State Preservation Commission calls for archaeological survey of 'Bluemead Farm'

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The Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission believes an archaeological survey should be performed at the site of proposed housing development on Chachapacasset and Beach Roads in Barrington.

The sub-division, known as Bluemead Farm, is scheduled for a hearing with the Barrington Planning Board Wednesday, Jan. 2. In mid-November, the commission sent a letter to the town planner Philip Hervey advocating for the survey.

The letter states that while there is no known archaeological site within the project area, the environmental characteristics of the area and “an informant” who reported finding a Native American projectile point on the property indicate there is a “reasonable probability” the area is a Native American site.

“The possibility that the principal village of Massasoit is located in this vicinity, based on a reference to a historic spring at the upper end of Chachapacasset Neck, is interesting, but the project area is sensitive for archaeological resources regardless of whether or not that is the case.”

The letter continues that if the study is conducted and archaeological materials are present, the extent and significance of the material should be determined.

Mr. Hervey said the planning board requested the commission’s input based on references to a book about the town’s history indicating there may have been an old spring in the area and possibly an old settlement.

A photo of an arrowhead previously discovered in the area was reportedly identified as between 5,000 and 3,00 years old by a senior archaeologist at the Pawtucket Archaeology Laboratory in Pawtucket.

The hearing begins at 7 p.m. and will be held inside the town council chamber at town hall.

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