?


Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest fraternity. It is comprised of adult men (18+) of good character from every country, religion, race, age, income, education, and opinion, who believe in a Supreme Being. Its body of knowledge and system of ethics is based on the belief that each man has a responsibility to improve himself while being devoted to his family, faith, country, and fraternity.

Freemasonry (often simplified to “Masonry”) enhances and strengthens the character of the individual man by providing opportunities for fellowship, charity, education, and leadership based on the three ancient Masonic tenets: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. The Massachusetts Grand Lodge is a crowning legacy of this venerable heritage as we strive to “make good men better.”


Welcome to Tahattawan Lodge

Tahattawan 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 contact information!


The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts

Tahattawan Lodge is within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is the third oldest Grand Lodge in the world.

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

Tahattawan 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.


Please sign our Guest Book of you'd like more information or are interested in becoming a Mason

The History of Tahattawan Lodge


The Story of Chief Tahattawan


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 membership.

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 elected:

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 178 members.

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 hall below.

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 maintain.

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 program.

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) David James.

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 Master’s area.

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 attendance.

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 Indians

by
Rev. John Henry Wilson
First Chaplain of Tahattawan Lodge A. F. & A. M.
Littleton, Massachusetts
1930

Web Editor's Note:

In 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.


There 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.

Young 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 you, "

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.

He 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.

In 1654 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 history.

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.

By that time the little Indian Town of Nashoba was well known in Massacusetts. A contemporary writer described it at that time as follows:

"In 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,"

The 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.

This 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.

Tahattawan, 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."

 


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