Weatogue and Weatogue Road

(Salisbury, Connecticut)

Main attributes of this Native American place: Native name; In Tribal history; Archaeological; Travel route; Native practices; Landscape; In historic documents.

Weatogue is a locality on the Housatonic River in the northeastern part of present-day Salisbury. It is at the northern end of Weatogue Road, just south of the Massachusetts border and the landmark of Bartholomew’s Cobble. Archaeological evidence suggests that Native American settlement occurred in this area for at least 7,000 years prior to European contact. Locations on the river were favorable for seasonal fishing, and local tradition holds that an Indian fording place was located near here. Weatogue Road almost certainly evolved from an ancient Indian trail.

In the decades prior to the incorporation of the Township of Salisbury in 1741, Weatogue (or “Weatauk”) was occupied by a Native American community who identified themselves as Mohican. They likely lived in a small cluster of wigwam dwellings, and moved around seasonally within the locality. Prior to 1740, they had relations with a small number of ethnically Dutch settlers, who had come over from the neighboring New York Colony. Following the incorporation of Salisbury in 1741, the Mohican community was pressured into selling their lands elsewhere in Salisbury, but continued their efforts to maintain ownership of the Weatogue locality in the northeastern part of the town. The names of numerous Weatogue Mohican people are known from the early land deeds.

Thoughts to consider as you stand upon this place: Weatogue Road presumably evolved out of an ancient path that led northward to the Native settlement area near Bartholomew’s Cobble. Many Native American archaeological sites have been recorded along this road and in the vicinity of the Cobble, a testament to thousands of years of settlement in this direct vicinity, going back more than 7,000 years, and
continuing into the Colonial period.

Contributor: Timothy Binzen

SOURCES

Binzen, Timothy L. 1997. Mohican Lands and Colonial Corners: Weataug, Wechquadnach and the Connecticut Colony 1675-1750. M.A. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, Storrs.

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