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Southport Park to be nominated as a historic site in the Pequot War

Southport Park located in Southport, Fairfield County, will be nominated to be inducted into the National Register of Historic Places
Eric Warner / WSHU
Southport Park in Fairfield County will be nominated to be inducted into the National Register of Historic Places

A park in Connecticut will be nominated to be inducted into the National Register of Historic Places. The Fairfield Museum and the Sasquanaug Association will nominate Southport Park in the spring.

Michael Jehle, the museum’s executive director, announced this nomination last Thursday.

“We’re hoping and proposing to nominate, if I’m correct, really just the boundaries of what is now Southport Park,” Jehle said. “So it’s not affecting any private property owners, it’s Sasquanaug’s property.”

The park was the site of the Battle of Munnacommuck, otherwise known as the Pequot Swamp, in 1637. This battle is often considered to be the final battle of the Pequot War among historians.

Archaeologists have studied the park and surrounding areas as part of a 7-year-long project.

Roughly 100 battle-related artifacts have been found, including close to 60 musket balls. Kevin McBride, an anthropology professor at UConn, is one of the leading archaeologists for the project.

McBride said these artifacts revealed both tactics and weaponry used during the battle. He said this appears to be one of the first instances of Native Americans using firearms.

“[This was the] longest battle of the Pequot War — one of the most significant because it ended any possibility the Pequots would constitute as a viable political, social, and military entity,” McBride said.

After the battle, more than 200 local Pequot elders, women, and children were sold into slavery throughout the New England and West Indies territories. With the Pequot forced out of the swamp, the English would form the settlements of Southport and Fairfield.

Artifacts found will be placed in the Fairfield Museum in May in an exhibit titled “Creating Community.” The museum also plans to place seven signs along trails in Southport Park by this summer to better inform people about the battle that took place at the site.

During the nomination process, residents will still be able to interact with the park as they normally would.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.