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Friday, August 17 News

Way Back When... 1637

In partnership with the National Park Service, the Fairfield Museum is leading an exciting research project to discover details of the Battle of Pequot Swamp (also known as Munnacommock Swamp) which occurred in 1637 in present day Southport, Connecticut. The battle was the last engagement of the Pequot War and was an important catalyst for English settlement of Fairfield and Southport.

The Fairfield Museum was awarded a multi-year National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program grant to identify the probable locations of the battle site, conduct historical research and locate any archeological artifacts that might remain from the battle. The project is part of the state-wide Battlefields of the Pequot War project that is identifying and preserving similar battlefields associated with the Pequot War (1636-1637) across Connecticut.

The first phase of the Fairfield project, completed in 2017, was to review all historical references to the Battle of Pequot Swamp and identify the probable location of the battle. In 2018-2019, the Fairfield Museum will be working with a team of professional archeologists to conduct low-impact field analysis of the Pequot Swamp battle site to locate possible artifacts. Archeologists will use metal detectors to survey the area. If any objects are detected, they will carefully dig a small hole to retrieve the object, and put any grass or dirt back immediately, restoring the site to just as it was found. No large-scale excavating will be done. If anything is discovered related to the Pequot Swamp Fight battle, it will be removed for further study. Any objects recovered that are not related to the battle will be given back to the landowner. A typical survey will last about an hour or two.

Southport’s two preservation organizations: Sasquanaug Association and the Southport Conservancy have enthusiastically endorsed this project, and dozens of landowners have given their permission for their property to be surveyed. For more on the fascinating history of the Pequot War and the Battle of Pequot Swamp in Southport, please visit http://pequotwar.org/ or https://www.fairfieldhistory.org/library-collections/pequot/.

About the Fairfield Museum & History Center: The Fairfield Museum & History Center and Museum Shop, located at 370 Beach Road, is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members of the Museum and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information, call 203-259-1598 or visit Fairfieldhistory.org. The Fairfield Museum relies on funding from individuals, corporations and foundations. The Museum is especially grateful for leadership support from the State of Connecticut, Town of Fairfield and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

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